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:

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

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!

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!