Building Bridges

Yesterday’s answers to problems is not the one to use today. Many of us tried over and over only to have the same result. Here’s an idea! How about we try a different route, a different answer, a bridge far away from the last one. Learn how to build a new one.

Get outside of yourself and make connections with like minded people. Do what it takes to get through the day. Get through a week. Get through a month of weeks with a new attitude. The people you surround yourselves with makes a difference. And guess what? They’re building a bridge, too. Maybe you can use each other’s. Sharing with new people is a great way to build new bridges. And find new ways to solve problems of today and tomorrow.

As you get through difficult stages and learn the new skills to do what you’ve never done and go where you’ve never been, you’ll gain momentum with all aspects of your life. New skills, old hobbies, things you can enjoy right now, today, in this life. Sweet, isn’t it? The air is fresher, the view is vast, the possibilities are endless.

I have met a lot of great people in the past five years or so. We’re blessed with new possibilities ahead and the new connections we make. Many of us have done nothing but disconnect from each other to be safe. The best of everything, success, growth, love, and connection happen on the bridges we build between people. Be a connector. Be a bridge builder. You just might find your calling yet. I did.

We cannot do everything we need to do at once. We can do one thing first. And another second. It’s how we build a bridge to each other. It’s hard when we’re not used to it, or if we only believe we’ll fail. But, my dear, what if you succeed! Try more new things, and see what happens. If it doesn’t work this way try that way. Pretty soon, you’ll be an old pro.

It’s dark outside already, and it’s only a little after 8 p.m. Time to wrap it up for the evening. Hope you have a pleasant evening and we’ll see you tomorrow.

Building an Emotional Brand

What? What the heck is that? Everything I’ve read over these last two years says you need to build your “brand” as you are writing. Build an audience. Fellow authors are good at that, as are the local musicians I have the pleasure to know. They genuinely want each other to succeed. When one succeeds, we all do. It’s nice to have that kind of relationship with others, rather than a competitive one. I’m not a competitive person at all. It’s just not in me.

Your branding is basically what you market about yourself and what you do. If that’s wrong, someone please comment and enlighten us, please. Seriously. You need to capture the attention of the folks you want to buy your product (book). Encourage purchase. Develop a relationship to gain return customers. It builds loyalty. Social Media has really increased encounters among authors and their potential readers. Blogs, Newsletters, Facebook Pages, Websites, all put us out there where fans will decide if we’re worth their time and money.

I have a couple of authors whose books I purchase before release just to make sure I have the complete set. The Jesse Stone series is one I’ve collected and read every word. I’ll keep them to read, they are a fast read. And since Tom Selleck starred in the television adaptation of several of the books, I love the image it conjures up about the principal character. He is a serious asset to sell a book, tv show, or just about anything. I’m a Blue Bloods faithful as well. He’s aged rather well and has such substance of character. That’s my “emotional” take on anything he produces. I’m in!

Jennifer Chiaverini is another author who has my loyalty. When I started quilting, I saw her on a Quilting program with Alex Anderson. They talked about her books about a group of quilters, and I purchased the books as they were released. They were delightful. There were all ages of women as characters, some were historical figures, and I learned a lot. Women made quilts for the soldiers in the Civil War. Often the deceased were returned home (when possible) wrapped in their quilts. Many were simply buried in the quilts to have something from home with them. What a beautiful thought. Jennifer has now branched out to historical fiction and the role women have held in history. A slave dressmaker for Mrs. Lincoln. A woman spy during WWII. It opens your horizons for sure. I like that.

When I was still working as a Systems Analyst at Mutual of Omaha, we collectively did not care for the Marketing Department. It wasn’t anything personal, but often times, we had 85K hoops to jump through for their great new product to become a reality and make money for the company.

You had to understand each state to this day still has quirks about the health insurance sold in their states. It can be the “pitch” the type is written in for notices; it can be the languages the notices need to be written in; it can be the envelope the documents are sent in. I imagine all these years later there are bigger quirks to deal with. Many, many, hours were spent in meetings with the marketing folks with our senior analysts talking about existing quirks and analyzing if new quirks would mess up the old quirks.

Mutual sold off their health insurance business to Aetna, one of the companies they acquired during the time I was there. Their focus now is on property management and banking. The entire time I worked there, employees were afraid of a National Health Coverage. At that time, Medicare claims were processed at the company, I’m not sure where they’re processed now. Guess I should check my EOB’s.

Health Insurance is a field where the emotions must be dealt with when making a change. It’s a shame people are not better educated about what their coverage is, why it is, and what you need to do to get your claims taken care of. Personally, I don’t want the government to make me leave my health coverage. It’s perfect for me. The Babe’s is perfect for him. We made informed decisions and they still stand. Leave us alone! And I don’t care for Joe Namath marketing a Medicare Plan that will confuse and build up false hope for the subscribers. I can’t help but think they over-promise and under-produce.

Having grown up watching more than my share of Westerns, the first place my mind goes upon hearing the word branding is to branding cattle. The next place now is the Yellowstone Brand John Dutton inflicts on some of his ranch hands. It certainly makes a statement now, doesn’t it? It produces a certain understanding between the character and his men. Especially with Rip, who is the chief enforcer. There is no misunderstand between Rip and John Dutton. It’s a great portrayal on both their parts.

Do you have a suggestion for me with my search on branding myself? I’ve been told I’m the best listener. I’ve been told I’m a loyal friend. I’ve also been told I have a great sense of humor. I suppose those things are a good start. Any suggestions? I’m eager to see if anyone offers anything up. C’mon. Nothing to do with branding flesh, thank you very much.

Right now, I’m off to do some household chores; kitchen duty; and wear my hat as Webmaster for VFW Post 2503’s website and Facebook pages. They have a lot of things going on in February, 2021. Check them out if you’d like, members must have served in a war on foreign soil; and guests are welcome, too. But after I update stuff, ok? Thanks.

Thank you for reading today. I hope you have a beautiful day. We’ll see each other tomorrow, so until then, be safe.