Be A Friend. To Yourself

Feb 16 2012 Published by under Larkin G.

Photo Credit: D Sharon Pruitt

by Larkin G.

By now you’re probably all loved out. Tired of the conversation hearts, the red and pink, teddy bears, and all around ooey gooey-ness that is Valentine’s Day.

Which is why I will not be talking about it.

But I will be talking about love. The kind that gets overlooked this time of year.

If you want coupley love, my fellow Millennial Chat Team member Stacy did a great job of that here.

Say What?!

What would you do if your best friend said any of these self-deprecating statements?

“I’m too fat.”
“That girl is much prettier than me.”
“He doesn’t like me because I’m ugly.”
“I didn’t get that job because I’m stupid.”

You’d quickly tell her that she was mistaken. And yet this is how we talk about ourselves.

All. The. Time.

You Talkin’ To Me?

We would never allow our friends to say awful things about themselves, and yet we say them about ourselves day in and day out. Why will we allow ourselves to be insulted in a way that is unacceptable to our friends? Do we value ourselves so little? Or our friends that much more? I argue that we are more objective about our friends than we are about ourselves. With ourselves we are, understandably, biased. We can’t see that we are being much too harsh on ourselves. Falling prey to ill-conceived logic.

Be A Friend

As a society, we often talk about how to (or not to) love other people, but we often over look how to love someone more important, ourselves. Instead any time that we show love for ourself, it is dismissed as ego-centric and self-aggrandizing. This self-assurance is not ego-boosting but rather a necessary component to healthy self-esteem.

So how do we get to this healthy self-esteem? Especially if we’re stuck in the self-deprecating thinking patterns?

Note: I am not currently nor have I am ever been any kind of -ologist, so these are all un-official opinions.

Find a way to be more objective and remove yourself from the equation. Evaluate your statements as if they were coming out of your friend’s mouth. For example, you think:

“I look like a hippo! No one will ever like me.”

What would you say to your friend if she said this? Now say that same thing yourself. Be your own best friend.

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To learn more from and connect with Larkin, follow her on Twitter – @LarkinGrant
And you can follow the entire Millennial Chat team here.
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How have YOU worked on yourself so far this year?
What words of advice would you give someone who is trying to boost their self-confidence?
Comment below, join the discussion on our Facebook page, or tweet us!

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A Letter to Event Planners

Feb 07 2012 Published by under Larkin G.

Dear Event Planners,

If you want to cultivate today’s young professionals as part of your clientele (and you should!) you need to understand our world. Allow me to educate you. Then you’ll see why big changes are needed to keep us around.

It Costs How Much?!

One thing that will stop millennials in their tracks is a steep ticket price, no matter how amazing the event sounds. Why?

WE CAN’T AFFORD IT!!

Destiny’s Child said it best:

We’ve got serious record setting bills. Millennials have more student loans than any generation in history. A report by the Project on Student Debt found that loan debt for the college class of 2010 ranged from $950 to $55,250, averaging at $25,000. This debt is becoming so much of a burden that more individuals are defaulting on their student loans than ever before. With that hanging over our heads, spending $100 on one evening out simply isn’t realistic, even for a good cause.

Money Honey

Not only are we fighting down mounds of debt, but we are also entering the workforce with the highest rates of unemployment. Getting a job does not automatically make for sound finances:

Let’s Party!

Despite all these gloomy statistics, there is a way to get millennials to come to your events. Lower the cost! I understand that all events need to make a profit, but there  is a way everyone can win: offer a special, discounted young professional ticket. Here are some suggestions to alleviate common problems:

  • Want to reduce confusion for your staff/volunteers? Only sell the YP tickets in advance.
  • Afraid of losing money? Offer a limited number of YP tickets.
  • Don’t want to coordinate a separate ticket? Go through your local YP organization. Have people purchase the tickets through them.

Before you burst in with a bunch of “what if’s” and reasons why this will not work, let me assure you that it can and has worked successfully many times. I’ve seen it. But why should you believe me?

Why Listen to Me?

I know a thing or two about young professionals and events. I served on the Huntsville Young Professionals Board of Directors, an organization dedicated to planning events year-round for young professionals. Currently, I work for Our Valley Events, an online calendar of events, managing the social media and our team of bloggers.

I hope this has been informative and that you will incorporate my suggestion into your events.

Sincerely,

Larkin Grant and the Millennial generation, both ready to attend your events

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To learn more from and connect with Larkin, follow her on Twitter – @LarkinGrant
You can follow the entire Millennial Chat team here.
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Millennials – what turns you off from certain events?
Event planners – how do you try to lower cost to events?  What are some things that just can’t be cut from your event?
Comment below, discuss on Facebook, or tweet us!

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10 Ways to Make a Difference by Sunday

Jan 20 2012 Published by under Larkin G.

by Larkin G.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Many are inspired to volunteer during the holidays. But needs are not one-day events. They are ever present and on going. True service is year-round. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr., one of history’s most inspiring servant leaders, here are 10 ways you can make a difference by the end of the weekend. The only question is, will you?

10 Ways to Make a Difference Before Sunday

1. Use your voice: Find a local nonprofit on twitter and RT their posts. Free tools like Twitter are a critical way that nonprofits, especially local ones, spread the word to their supporters.
• Action Tips: Use Search.twitter. It can help you find nonprofits to follow. Use the terms nonprofit and your city name.

2. Pro-bono work: Nonprofits do a lot of good with few resources. They always need skilled volunteer help. Are you a CPA? Offer to help with finances. Do you take great photos? Offer to take pictures at an event. Not sure what to help with? Find a charity and visit with their Volunteer Coordinator, they will find the perfect place for you. I always did.
• Action tips: Visit Charity Navigator to find a nonprofit in your area that can use your help

3. Turn passion into action: Passionate about a cause? Find a local organization that’s working on it and get involved today.
• Action Tip: Websites Volunteer Match and All for Good will match your area of interest and location with a nonprofit

4. Clean out your house! Donate the winter clothes you haven’t worn to a local homeless shelter. If you didn’t wear it last winter and haven’t this winter, you’re not gonna, so give it to someone who will appreciate it.
• Action Tips: Search Volunteer Match

5. Collect: Work in an office? Hold a food drive. Just put a box in a common area to collect caned goods and drop them off at a local shelter or food pantry. November and December are great months for nonprofits because everyone is extremely generous during the holidays but nonprofits experience a huge drop off in donations during January and February.
• Action Tips: Find food bank in your area here

6. Charity starts at home: Brighten your co-workers day. Get up a bit early and stop in at your local coffee/donut shop and pick up donuts for the office.
• Action Tip: Obviously if you work at a mega corporation, this would be mega pricey. If that’s the case just grab donuts for your cubby buddy or the team you work with.

7. Donate: There is no such thing as a small donation. Your $10 combines with someone else’s $10, and another person’s $5, and so forth. That is how change happens.
• Action Tips: Visit Charity Navigator’s donation guide for smart donation strategies. You can also look up nonprofits and make sure they are in good standing with the IRS.

8. Get your company involved! Set up a day of service for your office. (OK this may take longer to set up but its still worthwhile)
• Action Tips: Websites like Causecast can help you set up and manage workplace volunteering.
• Another option is contacting your local United Way or HandsOn Network. Both organizations have experience setting up large volunteer days and can recommend nonprofits that need volunteers.

9. Micro-Volunteering: Love all things technology? Think you don’t have the time to volunteer? Try micro-volunteering!
• Action Tips: Sites like Sparked take in projects that can be completed collaboratively and entirely online. They break up these large projects into separate tasks that can be completed by different individuals. The organizations get their work done much more efficiently.

10. ….Your turn! How will YOU make a difference before this Sunday?

My personal philosophy is to never ask someone to do something unless I’m willing to do it myself. Here are some of the ways I’m inspired to serve in my local community:

Making Faces: Junior League Volunteer Day at a local elementary school

Hard labor! Painting at a local group home

Using my skills! Mingling at a local YP event, where I served on the board of directors

 

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To learn more from or connect with Larkin, follow her on Twitter — @LarkinGrant
You can also follow the rest of The Millennial Chat Team here.
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If it wasn’t a New Year Resolution already, how did MLK Day change your outlook on volunteering?
Let’s keep adding to this list… comment below… maybe we can get 100 ways to make a difference by 2013?
Join the discussion… hit up our Facebook page or join us on Twitter!

One response so far

A Marketing All You Can Eat Buffet

Jan 09 2012 Published by under Larkin G.

by Larkin G.

Who can pass up a great all you can eat buffet? Get a lot. Pay a little. What if there was an all you can buffet for your marketing? Sound too good to be true? Check out these stats: (all for the US)

What am I talking about? Social networking sites. Reading these statistics may tempt you to create an account on every social networking site. Before you do, read how social media is like an all you eat buffet.

Overeating

The abundance of food on buffets make it tempting to overeat. Social media is the same way. It is easier than ever to establish a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and many more. It makes sense: over 50% of all Americans have a profile on at least one social networking site. That percent jumps to over 61% when you look at just millennials.

Who wouldn’t kill to reach that many customers with the click of a mouse?

Choose with purpose

The only way to avoid leaving a buffet without a serious case of indigestion is to be selective about what you put on your plate. Chicken or the steak? Cake or pie? You may like each dish, but indulging in will give you a stomachache.

Social media requires similar choices. Creating and maintaining a presence on every social network is not only extremely time consuming but unnecessary.

No matter what product or service your company sells, you should not be targeting the entire GLOBE.

Selection Process

So how do you choose between macaroni and mashed potatoes? Twitter and Flickr? Choosing the best social networking site for your company is similar to selecting the best side dish to compliment your main course. You wouldn’t pair mac and cheese with General Tao’s Chicken. They don’t mix well. Same concept with social media:

pair the social networking site you choose with your company’s branding, mission, products, and goals. Here are some tips:

If your business is in the hospitality or entertainment industry consider mobile and location based options.

If your products are extremely high tech (early adopters), consider Twitter:

  • There’s a subset of “super socials” who use their profiles multiple times a day
    • They have profiles on:
      • Twitter: 23%
      • Facebook: 98%
      • My Space: 45%
  • 56% have smartphones
  • 43% follow brands on social networks

All businesses should consider a Facebook page.

Go Back for Seconds

The best part about a buffet is that you can go back for 2nds. And 3rds. Do the same with your social media. Don’t feel pressured to start out with a million profiles. Be realistic in evaluating how much time you have to commit to creating content and maintaining the account. Having two profiles that really kick ass is much more effective than having five profiles that you only half-heartedly maintain.

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To learn more from or connect with Larkin, follow her on Twtitter – @LarkinGrant
You can also follow the rest of The Millennial Chat Team here.
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Have you started social media marketing imitative at your company? How did you choose which site to use? How many social media sites do you currently use? Are you using different sites for different purposes? What advice would you give someone just starting out in social media?

Join the discussion on Twitter or our Facebook page!

9 responses so far