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Posted by & filed under Life & More.

I have always wanted to work in marketing ever since I was younger. I found this great rhythm with working in social media. I knew that I didn’t want to leave this field. However, I just felt like I was living out the movie Groundhog Day with each new professional step. If you haven’t seen that movie before, there’s this guy named Phil Connors (Bill Murray) who lives the same day over and over again. No one knows he’s living out the same day over and over except for him. Which sucks. At first, he has fun with it but eventually he gets fed up. Maybe that’s what happened to me? I became frustrated for too many reasons to list. Then I became sad because things weren’t going my way. It was exhausting.

Then, I stopped trying to force things to happen and I just focused on trying to understand and improve what I could where I could until I learned what I needed to learn and could move on. I had this list of things I wanted in a new opportunity. I wanted to move out of managing the day to day logistics of social and transition into a more strategic role at a larger organization. In Groundhog Day, Phil ends the cycle of waking up everyday to the same day by making it the best day possible. Focusing on making the best of what was in front of him as opposed to anything else.

I’m happy to share that I have found that role and will be starting a new job on Monday! I was able to find a great opportunity focused on doing exactly what I want (strategy) and moving away from day to day social and community engagement. I’ll share more as I ease into the new role. For anyone out there going through something similar: stay encouraged. Find the best part about where you are and focus more on that than what you don’t have. Focus on what your heart desires and less on how disappointed you are. You’ll make it!

%22Keeping your eye on the future is essential for making the most of today.%22-2

Posted by & filed under Books.

LivingForwardBook.thegreatdanaj

I finished reading Living Forward!

I shared 3 of my favorite things about the book after I first started reading. Now that I’m finished, here are my thoughts on the entire book.

Let me preface this by saying, I’m a Michael Hyatt follower and have been for years. So, when I first started reading this book I kept thinking of how the advice sounded like something in one of his blogs or podcasts. I’m totally cool with that. I do think that sometimes we need to hear good advice multiple times before it really sinks in that: hey, I need to actually do this. That’s one thing that really stands out about this book, all of the people who endorse creating a life plan. They aren’t permanently drifting.

 

What is the drift?

 

Well, the drift is something that pulls us of the right course in life. I can speak closely to the concept because I just got out go the drift. It’s when you are living your life and suddenly realize: hey, I’m not doing the things I need to do in order to get where I need to go. Hence, the drift.

 

Like that song Waves says, Drifting Away….wave after wave.

 

It’s when you are doing things living your life but areas of your life are a bit stalled. It happens for so many reasons. Ignoring it doesn’t help, but acknowledging it is essential to helping get back on track! Before I read this chapter of the book, I didn’t really know how to define “the drift”. What I did recognize was the consequences of the drift. Staying off track for too long has detrimental impact on out lives.

 

My favorite thing about this book is it explores the positive and negative aspects of planning and building a future for the reader. That’s an area that needs constant refinement. With a guide like Living Forward, you can continue to create the most optimal future. Yeah, things happen along the way, but with the tips in this book some of the detours can be navigated better. Notice that I did not say you can avoid all of the bad things, but navigating them better is essential. If you are searching for something that can help you lay out a solid plan for planning out your future, check out Living Forward. It’s a quick and impactful read that will offer gems of wisdom over time.

Posted by & filed under Life & More.

I’m glad that this week is over and done. The weather was so rainy and miserable. It’s great to see the sun again today. Here are a few of my favorites from the past couple of days.
Donuts!
I had the pleasure of tasting multiple donuts at Bon Glaze.
All the donuts.
Bon Glaze is a new donut shop in Brookhaven.  They have the cutest little shop next to a pediatric dentist, fitness center and private school. I’ll definitely be going back. Especially for date night.
Selfie with my favorite one, the Butterscotch Bacon!
selfie.thegreatdanaj
Movies
Thanks to Netflix I’ve been watching some great movies. I just saw Dope and over the last week I watched Brotherly Love. I highly recommend both of them. Great story, good looking casts and Brotherly Love had a great unexpected twist to the end.
BrotherlyLoveMoviePoster
At the theater, I checked out Deadpool and it was excellent. It was my very first Ryan Reynolds movie. I thought he was funny and the movie overall was one of the best Marvel movies that I’ve ever seen.
Favorite Quote
This is the quote that stands out most for me out of the book Living Forward. I plan to finish it up over the weekend.
quote.thegreatdanaj
Anything fun planned this weekend? I hope to get outside and enjoy the sun here in ATL.
Have a great one!

Posted by & filed under Books.

Happy Wednesday! I’ve been sticking to one of my resolutions for 2016 to read more books! If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, I’ve been using the hashtag #danajreads to track the books and magazines that I’m reading.

A few weeks ago, I joined the Living Forward Launch Team!

livingforward.thegreatdanaj

 

That means, that I got an early copy of the new book by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy book called Living Forward A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want.  I’ve been following Michael Hyatt’s blog for years. Here’s my review of his last book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. Of course, I’m thrilled to be part of the launch team, and after reading the first couple chapters of the book, I am positive that this book is right on time for where I am in my life. Here are three things you need to know about Living Forward from what I’ve read so far:

1. It’s an easy read: the authors use personal stories to emphasize the importance of creating a life plan.

2. It’s super short: the book totals a whopping 203 pages. That means it will be a quick but impactful read!

3. Rave reviews: Before the book even starts there are pages of reviews from fellow authors like Donald Miller, Shauna Niequist, executives like Dan Cathy and Martin Whalen. A total of 50+ people who believe in the power of a life plan.

I have downloaded the life plan worksheet for Evernote to get started drafting out my new and improved life plan. The great news is that if you pre-purchase a copy, there are great benefits. Here are all of the details about how to get the pre-order bonuses.

I plan to finish the book this weekend and will review it as well. Look out for that next week!

Posted by & filed under Life & More.

Hello Friday! It’s been an incredibly long week for me. But the weekend it’s a holiday weekend. Well, if you consider Valentine’s Day a holiday. Seriously though, it is also President’s Day weekend so yeah, two holidays ;).

Anyway, I thought that I would do a Friday Favorites with all of my favorite Valentine’s Day things. Take a look at what made the cut:

Music
I found out about this album called Hours Spent Loving You courtesy of Spotify. It’s easy listening electric type of R&B vibe. The project is a collaboration between SPZRKT and Sango and I love it. Great soundtrack to a Valentine’s Day get together.

I also made this Spotify themed Valentine’s playlist here.

Valentine’s Day Decor
I bought the cutest Valentine’s Day pillow and mug at Target! I want to get one or two items to decorate for each holiday. I can also use this love pillow with my Christmas pillows I found last holiday at Pottery Barn. And I love all mugs with or without a theme :).

 

IMG_8857

 

ValentinesMug.thegreatdanaj
Most Favorite Love Pin
Here’s my favorite Love quote from my Pinterest board.

Date Night Dress
I got this Maison Jules one here that is adorable and right on time for Valentine’s Day.
This Calvin Klein one is my most popular pin!

Posted by & filed under Marketing & Social Media.

 

By now you’ve heard all about Formation. Don’t worry, this is not another think piece about the song. I’ve read my share of those. And trust me, I’m just as over them as the rest of the world.
I’m not going to analyze the dance moves, hairstyles or messages. I don’t want to talk about how Red Lobster dropped the ball on its response that took hours on a Saturday to the “shout out” within the lyrics. Personally and professionally speaking, I don’t think they should have responded at all. Perhaps the reluctance to do so was intentional. In fact, Red Lobster sales jumped 33% on the Sunday after the mention over the same Sunday last year.
What I do want to call attention to is the ending of the song where Beyonce (essentially) says who knew one woman would start all of this conversation. That’s a powerful line. See Beyonce hasn’t done an interview in forever. That’s not her strength. This song was her way of using her craft to respond to critics and frustrations with the world we live in as she sees it. I watched the video and felt something. While that something is not unique to only me, it isn’t the same something that every person got from watching. I understand and respect that. So now it’s started a fire. A fire in terms of conversation. If it takes a song with a video that has meaning behind it, some impactful lyrics mixed in with some nonsensical parts as well to do that then so be it. It’s got people offended, empowered, fearful and moved. It has people feeling something and talking about it.
Everyone is talking about Beyonce.
Beyonce. Super Bowl 50
{source: Instagram}
Everyone is talking about what Formation is and what’s she trying to say.
And that’s what she wanted. That’s what she said would happen.
Isn’t that the best type of response to marketing?

Posted by & filed under Marketing & Social Media.

What a slow moving game last night? I was expecting it to be an exciting ‘edge of your seat’ type of game. It wasn’t at all. I enjoyed halftime and the commercials more than the football. I was able to identify a few of my favorite ads from the big game to share. Take a look:

NFL

Kudos to the NFL for dropping the Roman Numerals for the big game this year! Makes life easier.

I also noticed that most of the commercials had a hashtag this year. That’s been a gradual change over the last few years of Super Bowl games.

 

Pepsi – Joy of Pepsi with Janelle Monae

I liked watching Janelle Monae dance through the decades in this commercial.

 

Pantene – #DadDo

This commercial was so darn cute. I appreciate how they are encouraging dads to spend more time with their daughters. It was also pretty funny watching the dads learn the ropes of hair styling.

 

T-Mobile – Drop the Balls and #YouGotCarried (outtakes from the Hotline Bling ad)

I thought T-Mobile won with the Steve Harvey commercials and also the Hotline Bling tie-  in. Doesn’t Hotline Bling just sound like it should be used in a commercial? There’s something about bearded Drake in a turtleneck and Timbs that I like. I’m normally not on the beard gang but bearded Drake is bae.

 

Verizon had a clever well executed commercial encouraging T-Mobile users to #getabetternetwork.

Buick Cascada – The Big Toss

This was Buick’s first Super Bowl commercial! The commercial stars New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. I like how they said “She Odelled it” after model and actress Emily Ratajkowski emulates one of his famous catches. This is the first convertible in 25 years for Buick and that element is also incorporated into the commercial.

 

Mini Clubman – #DefyLabels

I like the combination of race car drivers, celebrities like Serna Williams and race car drivers. Plus, I don’t know much about the Mini and it was cool to see different ones on display. It was simple but showed off the product well.


NFL spot with Super Bowl Babies Choir – #SuperBowlBabies

Based on data that suggests 9 months after a super bowl victory winning cities see a rise in births with customized song lyrics to Seal Kiss from a Rose. With an actual appearance from Seal. Cheesy and cute at the same time. Is there a word for that? Cutesy?

 

PayPal – There’s New Money in Town

First off, I loved how they used Confident as the song in this commercial. That’s one of my favorite songs right now. I think it was great to put the word out on PayPal. It’s the way to go for small business owners, contractors, freelancers and bloggers. It’s how we do business! I also liked their game day engagement on Twitter with #NewMoneySweepstakes and gifs.

 

Amazon Echo – #BaldwinBowl

Every time I see an Amazon Echo commercial it makes me wish I that I had one of my own. I like how Missy Elliot was in this commercial since she performed at halftime last year and I thought it was great that she released a new song at the end.

 

PSA/Commercials

Budweiser – #GiveADamn

Trying to encourage people to not drunk drive featuring Helen Mirren.


Colgate – #EveryDropCounts

The very first Colgate Super Bowl ad that encourages people to turn off the tap when brushing their teeth to save water

 

And that’s it! What were your favorite ads from this year?

 

See what I thought about ads from previous Super Bowls here 2015, 2013, 2012 and 2011,

Posted by & filed under Books.

As a kid, my mom helped me develop a passion for reading a good book. I’m grateful that they passion has continued well into adulthood. I’ll never forget how my mom used to bring home the Scholastic book flyers for me to select new books each month. Recently, I saw this news story featuring Marley Dias and her mission to collect books with black female protagonists. Through #1000BlackGirlBooks, the collected books will go towards a library  It got me incredibly excited. I read so many great books but so few had a lead character that was described like me. I’m sending two of my all-time favorites to Marley’s campaign, but I compiled a list of classics below for anyone out there interested in a new book for the awesome kids in their life. All the details around Marley’s campaign live here.

#1000BlackGirlBooks by TheGreatDanaJ

Posted by & filed under Marketing & Social Media.

You know how people always say the magic happens outside of your comfort zone? The more and more I think about it, the more and more it rings true. The thing about life is, the uncomfortable situations make us grow. Those situations are the ones that show people what we are made of. Heck, sometimes when I’m in a tough spot I even surprise myself with how hard I can hustle to move mountains.
comfort.quote
So here’s a power playlist I put together to help keep me motivated. Mountain moving is hard, so I need a soundtrack to keep me grooving!
I hope it motivates you a little bit too!

Posted by & filed under Marketing & Social Media.

I can’t believe that Wikipedia has been around for 15 years. I’m sharing 15 things about the online encyclopedia on the web today.

Happy 15th

1. This is my very first article. I remember how excited I was to complete this. I worked with an intern to find relevant articles and I really wanted to impress my boss with it.

2. According to Wikipedia, these are the most edited articles.

3. My favorite Wikipedia articles are ones that tell the history of making an album. One of my favorite articles about an album is this one.

4. I also love looking up the writer of songs on Wikipedia.

5. In college, our professors told us to never source Wikipedia because of inaccuracies. Actually, Wikipedia is pretty spot on when it comes to accuracy. How can you tell? Check to make sure that the page doesn’t have any flags or notes at the top identifying it as inaccurate or not  having appropriate references.

6. Reality stars often have flagged articles because gossip blogs are not considered credible sources.

7. Reality stars often have pages that are horrible altogether. For the publicists, I recommend that you find a good editor to help you navigate publishing an article.

8. If you want a Wikipedia article for yourself or a client, this is the best place to look for information to determine if you need one or not.

9. Wikipedia recently implemented a policy where Wikipedia editors must disclose if they are paid to write an article or not. Make sure you check it out.

10. One of my favorite Wikipedia moments: when Mitt Romney announced his running mate on his campaign app, on a Saturday. The speculation around who was only heightened by the increase of Wikipedia activity on the page of potential candidates prior to the announcement.

11. I think if you are at a multi million dollar company that invests in marketing and PR for your company, it’s worth making sure your Wikipedia looks better.

12. Remember that time Bebeliebers attacked Esperanza Spalding’s Wikipedia because he didn’t win the Grammy Award for Best New Artist? So petty.

13. I wish more women created Wikipedia articles too.

14. I appreciate how Wikipedia locks down articles where a current event is happening. Like a death or shooting. It helps keep the speculations from being posted before the facts come out.

15. I remember the Kate Middleton controversy surrounding her wedding dress getting a Wikipedia article. That dress definitely deserves a page. I believe that more fashion articles should be on Wikipedia.
What’s your favorite thing to do on Wikipedia?

Have a great weekend!