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

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 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 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

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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!