Social Media… Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Who would have thought that one of the best life and business lessons can be learned by reading one of the great Dr. Seuss books?

“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.635747312488442229-1186318691_oh-the-places-youll-go
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Enter Social Media – possibly the 21st century’s greatest dilemma for small businesses! Why, you ask? Because you can have brains in your head and steer your self and business in the right direction but one wrong move on social media and a business can be helped, hindered, or destroyed. Although Social Media is not inherently bad, the damage can be devastating to a small business, especially if the damage was not self-inflicted.

Overcoming Intentional Sabotage

For example, a few years ago, I was on a casual Face Time chat with a colleague who was killing time in a car dealership waiting room. ‘Eddie’ was lamenting the demise of his apprentice who acted against his advice and subsequently earned a not-so-flattering nick name by a few fickle vendors. As veterans in the industry who cared about the apprentice and his business, Eddie and I strategized a plan for damage control and a delicate approach so as to not add insult to injury in an already awkward situation.

A nosy customer in the waiting room overheard bits of our conversation and took offense. Noticing Eddie’s company name and logo on his shirt, Ms. Nosy took her offense to a free online social media ‘review’ site where a one-star review of Eddie’s company was left. Ms. Nosy also unleashed a lengthy and grossly fallacious interpretation of our conversation based on the fragmented sound bites heard between screeches of intercom announcements and bustle of waiting room traffic [no pun intended].  Understand that Ms. Nosy was not a customer of Eddie’s company and did not purport to be one in the review. In fact, Ms. Nosy admitted that her review was based on a conversation overheard in the car dealership waiting room. Eddie requested multiple times that the website remove the bogus review since Ms. Nosy violated the terms of use, which requires reviews to be based on the reviewer’s experience as a customer of the company being reviewed. Over 2 years later, the negative review which amounts to nothing more than intentional sabotage is still on the website.

Overcoming Self-Inflicted Guffaws

More common than the rare occurrence of third-party sabotage is self-inflicted social media damage the origins of which typically evolve from posting politically incorrect opinions [eh hem] or unethical posts made out of ignorance. What then? Even if your ‘Post Remorse’ comes quickly, the dastardly opine it can still go ‘viral’ if someone else was quick to the draw and re-posted before you could hit delete! Worse yet, Social Media ethics is not a defined set of metrics. With the exception of libel, false advertising, or clear-cut negligence social media ethics violations could catch even the most well-intentioned by surprise. As Dr. Seuss, would say:

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.”

So what’s a business person to do to in this viral, instant communication-gratification world? Short of shuttering your self and business from the world wide web, my best suggestion is to attend the Healthy Homes Real Estate Education Summit on December 10th at the Illinois State University Alumni Center where  Social Media Ethics guru, Marki Lemons-Reyhal, will walk us through Social Media Ethics in Real Estate. Whether you need the CORE B continuing education or are simply looking for quality Professional Development, you won’t want to miss this event.

The Education Summit is choc full of other great education and professional development for real estate professionals across all industries including Home Inspection, Radon Mitigation, Radon Testing, New 2016 Energy Efficiency Laws for Real Estate, Liability in the Real Estate Industry, and a live hands-on Radon Mitigation.  For more information or to register for the Summit online: www.HealthyHomesTraining.com

Education for Realtors, Home Inspectors and Radon Professionals!

Education for Realtors, Home Inspectors and Radon Professionals!

Hoping to see you on December 10th!

Lin Marie

Snow, Super Bowl, & Super Excited

An Exciting Day!

This is an exciting day…the Bears are playing the Cowboys in the Super Bowl!!! Woo hoo!!!

I know, I know, I’m only 3 decades off! And although I watched that game from my NIU freshman dorm room I don’t remember who da Bears played! What I do remember is Walter Payton, the Fridge, and the Punkie QB strutting their manly stuff in those white football tights to a corny but catchy tune!

So now that you know I’m not a football aficionado – and I suspect that I’m in good company since you are reading this and not watching the big game – I’d like to share the real reasons for my excitement on this Super Bowl Sunday.

This morning I took advantage of the winter wonderland inspiration that 10″ of snow brought and spent some long overdue time sifting through my Evernote Notebooks. I found an Entrepreneur.com article written by my favorite business guru, Victor W. Hwang, tagged ‘for later’ but had forgotten all about. Considering what today is (NOT related to Super Bowl Sunday) I found it nothing short of kismet that I would come across yet another of Victor’s articles today, an exciting day!

A quick note about VictorLogo_rev_300X87

I started following Victor last spring when I was researching the concept of Business Ecosystems, a business model introduced to me by a local entrepreneur-guru-friend of mine, Frank Lunn. Frank and his team at Kahuna Business Solutions had successfully mastered the ecosystem philosophy and suggested we adopt it as in response to a market shift in the education sector. The concept of ecosystems causes businesses to operate with a systematic approach centered on leveraging resources and talent to maximize profits and productivity, which was exactly what we needed as we pivoted from a brick and mortar operation to the online space.

Ecosystems – Our New Education and Business Approach

It was abundantly clear, and3babe0c unbeknownst to us, that we at Healthy Homes™ were already on the path to a robust ecosystem grown organically by virtue of organizational culture, strong sense of ethics, entrepreneurial spirit and personalities that are naturally collaborative and others-centered.  Even more revealing was the that the approach appeared to be a much more appropriate model for real estate industry businesses than the traditional ‘solopreneur’ model practiced by most Realtors, builders, home inspectors, and radon professionals, who make up the base of our Partners!

Eager to cultivate this model amongst our peers and students/clients (who we affectionately call ‘Partners’), we developed a series of 1-day Radon Business Boot Camps held in four strategic Illinois locations during the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2014. Motivated by the enthusiastic response to our fledgling Boot Camps and inspired by the success of multimillion dollar companies who have found great success in the ecosystem business model [e.g. Apple, Samsung, Starbucks, Toyota] we retooled our business plan and set into motion an intentional R & D plan to incorporate more ecosystem-based education into our core learning modules by mid-to-late 2015.

Our Detour to Grow Your Ecosystem

A kink in our 1 year plan, however, came in mid 2014, the radon industry and affiliated NGOs announced a regulatory initiative that would inflate in the workforce by 30,000+ jobs by spring of 2015 to accommodate an increased demand for radon testing and mitigation. On the surface, the creation of 30K jobs sounds good and the demand will certainly be profitable for stakeholders who need to train and supply the new workforce.

Considering the dynamics and scientific nature of radon testing and mitigation, there is little good (long term) that can come out of an artificially bloated workforce that relies heavily on a tenuous housing industry. Real estate industry businesses especially radon testers/mitigators need to prepare for this shift in the marketplace that could create unsustainable consequences to most small to medium radon businesses.

We have been busy these past 5.5 months preparing better initiatives to ready our Partners for the market shift. Whether you are a Realtor®, builder, home inspector or radon measurement/mitigation professional, the more prepared you are the better you will serve your clients and protect marketshare.

Grow Your Ecosystem with Us

Growing a robust ecosystem isn’t hard and doesn’t have to be expensive! In fact, thriving ecosystems  leverage talent and resources for leaner operations and greater profit margins. Join our robust ecosystem where quality, profitability, ethics, and FUN preside!!

Want to Know More?

You will find a short introductory video on our YouTube channel or http://bit.ly/HHConnection. It’s no half-time show but I think you’ll like it!

If you are in our email database, you will be receiving multiple emails over the next few days with more information on our programs and how to participate. If you are not in our database and would like more information, please email me at info@HealthyHomesTraining.com.

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www.HealthyHomesTraining.com

Healthy Homes™ offers classes and/or training for all disciplines in the real estate industry:

Home Inspection, Radon, Green Energy, and Real Estate.

We welcome you to join us!

Are You Stuck?

Stuck in a Rut?

There seems to be an epidemic in my ecosystem. It’s what I call the ‘Stuck-n-a-Rut’ syndrome. Perhaps it’s the gray skies or the cyclical housing stagnation. Nonetheless, it’s the same murmur across all industries in which I serve. There’s no discrimination. No one is feeling on top of the world right now.

For those of us who have been around the corner a few times, there is nothing spectacularly different about this year in particular yet it seems to be an especially ‘blah’ January.

As a side note

After listening to the State of the Union Address last night I realized yet another attribute for the systemic dismay and marginal business lethargy of my peers. [Oh yes I did just go there!]

Now, I’m not exactly known for my optimism and rah! rah! In fact, I think I can be a downright curmudgeon most days. But lately I’ve found myself donning the pom poms and feeding happy syrup to my peeps to a degree far outside my comfort zone and I needed some rah! of my own for goodness sakes!

Another side note

Some turn to wine or yoga when stressed [both of which are high on my priority list]. But for people like me, stress drives a willing retreat to the bowels of cyberspace where the hands of time seem to stop and research becomes almost as yummy as, well, wine and yoga [if you like that sort of thing]. It’s not un

common to sit down at my computer and look up 20 hours later. It’s in times of retreat when I gather the best content for curriculum and business workshops

[My Evernote account reflects a very stressful year!].

Factor in 15 hour days preparing for 2 new concept launches, a website launch, impending changes in federal policies, and a whole lot of incestuous political shenanigans from the ‘bad seeds’ in my industry… it’s been a long year already my friends!

That’s my ‘stuck in the rut’ rant…here’s the good stuff…

In searching for a solution for entrepreneurs suffering from ‘Stuck-in-a-Rut syndrome’ I stumbled upon the blog one of my son’s business professors, Doan Winkel. Coincidentally, I started him following last year before Riley was in his class.

Anyway, today’s blog for entrepreneurs was about LEGACY. This topic is important to me for many personal reasons but I had never considered a business application. Read the blog. It’s sweet, simple and to the point. Hopefully you’ll be inspired as you apply the concept of Legacy to your business purpose.

For more information on what I do or how I can help you get out of a rut please visit one of my websites or email me!

Why Me?

Good question! It took me a long time to heed the advice of my mentors to start a Blog.

After all, blogs are for famous people. Or those with something profound to say that will  impact the existence of mankind. Well, I’m not famous and I can’t drop any impressive names but I’ve come to realize that, for some crazy reason, God has blessed me with industry knowledge and a passion to help people start and grow successful businesses in the Real Estate industry. I take a personal interest in the students who take my classes whether that be the brick-n-mortar classroom, the online classroom or the virtual classroom.

I take the education of ‘my people’ very seriously and recognize that their success is my success. That is why everything I teach, promote, or innovate is with my clients’ needs in mind whether it be a pre-license class, a continuing education class, or business-building exercise.  We communicate often and through many venues like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest (yes, Pinterest is for dudes too!), texts, email, and yes, now this Blog!! My job is not done until my people say it’s done!

More importantly, my secondary platform is to promote ethical business practices. It’s easy to cut corners when starting a business, experiencing lean times, or competing with sub par businesses. Ultimately, true success is determined by a job done well and done ethically in the interest of the customer. To the ends of the earth will I support the committed small business owner who succeeds despite a less-than-favorable business climate or economy. I help them innovate, leverage their resources, and pivot their operations to boost the bottom line without comprising quality and ethics.

Whether you are a Realtor®, Home Inspector, Radon or IAQ professional, you will enjoy the community of friends here at Healthy Homes and I hope you’ll join us for great discussion, collaboration and knowledge building!

2015 is going to be a great year!

My best for you,

Lin Marie

S.C.O.R.E. – Another Great Resource for Small Business Owners

If you’ve never tried SCORE’s free webinars, you’re really missing out! Heck, even the ones you have to pay for are worth it. We’ve found SCORE to be a great resource for our company and thought you might enjoy this FREE event in Chicago next month.

Check their Calendar of Events frequently. There’s always something good!

An RSVP is required so be sure to check out their website and reserve your spot!

Hope to see you there!

Graph Your Data to Provide the Most Accurate Results!

Technology advances improve our ability make accurate recommendations to mitigate or not to mitigate.

Just about all modern, industrial, Continuous Radon Monitors produce graphs that allow you to determine unusual fluctuations in radon levels that can produce false high or false low results.

But even users of antiquated equipment can graph their data in just a few short minutes by simply capturing the raw data and plugging it into an excel spreadsheet!