Get up and move already.

Motivation. Something I’ve been lacking lately as you could probably tell by the way Erin is slamming these blog posts out of the park while I, well I am just taking it all in. Well it’s time for me, dear readers, to be honest, transparent and get up and move already!

As some of you may know, I lost my job at the beginning of May. This is a very candid look at my journey the past few months. How do you deal with motivation ruts? How has your network supported you lately? How have you grown from an unemployment experience? Would love to hear your thoughts!

The beginning

  • My first reaction was fear and embarrassment. I was monetarily scared and socially embarrassed. My pride was shot. I had been secretly looking for other jobs, as my mother always told me “Arin, it’s easier to find a job when you already have one.” Unfortunately, the company was not able to hold out my position long enough for me to find my next adventure.
  • My next thought was “now what?” Do I try and start a business? Do I get a J-O-B to hold me over while I look for something? Do I freelance? It was exciting and scary at the same time. Luckily I had my upcoming wedding to keep me distracted.

Back to reality…oops there goes gravity 😉

  • After the honeymoon, it was back to my intimidating jobless reality. I had by this time at least resolved myself to the fact that I wanted a job. I wanted to work in marketing/PR in the Indianapolis market. I wanted to finally try my hand out in the career world outside New Castle.
  • I had several prospects and several interviews. Nothing. Frustration with myself started to set in. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting call backs. I was acing the interviews…or was I? Maybe they just found somebody better, more talented. My confidence was shaken and that wedding money could only hold us over for so long before adjustments would need to be made.

The breakdown

  • I immersed myself in housework, yard work, errands, cooking crazy dinners, making jokes…really anything that would take my mind off of the job search. Then I broke down. ME!?! JOBLESS!?! Cooking, cleaning, washing dishes- all that schooling and hard work for this!?!?! By this time I was just sad and angry. My poor new husband. I was getting a lot done around the house (and looking back it was a blessing in disguise right after the craziness of a wedding), but I was miserable.
  • I just wasn’t myself. Then, I decided in no uncertain terms…Screw This. I’m going to work on me, market me and do the best I can, knowing it would take patience, motivation and drive. And for those of you who don’t know me, patience is NOT my forte. I find my motivation in those things, people and places around me, meaning I had to get out. And I had to find my drive again, something I had never lost before.

The build up

  • I got a brilliant idea. I”ll start a blog. But, knowing myself, I would plan plan plan and have what I thought were kick ass ideas and never actually start the blog.
  • But by fate, chance or the heavens- I found a blogging buddy. I found some motivation to do this and in turn I rediscovered my drive. Now, let’s be clear, I still have to work to keep my motivation up and find that drive within myself to keep going…but it more than helps to have someone on your side, pushing you and keeping ideas afloat.

The turn around

  • The blog took off (much to my surprise)! We have had great response and a great social support system. It’s been a fun ride and great way to get my communications fill while job searching.
  • About a week and a half ago I got a phone call from the Henry County Hospital. I have a business friend/colleague from when I worked at the Chamber of Commerce who is the Marketing and PR director of the hospital. She called to offer me a contract marketing job. It is on a per project basis and the hours/money are better than anything I have ever been offered. Wow. That contact actually paid off!
  • I am also onto a second round interview for a marketing/pr job in Indy. I feel confident, excited and ready to rock! And if I don’t get it, I always have that contract job supplementing my husbands income and keeping me out of trouble. 🙂

And now…

I’m ready to get up and move already with these things I’ve got cookin’! I think all to easily we can give up, get frustrated or just lose motivation.  I want to be the first to say…you don’t have to make the mistakes I did. Just look around you, nurture your relationships. Ask for help. Be vulnerable. Be open. Be honest with yourself. Keep going.

Your future self will thank you for it.

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” – Mark Victor Hansen

Until we meet again,

Arin

Big guitars and bigger hearts…

Alabama Tornado Relief Show....

We saw it on the news, heard about it on the radio, talked about it with our friends. The greater portion of the Midwest and South had one hell of an introduction to spring from the maddest mothers around, Mother Nature.

Spanning from Texas and Missouri to Indiana and Georgia, communities across the country saw one of the most active and destructive Tornado seasons in history. Towns were wiped off the map; communities, families, houses and cities were completely destroyed and one of the hardest hit areas was Alabama. With a final death toll being close to 200 and estimated damages reaching $2 billion, many areas of Alabama are in need of active relief.

Hoosier hospitality

I have always been amazed by the sheer generosity and genuine care folks in Indiana have for those in need. It always seems we are ready, willing and able to give a helping hand when it is needed. The following is one of my favorite examples.

This Friday, (July 8th ) Lazy Hawk Promotions is putting together a fantastic benefit concert to help raise money for those affected by the Alabama tornado outbreak. With a goal to raise over $1,000 dollars for the cause, Lazy Hawk Promotions has teamed up with local businesses, radio stations and artists to help out those in need. For more details on the benefit, check this link out.

More than a kick ass band

Indianapolis band, The Holland Account (www.thehollandaccount.com) is one of five bands (find out who else is playing here) who are prepped and ready to melt the faces off the greater Indy area. And it is all in the name of doing great things.

The Holland Account...\m/

Why they are the “Rocky Balboas” of the Indy scene

The Holland Account has more benefit concerts on their show listings than any other local band I have seen.

Last week they did a benefit for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, in a few weeks they will be playing a benefit for Papacal at Visions and, of course, this Friday they are playing the Alabama Tornado Relief Show.

At the end of the day, the gentlemen of The Holland Account are about being fighters. “If there is a cause that needs a fighter, we try to add a soundtrack,” says vocal lyricist and powerhouse Nick Ramey of The Holland Account.

Parting words

What impresses me the most about the guys of The Holland Account is the immense amount of humble gratitude they show toward their fans and their
community. Not only are they fantastic guys to chill with, but they have big hearts to go with their rockin’ music and badass attitudes.

When asked to say something to the readers of this blog, here is what they had to say:

“We appreciate the continued support from our fans, friends, and family. This is going to be a great show for people that really need the help. Come out and prove that Indy has a big heart! We will continue to fight for those in need, not only outside, but also in our own communities.

And thanks to you and your blog for helping spread the word, not only about this show, but also for helping expose our sound to the masses. You might not think you are huge, but you are so huge to us and we appreciate you!”

Alabama Tornado Benefit Event Details:
Friday, July 8, 2011
7:00pm – $5.00 Cover Charge – 21+

Where
Vollrath Tavern
118 E Palmer St
Indianapolis, IN 46225

We love it. So get out there and show your support, Indy. Hope to see you there!

XOXO,

Ducks fly together…

Let's hear it..."it's the eye of the tiger..."

This may one of my briefer posts on here, but I think it’s worthy one. Arin and I have been discussing the next few topics we’d like to cover on this fantastic amalgamation of thoughts we like to call our blog. Stemming from Arin came this idea that can be only described in one word…champion. Confused by the ambiguity? Let me explain…

What is a champion?

I don’t know about you, but the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word “champion” is a major pop-culture reference. He’s the perfect depiction of the underdog, the ultimate fighter. Ladies and gents, the champion I think of is….Mr. Rocky “The Italian Stallion” Balboa. Nothing screams champion like that single fist pumped into the air. You know I am right.

"And when the roosters are crowing and the cows are doing circles in the pasture!"

The second thing that comes to mind is the almighty Mighty Ducks (ducks fly together…quack…quack…quack). Talk about another example of overcoming the odds (Mighty Ducks 2, anyone?). And though we are not Gordon Bombay, Arin and I like to think of ourselves as champions, but perhaps in a different way.

You + Us =Champion…We love what you do.

As marketing and PR professionals, Arin and I love to spread, amplify and (ultimately) get that amazing thing called “word of mouth” started on those things we love and are passionate about. Supporting the local Indy community, local music, businesses, benefits and charities are one of those “things” we want to be champions of. Put plainly, we love what you do, Indy. So help us, help you.

Doing a benefit concert? Putting together a fundraiser? Walking to help find a cure for cancer? Starting a new business? Let us know! Give us your story behind what you are doing and let us be your champion.

What do you say, my dear readers? Ducks fly together.

Until next time,

Erin

Listen up, Indy

Listen up, Indy! I’ve got a challenge for you…

If you’ve been with this blog from the beginning (our existence hasn’t been too long), you have quickly realized how much music means to both me and Arin. For me, music is much more than listening…it’s an experience.

The Glass Identity Crisis interview for Local Music Only

Case in point, almost all of my major life moments and memories can be attached to a song. Even more, a simple song can bring back the smells, the scenes, the sounds and the moments of times long forgotten.

When I am sad, I listen to music. When I am happy, I listen to music. When I am angry, frustrated, bored, content, working out, reading, writing, driving…I am listening to music. It is literally all around me.

But even further than listening, being a part of the music obsessed club is taking part in the act of supporting, growing and being a champion of music and the bands you love. I take this to heart. If there is a new band that I can’t stop listening to (and yes, I do get obsessive and oftentimes listen to a favorite artist over and over again), I am the first person to pass that information to anyone I know that would enjoy that particular artist.

Ryan M. Brewer at the Sounds that Matter Couch Sessions

So, what does this have to do with Indianapolis? Over the past few weeks I have had the pleasure to attend a lot of really cool musical events. From sitting on the floor and watching a “Couch Session” for a fantastic website called, Sounds That Matter, to interviewing some of the best local bands in Indy and asking on who they are, what they do and where they are going for a website called Local Music Only, I have been immersed into an exciting culture where talent and drive run rampant. Simply put, it is invigorating, exciting and inspiring.

One of my favorite questions was, “what do you like and how would you improve the local Indy music scene?” More often than not the same answer is given in some way, shape or form. The community isn’t where it needs to be. And by community that is more than just the fans, it’s the musicians, the local venues, local radio, local papers and local music champions/enthusiasts. It’s got to be LOCAL. Right now we’ve got the foundation. Radio stations X103 and 92.3 do a fantastic job of reaching out to the local musicians and becoming their champion. I love that as a listener and I love that as a resident of Indianapolis.

The Last Good Year interview for Local Music Only

This brings me to my final thought, a challenge to my fellow music lovers and musicians in Indianapolis. What’s stopping us? What’s stopping us from being the next Nashville, Austin, Omaha and Detroit? Surely it isn’t that we don’t lack the passion, the fire and drive to support our local musicians? We’ve got the talent. We’ve got the fans. We’ve got the drive. So let’s make it happen! It starts with us…

Check out the folks that are already starting the movement:

Local Music Only
Sounds that Matter
Six4Six
X103

The local bands that you need to check out:

The Last Good Year
Ryan M. Brewer
The Glass Identity Crisis
The Holland Account
Grace@Arms
Goliathon

Until next time…rock out!

Erin

Picture proof of me geeking out. Sad trombone.

PS-It is with great joy to say that over the weekend, I turned from confident rockstar into babbling tweenager after meeting one of my favorite Indy dj’s, Deuce from X103.

Re-think, re-define, re-everything?

As I write this, I have four large binders sprawled across my desk full of old media and press kits that span back to 2002. Like well-decorated generals, each kit is flagged and covered in post-it notes of what I believe works and doesn’t as it relates to design, verbiage and format.

The littered desk of a person with OCD. Ouch.

And as much as I hate to admit it, I am spinning my wheels trying to figure out how to bring our media kit (or as I like to call it…my company’s handshake) into an age where technology is constantly changing and evolving and those that are left behind are bound to never catch up.

For the last three years, I have been chomping at the bit to re-do our media kit. For the last three years, I always made it a point to bring plausible ideas, concepts and designs to every planning meeting, only to be hit with the phrase “if it ain’t broke…”

Finally, I got my wish. Finally, I am able to re-think they way we present ourselves to our industry. Finally, I can place QR-codes on all the pages and link them to innovative videos where I am holding the company logo wearing my black Chucks and thick framed glasses explaining how we are the future of the industry and by working with us you become the future.

Finally, I’ll be able to create so much white space that I will only have one word on each sheet and when it is all is placed together a simple phrase will be spelled out…”advertise with us—just do it.”

Finally, I can develop that mobile app, beef up our website, really blow out our social media efforts and make a change to the way we face our clients and how they view us. We will be hip, quirky, zany, fun and it will all show in our media kit. In the words of the late (and great…don’t hate) Michael Jackson, “This is it.”

Yet, here I am amongst my piles of notes, concept comps and sample designs, somewhat befuddled. With my notion to re-think, re-define and re-everything, at one point will I lose the voice of my company’s mission? Will our message fall short behind the glitz, glamor and smoke of being “hip and cool?”

For that I do not have the answer, but I do know one important thing when it comes to a redesign. As a marketing professional it is my job, my purpose to keep our identity and mission in tact and well promoted. So I leave this question to you, my faithful rockstar readers; when you are able to “choose your own adventure” in a redesign (of anything), how do you approach it? At what point do you move from the “now what” to the “here we are?” I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time!

Peace out cub scouts,

Erin

A 3 year old could run your marketing department.

Now, don’t be offended by the title. I’m sure your marketing department is just fine…I’m sure they have mad skills. This post is simply to explain something that’s been on my mind as I’ve watched my three year old step daughter interact with the world.

First, to explain where I’m coming from let’s look at the definition of marketing (because well, there’s nothing like going back to the basics):

Marketing:

Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. (Approved October 2007)

I’ve pulled from this definition what I believe to be the most important words in today’s marketing environment.

  • Creating
  • Communication
  • Delivering
  • Exchanging

    Imagination Mateys.

  • Value

So what can a three year old teach us about the five words above?

Creating

Anyone who has, knows or has ever been around a small child knows they have wild imaginations. Something we lose as adults when the analytical side

of our brains kick in. But the next time your around a kid, just sit back and watch them. Watch them create things with their minds that we can’t even

fathom. Watch as they draw a picture of what looks like scribbles and dots but to them is a creation of inexplicable wonder. Watch as they play with those action figures and

build magical worlds of heroes and heroines. Listen as they talk about what they want to be and where they want to go, as it is an expression of the endless possibilities they see in life. So the next time you lose inspiration on a project or hit a creative block- take note from a kid. Think outside the box. Never lose your imagination. Take a risk. Don’t take the power of creation for granted. What have you created lately that you’re proud of?

“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible” – Arthur C Clarke, Author & Inventor

Communication

Work and play makes for fun all day!

Have you ever had a problem knowing exactly what a three year old wants, when, where, how and why? Me either.  Watching a kid communicate can be fascinating. As frustrating as the stubborn, nearly narcissistic behavior can be, we always now what they are thinking. They want juice, not milk because milk comes from cows and they don’t want to take all the cow’s milk away. They fell down and now are “wounded” …you know like Mulan. They can’t take a bath right now because Dora isn’t over (but 30 seconds later when the credits roll it’s okay). They want to read 2 books at bedtime…by

themselves. Whatever it may be and whatever crazy explanation is behind it- we always know what they want. What about you? Does your audience know exactly what you’re pitching,

Who's the boss?

when, where, how and why?

Delivering

Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that a three year old’s delivery is better than yours…I’ll let you make that decision for yourself. Despite the episodes of raging fits or innate need to yell “Mommy” or “Daddy” at the top of their lungs just so you can turn their light on, kids have impeccable delivery. Think about it. “I love you so much, Arin…We can have chocolate?” Notice this wasn’t phrased a question. It was more like butter me up and politely suggest in a questioning voice that we can have chocolate. Or how about “Spongebob’s on!” Notice the subtle excitement

about letting me know her favorite show is on. Or my personal favorite after doing something she’s not supposed to or causing an accident: “I’m so sorry, I’m not in trouble.” Kids know, or at least they think they know, exactly how to deliver what they are communicating to get what they want from us. Again, there is a degree of narcissism we can leave out as adults. But, when’s the last time you thought about the delivery of your message?

Exchanging

Exchange: To give and receive reciprocally. Who better to know the power of exchanging than a three year old, who, thus far in life, has built relationships on reward systems and give and take.  Eat half of your peas and you get a piece of candy. Go potty all day an

Smile. It will make someone's day.

d get a cupcake. Be good all year and get sweet presents from Santa. Kids know what they are doing when it comes to exchange. Have you ever seen a three year old perk up when negotiating exchange? The excitement they get out of getting that toy for helping daddy clean the yard or that piece of candy for eating all their veggies, is unmatched by us as adults. Do we really believe what we have is worth the exchange? If so, what would happen if we got as excited about landing that client as a three year old does about candy?

Value

Recently, my step daughter slammed an entire cup of milk. Not a big deal for most three year olds except she swears she doesn’t like milk. So why did she drink it? She saw the value. After drinking it in maybe three huge gulps (undoubtedly to get through it as quickly and painlessly as possible), she says “Now I will get big and I will be a big girl.” Now, did she really know that what they mean is that milk will gradually build your bones and keep you healthy as you grow up? No. She more than likely thought she would wake up in the morning two feet taller and in school already. But that’s beside the point. Children see value in the most miniscule of things we take for granted daily. Whether it be milk making them big and strong, pushing the bubble mower across the lawn to help daddy keep it nice and neat or keeping lights off to save “nergi” (that’s energy for those of you who don’t speak three year old), kids are very aware of the value of what they do on a daily basis. Do we? Are we sitting back and making sure what we do is of value to our clients, company’s, and networks?

I hope you found value in the little reminders I provided here. And remember, the next time your around a child, pay attention. You just might learn something.

Until we meet again,

Arin

Cupcakes, music…kapow!

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you two of my favorite addictions are sugar (in all forms and sizes…I do not discriminate) and music (seems to be a reoccurring theme of this blog these days).

More often than not,  I find myself combining these two delicious and delectable  interests to create a fantastic mash-up of rock n’ roll tunes and tummy pleasing treats.

So without further ado, I present to you Erin’s Boozy Air-Guitar Cupcakes (also known as, Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes) and the playlist that went along with it!

Enjoy and be sure to comment and let me know how you like the songs and the cupcakes (if you dare to make them!)

Note: Check out the starred bands.  They are local to Indiana and will definitely make your ears happy!

xoxo,

Erin

The Playlist:

Tunes to Bake To

An odd mix for an odd recipe.

People in Planes– Get on the Flaw
Satellite Stories-Helsinki Art Scene
The Whigs-Kill Me Carolyne
Grace@Arms-Brighter Days*
Horse Feathers-Starving Robins
We Were Promised Jetpacks-Short Bursts
Flogging Molly-Black Friday Rule
The Fallow (Ryan M. Brewer)- My Evil Ways*
Win With Willard-Sympathy*
Murder by Death-The Desert is on Fire*
Cursive-The Recluse
The Distillers-The Young Crazed Peeling


Bailey's Cupcakes

You're going to want to bottle the yummy smell up and save it for later!

The Cupcakes:

2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
12 tbsp butter, at room temperature
2 whole eggs + 2 egg whites, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream

For the Bailey’s Buttercream:
1 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream

Ta da!

Frost those suckers and pig out!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add eggs and egg whites one at a time, beating on low between each addition. Add vanilla.

Add flour slowly in 3 additions, alternating with Bailey’s, starting and ending with flour.

Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake 15-17 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

While still warm, brush a little bit of Bailey’s on the tops of each cupcake.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting, beat butter in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, until completely mixed. Add the Bailey’s and beat until well combined.

Poke holes in the tops of the cupcakes and brush some Bailey’s on each before frosting.

Load frosting into a piping bag fit with a large tip and decorate as desired.