A dream means nothing unless you put it into action.
Bill and I had talked for years about how we wished we could publish our own magazine. It seemed an impossibility -- because although we had the skills, the creativity and the drive, we didn't have the money to do it.
None of those factors have changed. But, luckily for us, technology did.
On Monday, Bill and I published the first issue of our online magazine, #252Buzz, a digital magazine spotlighting what's great about living in eastern North Carolina.
We're flapping our wings now, baby!
You know your mama told you always to make a good first impression.
I was reminded of this advice this morning as my wonderful hair stylist, Caroline, brushed brown dye over my graying hair. I need to present myself in the best possible light.
So after my hair do was "did," I headed next door to get a pedicure.
It's true that we draw conclusions about a person or a business based on our first exposure to them. Just as you need freshening from time to time, so does your business website and social media presence.
First impressions are lasting impressions.
This commercial for the iPhone 6S features everything we love in a TV ad: a beloved character, a classic song, humor and cookies. And who can't relate to impatiently waiting for the timer to ding.
Inspired by the ad, we made our own Waiting Playlist:
"Waiting on a Friend," The Rolling Stones
"So Tired of Waiting," The Kinks
"Waiting for a Girl Like You," Foreigner
"Anticipation," Carly Simon
"The Waiting is the Hardest Part," Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
"Right Here Waiting," Richard Marx
"I Knew You Were Waiting," Aretha Franklin and George Michael
"Killin' Time," Clint Black
"Waiting on the World to Change," John Mayer
"Time," Hootie and the Blowfish
"Give Me Just a Little More Time," Chairmen of the Board
"Time to Get Ill," Beastie Boys
The best part of owning your own business is that you don't have a 9-to-5 schedule.
The worst part of owning your own business is that you don't have a 9-to-5 schedule.
As Bill and I were putting the finishing touches on a proposal Tuesday at 1 a.m., I looked across the desk at him and smiled. We were both fading a bit after the long hours at the computer, but we were pumped up about the project.
Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living.
Sixteen years ago this month, Bill and I officially joined forces in front of God and our friends and family gathered at Greenville's First Presbyterian Church.
Team Hudson has presented a united front ever since, working together to overcome obstacles, promote happiness, solve tough problems, share love, grow stronger and celebrate victories both large and small.
And now we're officially joining forces again, with Bee There Media.
Bill has stepped down from his job as a a media solution specialist with a local television station to work full time with me.
Two can make a dream come true.
Authenticity is a bandwagon that modern marketers have jumped on.
It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Au-then-ti-ci-ty.
But here's the thing, if you are authentic -- real, genuine, accurate, true, not copied or false, original -- you don't have to brand yourself as authentic. People know it.
In business and in life, you have to understand who you are and what you stand for. Then be that. That's authenticity.
And that's why modern consumers still purchase Heinz ketchup, Ivory soap and Levi's jeans.
Of course, everybody won't love you. But that's OK. If you stand by your principles, have a clear focus and present yourself honestly, you will earn their respect.
And you will sleep better at night, too.
What do you do? It's part of that polite conversation people make when they are first introduced.
I'd respond, "I am a journalist."
I wish I had counted the number of times the person I had just met would reply, "I have always fancied myself a writer." If every wannabe author had given me a dollar, I would be writing this blog entry on my own private island.
You see, everybody who learns how to read also learns how to write.
But just because you are a reader doesn't mean you are a writer.
Sure, you can write things: shopping lists, thank you notes, checks.
But being a writer is a calling. You don't fancy yourself a writer. You are a writer. Because you have to write. You have no choice.
Everybody has at least one story to tell. It's their own personal story.
If you fancy yourself a writer, then write. Do it for you. Nobody else even has to read it.
My first official job, when I was 13, was being a holiday gift wrapper at H.L. Hodges Sporting Goods in downtown Greenville.
Wrapping gifts may seem like an easy way to slide into the world of work, right? Not at a sporting goods store.
Using the only resources at hand -- rolls of thin paper, scissors, tape and slick ribbon -- I had to figure out how to decoratively conceal cans of tennis balls, fishing rods, shotguns, even an assembled exercise bike.
I loved it!
Each time a customer brought over a gift to be wrapped, I was given a present, too. I was formulating my personal work ethic.
I was required to think on my feet, be neat, conserve resources, be creative, be quick but thorough, be artistic and keep a smile on my face no matter what I had to handle.
Then, at the end of the week, I was handed money that I could spend however I wanted. It was more than compensation for a job well done, it was a ticket on the independence train.
My gift-wrapping job unwrapped my potential.
What lessons did your first job teach you? Please share them in the comments section.
Branding is everything.
All businesses, large or small, must create a unique presence to attract and retain customers. They do this through a coordinated name, image and logo they use for all products and marketing.
When it's done well, it's immediately recognizable. Think Nike's swoosh and "Just do it."
When I decided to start my own business, I began with branding. My husband, Bill, and I brainstormed ideas for names, deciding on "Bee There Media." The slogan came next: "We create the buzz."
Now for a visual interpretation. For that I turned to my former coworker Dana Gray, who with her husband, Zane, own the design company Graystrype. They created a unique, compelling yet playful design that I think fits our name and purpose with panache!
Now we are branded. What do you think?
I loved seeing all those personalized "Friends Day" videos on my Facebook friends' news feeds yesterday. The videos, featuring photos they previously posted to their pages, were created by the social media giant to mark its 12th birthday.
In a dozen years, Facebook has transformed the social landscape by allowing users to share with the people who passed the friend request test their thoughts, their opinions, their good times and bad times, their vacations, their new hairstyles, their "TGIF"s and what they ate for breakfast.
And as a result, the world has become infinitely more connected. The 1.59 billion Facebook users are connected to every other user by an average of 3.5 degrees of separation.
So, I'd like to wish a happy Friends Day to my close friends Kevin Bacon, George Clooney, Matthew_McConaughey and Betty White.