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  • Being Present In the Moment

    Guest Post By: Dustin Hillis

    Recently a man was taking a picture with his smart phone and backed off the ledge of a cliff and died. Being present in the moment can be the difference between life and death. Being present in the moment can be the difference between staying married or getting a divorce. Being present in the moment can be the difference between your child growing up feeling loved or alone. Being present in the moment can be the difference between winning someone’s business or losing the deal.

    The greatest gift you can give someone is your attention.

    When was the last time when you were in a room and everyone was engrossed in their cell phones and not paying attention to their surroundings? Can you recall the last conversation when the person you were talking with was looking over your shoulder and not making eye contact with you and you could tell they were listening to less than half of the things you were saying? When was the last time you were barely engaged in a conversation? Of even worse, you only focused on looking good by trying to impress the other person by talking about yourself, and not caring to ask the other person questions about themselves, resulting in a balanced conversation. People who are more focused on being interesting versus being interested will always have a difficult time fostering authentic relationships.

    3 Levels of Not Paying Attention

    Level 1. Attention Deficit

    There are a large number of people in this world who are naturally wired to be on the go and cannot sit still long enough to ask questions and listen. While this might be a gift or a curse that God has given you, it’s still not an excuse not to be present in the moment. Some individuals with extreme cases end up taking medication for ADD. After being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), I was prescribed medication which caused me to experience hyperfocus. It also caused me to also experience negative side effects that caused me to stop taking the drugs. I found that after years of practice I could control my ADD and hyperfocus when I put myself in the right environment with no medication.

    Level 2. Addicted to Technology

    Smart phones are making us stupid. The world is addicted to their phones. A large number of people are spending a majority of their time on their smart phones. Between Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, blogs and email, everyone is living a virtual reality versus living in real time. The most interesting man in the world (in my favorite Dos Equis beer commercial) says “I live vicariously through myself.” Life is beautiful. All we need to do is put down the technology and pay attention and see the real time Instagram-worthy things all around us.

    Level 3. Consumed with Oneself

    When someone is so consumed with himself or herself that they don’t care about other people, they enter another level of not being present in the moment. Think of the last time you went to a dinner or had a meeting with someone and at the end of the time together you knew everything about them and they knew nothing about you? Do you have friends who don’t really know anything about you? Are they really your friend? If someone is so consumed with how awesome they are, it will be difficult for them to be present in the moment and have a genuine conversation with you.

    Now that we’ve identified the 3 levels of not paying attention, let’s discuss how to be present in the moment.

    The first step in being present in the moment is to slow down and take a deep breath. Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Who always wins in Aesop’s Fable The Tortoise and the Hare? The tortoise wins every time! Pay attention to your breathing. By simply taking a few deep breaths, you will slow your heart rate down and you’ll be able to be more present. Just by simply slowing down, you will start noticing things that are beautiful all around you that you may have never noticed before. I love how my 4-year-old daughter, Haven, always notices any flowers and makes us stop and look at them and smell them. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

    After you’ve learned how to slow down, start working on being grateful. Every day either when you wake up or when you’re going to bed take out a piece of paper or a journal and write down 10 things that you are grateful for in your life that day. Throughout the day, pray or affirm your gratitude for all of the little things in life. When good things happen to you, don’t get over excited and when bad things happen to you, don’t get overly upset. Always stay even keeled in your emotions and grounded in thankfulness and gratitude. Just be thankful to be alive and healthy every single day. Everything else is just a bonus!

    Get a better routine. Wake up and go workout, read some affirmations, eat breakfast and then maybe check your email for 30 minutes and then put it away. Then have a scheduled time in the middle of the day to check email and technology, then one more time at the end of the day. Checking email 3 times per day and social media one time per day should be enough! We do not need to be consumed by our social media all day long. Our relationships are suffering if we are addicted to our devices.

    Finally, get over yourself. No one cares how awesome you are. Emotional midgets are the ones who care so much about what others think about them that they only want to talk about themselves. We need to honestly care about other people, ask questions and listen. We need to empathize with other people’s pains and struggles. Focus on maintaining eye contact, look for the non-verbal communication to make sure that what they are telling you is the whole story or, if you need to, keep asking more questions to get them to really open up and tell you what is really going on.

    At the end of the day, we are all called to love one another. There is no way we can show love if we are too busy being busy and consumed with our own selfish human nature. This has been and will continue to be a struggle of mine. Hopefully, you will join me in the pursuit of loving other people and being present in the moment.

     

    Dustin Hillis is the Co-founder of Southwestern Consulting. He is an expert in understanding buying, selling and management behavior styles and how to identify them and adapt to people the way they want to be communicated with. He also specializes in writing efficient and effective Customized Sales Scripts/Word Tracks. Mr Hillis consults companies on creating Compensation Plans, Recruiting Systems and Sales Strategies. Dustin is the author of the book Navigate: The Art of Not Thinking and co-author of Speaking of Success along with Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard and Jack Canfield


  • Facebook Timeline for Pages: Guide to understanding the new changes!

    Main Facebook Page Changes Effective 2/29/12
    “Mission control for your business on Facebook”

    In the words of Facebook: Pages are the essential place on Facebook for businesses to build connections with people. It’s where you connect with fans by announcing new products, sharing news, and gathering feedback. Your Page is also where you create unique brand content that can become ads and sponsored stories. It’s the core place for businesses to manage their posting and advertising content.

     

    Pages allow you to:
    1. Express your identity with features like cover photo and Page timeline.
    2. Reach and engage your audience on the web and on mobile.
    3. Respond to people in a quick, more personal way.

    <DRUM ROLL> The changes:

    1. You Can No Longer LAND on a Custom Landing Page or Tab! Welcome pages and tabs still exist, but you can no longer default to land on any tabs. As with the timeline on your profile your photos and apps show in the central section in boxes, which means we can add a nice looking graphic to our Welcome pages and tabs to encourage people to click on them. Here’s what FB say about the central boxes:
    Photos, likes and apps are now at the top of your Page. Photos show in the first spot, but you can change the order of everything else so people see what matters most. You can show a maximum number of 12 apps, so make sure to put your most important ones first.

    2. Cover Photo. This is the large picture at top of your screen. This is where your page branding can be done. Facebook has placed many restrictions on what you can and can’t have on your cover photo:

    Cover images must be at least 399 pixels wide and may not contain: Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website” Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”.

     

    3. Your Profile Picture which will initially be the top part of your avatar must be square and at least 180px wide. It should also be scalable to 32×32, because it shows up in many other places (posts, ads, etc.).

    This entire picture is the avatar (180x540px). The part taken for your Profile Picture will only be the top 180×180 (see the red square).

    4. You Can Pin Posts to the Top of Your Wall. You can now move posts to the top of your wall and have it remain there for 7 days. You just hover over the post with your cursor and a pencil appears, you click it and there will be a choice of items: Pin to Top, Change Date, Reposition Photo, Hide from Page, Delete Post, Mark as Spam. This is a great feature, b/c your important post stays visible for as long as you’d like. The other option you will see when hovering over the post is a star. When you click the star, you can feature your post because it covers the width of your page so it’s double-wide and draws attention.

    5. There’s a new admin panel. Everything is in one place. You can see your notifications, new likes, insights and the new private messages that people can now send you from your page. From your admin panel you will also see the Manage button which gives you access to the main editing section of your page (Basic Info, Manage Permissions, Apps and so on). Not much has changed in there apart from the Manage Permissions section which no longer has the default landing tab section. Also from the admin panel, you can access Facebook ads, a function to share your page and to invite friends, plus access to ‘help’.

    6. You can now get Messages on pages. Your fans can message you directly on the Facebook Page. The messages will show within your admin panel and you can respond from there. This is a HUGE because you can now message, individually, your fans. There is real two-way communication!

    7. Tab Pages are now BIGGER. The official size is 520px wide and unlimited length. Tabs were the items that were listed under your profile picture before (videos, blog, YouTube, questions, etc.). Now they are under the Cover Photo and larger. Only 4 appear at a time and the others are available in a drop down menu. These can be moved around, but the PICTURES tab cannot be moved. This is where all of your “old pages” will appear, including your Welcome or Landing Page.

    8. You will AUTOMATICALLY get the new design on March 30th. So jump and play around and make the most of it, because it’s coming whether we like it or not!

    Why do need to know about social media? That’s where the people are. As a sales professional, you are continually seeking to meet new people. You attend networking events, you are cold calling, you place ads, you put a listing in the yellow pages, and you create flyers all as a way to meet new people to build relationships with, to become prospects, referrals, and business partners. The main function of social media is to meet people. “Your customers hang out in social networks.” – Seth Godin

    If you have any specific questions, feel free to email at [email protected] or post a comment below and we’ll help you in the transition. If you want more information on Selling with Social Media, email us for more information on some upcoming workshops.

    Dawn Beauvais

    Social Media Marketing Consultant