Archives

Pride goes before a fall

pride-before-the-fallMaybe it’s because I was an only child and never had others to ask to pitch in and help me, but for whatever reason I find it hard to ask others for help. Bottom line though, it is an issue of pride, and we all know where that leads. So before I fall, I’m ditching the pride and asking for help.

For months, I have been working to prepare an ezine – an email inbox magazine – for women age 50+. Whether you recognize it or not, there are an increasing number of us, and we’re not ready to settle for the rocking chair. Yet most magazines target the 15 to 45 year olds in their topics. This leaves us feeling a bit disjointed because we have lots of things we’d like information on but eradicating acne is rarely one of them because we’ve been there and done that.

We’re looking for purpose for the second half and ideas and information about our health and wellness as well as weightier issues like dealing with aging parents, serious illness or a myriad of other topics. We also know that we’ve got a lot of experience that can be shared, but wonder how to share it; hence, the arrival of Golden Gals Only.

Here’s where I need to ask for help – there are three areas, really. Even if you don’t fit the category, there are ways you can render assistance.

  • Would you sign up for the FREE newsletter to help me out with numbers or would you pass the sign-up information on to those who are in this category and might be interested?
  • All you need to do to sign up for the bi-weekly newsletter (Monday and Thursday) is go to www.goldengalsonly.com and add your information in the blue box. You’ll receive an email with a link to click which will confirm your subscription. That’s it!
  • If you know of anyone in this age bracket with a great story or desire to contribute an article to the ezine, would you put them in contact with me via this blog or at my website?
  • Would you pray that this endeavor would bring honor to the Lord? This is of utmost importance to me.

I was touched this morning by a song sung most frequently by George Beverly Shea, who died this week at the age of 104. He is associated most often as having traveled with Billy Graham. His signature song gave me great encouragement as I venture out in what for me is uncharted waters, and I hope the lyrics of  His Eye is on the Sparrow may touch your heart as well.

Moving on with cars, drugs and toilet paper

The election is over and the political ads will cease, at least for a little while. Whew! Now we can move on to ads with higher value.

Venturing into the holiday season, we won’t skip a beat to move from flags, stars and stripes to bows, Santa and snowflakes. These ads are innocuous. In fact, they just ask me to picture myself driving through a snow covered mountain road flanked in white dusted pines at the wheel of their new Escalade. They’re so anxious to see me in their car, they play their ad frequently. I agree. I would look good in it, so I don’t take offense.

Oh, and if I my cholesterol rises, no worries. I just need to ask my doctor if one of the statin drugs advertised is right for me. I don’t need to concern myself with the probable side effects that they list in their auditory fine print. They’ll likely not impact me. They happen to other people. But, I cannot forget the import of the brand of toilet paper I choose. Yes, I’m “talking about what happens in the bathroom.” After all, “everyone goes” – remind me again why I discouraged my children from potty humor?

Rarely do I consider these TV ads aggressive or arrogant. They’re just part of doing business. I want my favorite programs to remain on the air, and that requires money. I understand they need me and others to buy-into their brands so that when it’s time to make our choice, we’ll purchase their products. Program sponsors often play their ads back to back, yet they evoke little passion. In fact, many times I find them entertaining and adopt their slogans into my daily jargon. Whatever happened to, “You deserve a break today?” I could use one.

Why should political ads be considered anything but a necessary evil like those of other branded goods? Some product claims are true and some have been proven to be hype. We don’t take offense with them, yet many do when it comes to political ads. Some link politics and religion together as taboo topics for discussion. Why is that? Likely there are personal preferences on both sides, and we don’t like these challenged. Yet truth will stand and prove itself, regardless of who wins an election. So what’s the deal?

I like these ads because I understand the stakes are higher than the toilet paper I select. They make a difference beyond me and have potential to impact generations to come. And if I think through their message and question what they say, it helps me to confirm what I believe or reveal holes in my perspective. I lean toward naivety, but understand its dangers, so these ads are good for me.

Will I enjoy the respite from the political rhetoric? Sure, but in the meantime, I will thank God we still have the freedom to promote our views whether political, religious or other personal preferences. In some countries, they don’t have this privilege.

What should you look for in a hospital?

Let’s face it. Choosing a hospital is likely not the highest priority on your list of things to do today – or any day for that matter. Yet when your health requires specialized care beyond the confines of your doctor’s office, you’d like to know you’re in good hands. Obviously, you may not always have a choice, but if you need some things to consider, check out this article from US News and World Report on How to find the best hospital near you. 

Although the quality of medical care you receive should hold the highest priority, value can come from another side of the equation that excellence in medical science cannot address. That side of patient satisfaction arises from treating patients as people. What a novel idea – combining the best in modern technology and scientific approaches with old fashioned compassion and personalized care. It’s a type of pay it forward concept.

It would appear that some hospitals are getting the picture and the Internet has enhanced their efforts. Now you can not only go online at a hospital’s website to find a doctor for your specific health need but you can also send a greeting to a patient, “Like” them on Facebook or watch a video about their efforts in-house and in the community. If you like what you see, you can make a donation or pay your bill – all from the comfort of home. You’ll notice if you’re on their premises, they have stepped up their efforts to train their staff in professionalism and patient safety yet they don’t neglect customer service and plain, but always appreciated, common courtesy. They also instruct their staff to smile more – as is appropriate, of course.

Hospitals are also employers, and they’re getting the picture in that arena too as they strive to engage their employees to set the example. Morris Hospital outside of Chicago, IL decided to encourage their staff, volunteers and visitors to get some exercise and take the stairs instead of the elevator with a special campaign. They enlisted local students to paint outdoor scenes in the stairwells to encourage people to take that route. It’s an interesting concept. Click here to see a video of what they did.

With the exception of the maternity ward, no one enjoys going to the hospital. Hospital executives, however, seem to be grasping the connection between quicker healing and better health with their proactive efforts. It makes good business sense, too. Though most patients hope they don’t have an occasion to return themselves, they understand the need for these facilities is a fact of life. Hospitals understand this too. A satisfied patient will spread the word.

Top questions about baby boomers?

You’ve likely heard the term baby boomer, but do you know what one is? If you don’t, you’re not alone. Using the Google keyword search tool I discovered that 246,000 searches are conducted globally per month to find this out. This is based on a 12 month average. If you are interested in only English speaking countries, the number drops to 110,000 per month. You’ll get similar results if you ask who is a baby boomer or who are baby boomers?

In case you’re curiosity is getting the better of you, I won’t keep you in the dark any longer. A baby boomer is a person born within the period of 1946 to 1964. And according to an article entitled Just How Many Baby Boomers Are There, the 79 million counted in the 2000 census were far too many for the 30-somethings anxious to take over their jobs.

So, what other questions along this topic ranked the highest? According to Wordstream after the generational type question/definition, baby boomer dating seems to be the hottest query followed by references to the PBS baby boomer TV show and health concerns. Other topics with higher rankings were somewhat alarming.

  • baby boomer selfishness
  • why are people afraid to speak about baby boomer euthanasia
  • the government should seize baby boomer assets before they retire

Interestingly, the most competition in these searches came from advertisers and marketers. No mystery here. Baby boomers represent both a large segment of the population and the wield a lot of buying power.

I’ve decided that baby boomers don’t identify themselves in this category so they’re not the ones searching. Boomers consider themselves to be real people rather than being pressed with a label. They are concerned more with specific themes or issues and use the Internet to locate more related information.

So here’s my query today dedicated to baby boomers all over the world.

What are the specific topics you regularly Google / search?

BTW: If you’re not a baby boomer, pass the question on to some you know and let me in on their responses.

How to sell a mousetrap

There’s a measure of truth in the old adage, “If you build a better mousetrap, they’ll beat a path to your door.” How does this happen? The answer is word of mouth. 

It’s simple really. One person tells another how much he liked or benefited from your product or service. That person recommends it to someone else who also touts its attributes to another until the path to your door has become well-worn. No high pressure sales and no high-priced ad campaigns. It’s just one proverbial beggar telling another where to get bread. 

Enter social media. Now if someone likes your mousetrap, she (or he) can post it on Facebook so that 487 of her closest friends see it. Respecting her and her opinions, these comrades just may give it a try and then tell 287 of their nearest and dearest friends their thoughts – good or bad. With social media the cycle continues within minutes. You do the math. If the comments are positive, it won’t take long for folks from all over the world to be beating a virtual path to your door. 

Whether you’re helping your child sell Girl Scout cookies and popcorn or marketing a new line of cars, social media is a viable marketing strategy.