Sunday, August 28, 2022

You should write a book!

If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

Recently my wife and I attended a Celebration of Life ceremony for a good family friend. They became a good friend of the family because, at first, they were my wife's patient. 

For many (many) years, once a week - my wife the RN would drive to their home to deliver their life-saving IV medication. And due to the nature of the treatment, she would spend hours once a week, every week, at their home. Start the IV meds, wait three hours, remove the IV, drive home. For privacy issues (HIPPA Compliance?) I'll call him Frank. (...or is it Francine..???)

When I did the math, it was hundreds of three-hour visits. Once a week, every week. Over the course of seven or eight years. Because it took hours for the IV medication to be administered and monitored, the majority of the three hours was spent sitting, and talking. Talking, sharing, communicating, bonding, supporting. Once a week, for three hours, for years.

My wife could not (and would never) share any medical details with me (her husband) but she did share amazing stories about Frank, his wife, his family, his business, his children, his grandchildren. I met Frank only one time (in person) around two or three years ago. I drove my wife to one of her visits, when my wife's car was in the shop.

I was going to sit in the car with my laptop for a few hours - but I was invited to come inside - and saying no was not an option. During that one meeting - my only time with Frank - I was mesmerized. The home was beautiful, in an amazing neighborhood. This man was obviously very successful. There were pictures of family, friends, vacations, outings on every wall in the house. Today, I was the one (this time) to sit with Frank for three hours. To talk about, well, life. We talked about business and sports and family and politics and religion and....and......and..... three hours just flew by. Our three hours together felt like thirty minutes, at best. 

If I had to describe Frank, he was like the real-life version of George Bailey from the movie "It's a Wonderful Life." As I type this, I am feeling pretty confident that you have seen the movie, and that you know the story of George Bailey. It's a safe bet. 

When we think of Christmas movies, it is hard to not think about "It's a Wonderful Life." Most Christmas movies have a similar pattern: something dire happens and only a Christmas miracle can save the day. 

In the case of It's a Wonderful Life, that miracle actually came many years AFTER the film's initial debut. When the movie was released it was such a flop that it ended up closing down the studio, and more or less ending Frank Capra's career. If you want to learn more about the amazing back-story of this now famous and classic movie, you can click here.

You may think of It's a Wonderful Life as a Christmas movie, but director Frank Capra never saw it that way. Though Capra suffered greatly for his art, It's a Wonderful Life eventually got the credit it was due, and Capra did too. In 1982 Frank Capra was awarded the American Film Institute's lifetime achievement award. 

At the ceremony, Capra said: "Don't follow trends. Start a trend! Don't compromise. Believe in yourself. Because only the daring should make films. And only the morally courageous are worthy of speaking to their fellow man for two hours in the dark." 

At the celebration of life ceremony for (our) Frank, the theme repeated itself. All those who stood and spoke about our Frank said basically the same thing: A life well lived. Our Frank, was indeed Frank Capra's real-life George Bailey. Our Frank touched so many lives, impacted so many lives. Man, someone should write a book about our Frank. 

Now as I sit and reflect, I think about the hundreds of people that I have interviewed over the years. I think about all of the authors that have "given birth to a book" and how so many of them have their own amazing life stories. I think how it truly is a miracle that ANY OF US have seen the movie It's a Wonderful Life. Ah, but we did see it, right? And for someone like me, I probably have now seen that movie at least a dozen times - and I'll be watching it again with the family this Christmas! 

It's a Wonderful Life is based on a novel of the same name by Phillip Van Doren Stern, written in 1938. When no publishers responded to the story, Stern instead printed it on Christmas cards, which he then sent to friends and family. One such card wound up in the letterbox of film producer David Hempstead, who showed it to movie star Cary Grant. Enamored with the story, Grant brought it to RKO movies, and it was eventually sold to Liberty Films for $10,000 and starred James Stewart as George Bailey. The same Liberty Films that had to close their doors and shut down, because the movie was such a terrible flop and financial disaster. 

Ah yes. Books. Books that become movies. Movies that flop. Movies that flop - are the same failed movies that eventually change the world. 

Hint: write that book. If you have a book inside of you, give it life. 

My first book comes out in 2023 -

It's a Wonderful Life - Trailer

Sunday, August 21, 2022

I'm not buying a snowmobile

If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

So, we need a new roof. It's time. Actually, we are probably past due. And so, I typed in "Roofing Contractors" into my trusty Google machine to see what's up. Wow, I had no idea that half of the adult population of America are Roofing Contractors. In fact, I guess that when you buy a new pickup truck these days, it must come with Roofing Contractor School flyers in the glovebox. 

My story had a happy ending, as it relates to my roof adventure. Some people came out to the house. Some, just used Google Satellite pics to measure my roof and give me a quote - no need to come out to the house! (Ah, hard pass). I did meet a wonderful schoolteacher, who did not climb up on the roof, but she did take lots of pictures to send to her boss. A very lovely person, and her real job (teacher) is about to start - Labor Day is right around the corner. 

Funny thing: now Facebook thinks that I am a Roofing Contractor. Now, the Social Media Gods think that I should attend the National Convention of Roofing Contractors (RoofCON). Well, I do like John Maxwell. Not sure I would have "CON" in the name. And, it turns out that I am an excellent candidate to buy a Roof Maxx franchise for only $35,000. It's actually a very impressive product and a great company. But I don't do ladders. 

Remember that scene from the 2002 sci-fi movie "Minority Report," when a camera takes a retina scan of Tom Cruise's character and a billboard calls out to him, "John Anderton! You could use a Guinness right about now"?

I know for a fact that my Google Nest Mini speaker is spying on me. At this point, I'm just numb to it all. Google first filed a patent in 2008 to create advertisements based on environmental conditions present in the background of voice communications. You know, Google - the same guys who probably unleashed the first real controversy of the online privacy wars when they started sifting through our Gmail to serve us targeted ads. Now, we all use Gmail and we don't think about it anymore. Yeah, Google knows everything about my life - and don't even get me started about Facebook.

Repeat yourself much?

The next generation of digital marketers are focusing on solutions like interactive advertising or native advertising, but the standard bearer of the 21st century advertising technology will be the solutions or platform that does not treat the consumer like a child, the one that does not annoy them, the one that does not keep playing cheap tricks to get them to push a button. Ultimately, the best beer ad will be one that knows a consumer wants that beer before even they do, and it will know how to find them at precisely that perfect moment. 

Today, the Meta/Google universe thinks that I am a candidate for a Roofing franchise. Nope, just need a new roof. I have recently interviewed some AMAZING people in the mental health and holistic medicine space. And Meta/Google are now both very well aware of this. Yeah, Amazon knows everything too. Let the ads for Yoga, Reiki and Mental Health flow. 

[ My dude, 300+ person team? Have one of them fix the date on your damn Facebook ad you sent me...]

Next Generation marketing is just getting started. But just like anything in life, there will be those who get it right, and those who are basically children in a man's world. They are making rookie mistakes, and they are actually hurting their brand. If I Google "Mindfulness" don't invite me to an event in 2021 unless you also sell time machines. 

As a goof (and a test) I said out loud to my wife: "You know, the first thing I am going to do when we move to Florida is buy a snowmobile." 

Ah yes, Ski-Doo was listening. 

Good boy Ski-Doo, good boy.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

I have become a bookie

If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

A bookie, short or slang for "bookmaker" is someone who facilitates gambling, most commonly on sporting events. Ah, but a booky is someone who is bookish; given to reading and learning lessons from books.

Lately I have been interviewing authors. Published authors of every shape and size. People who have written dozens (hundreds?) of books. And some people who "had a book in them" and had to get it out. And so, they did. This might be their first (and only) book that they ever write. 

I was born in 1960. I was twelve years old and living in Boca Raton, Florida in 1972. Ah yes, the year that the Super Bowl Champion Miami Dolphins went 17-0. The Perfect Season. 

My favorite player on the team: Larry Csonka. Football fullback. My dad was a fullback, I wanted to be a fullback. So many kids in 1972 wore #12 which was PURDUE Boilermaker - and Dolphin's Quarterback Bob Griese's number. Not me. I wore #39 until it fell off of me. No, for me, I wanted to be Larry Csonka. Power Fullback. 

Life has so many twists and turns. When I was 17 years old I went to PURDUE (not for football) but for Biomedical Engineering. It was only AFTER I was already living in West Lafayette, Indiana that I learned that Bob Griese was a PURDUE man. And, I don't think I spent much time from my college days until, well, until THIS YEAR thinking about Larry Csonka. Maybe I saw him on TV or HBO or such, over the years. And I would smile, and remember my days in Boca. 

I have been interviewing Actors, Authors, Celebrities, Athletes, Thought Leaders, Subject Matter Experts. During the teeth of COVID, we did "Zoom Shows" interviewing Comedians, and many wrote books during their down time, since no one was going to comedy clubs during lockdown. 

And now, 50 years later......50 years after the Perfect Season, Larry has written a memoir. And with #39 is coming soon. 

There is something magical about books, and now audio books. And something even more magical about how published authors can reach MILLIONS of people via the power of Zoom, or BlueJeans or the cloud. Virtual book signings are so cool, and had it not been for COVID I don't think they would have become a thing. Well now, they are a very big thing indeed. Audio books can become online courses, or Master Classes for the entire world to benefit from and enjoy. 

So as of today, I don't have a bookie, but I think I have become a booky. But if I did have a bookie (or know a bookie) I would ask them: "What are the odds that a 12 year old kid living in Boca Raton, Florida in 1972 would get to interview his childhood hero, Super Bowl MVP Larry Csonka - 50 years later?

The odds, now, in 2022........ very good. 

Very good indeed. 

Sunday, August 7, 2022

I feel your pain

If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

Because I run the Distance Learning Association, Telemedicine and all things Telehealth / Healthtech / Medtech has been a big part of my world for many (many) years. I am old enough to remember the promise of Telemedicine from the New York City World's Fair way back in the 60s. It took a pandemic to make Telemedicine become "a thing" and it looks like it is here to stay. One time I spoke at the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) in Orlando and my topic was "Telemedicine is sick, but we can make it better." 

I recently met Allison Vorel, an Energy Medicine Practitioner in my town. I try to keep an open mind on most things. She told me about Reiki, Healing Touch, Sound Healing, Healing Circles and Distance Healing. 

The DISTANCE HEALING thing made me say "tell me more." She had me at.......distance.

Turns out that Reiki is a Japanese technique using the "laying on of hands" to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and activate the natural healing process. Reiki is a very simple yet powerful technique practiced for thousands of years. Reiki works in harmony with all kinds of treatment including medical and psychological care. It is offered as part of regular patient care in over 800 hospitals across the U.S., including operating rooms, and intensive care. Reiki decreases recovery time from surgery, improves mental attitude, and reduces unwanted side effects of medications, including chemotherapy and radiation and other medical procedures. It also works in conjunction with psychotherapy to improve healing of emotional trauma and can improve memory and enhance self-confidence. 

I work with BlueJeans (Verizon) and Zoom and Microsoft and all of the major cloud providers. I watched Distance Learning become DIGITAL Learning and now, it's all just DIGITAL LIVING. 

So, can things like Reiki work in the new world of remote? I mean, I can see it used in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, wellness centers, private practices, long-term care facilities and spas. I know that it is taught in universities, medical and nursing schools and other settings internationally. And, Healing Touch has been endorsed by the American Nurses Association since 1997.

But can it be done remotely? Is distance healing a thing? 

Yes. Yes it is a thing. It is real, and it is becoming very popular.

I am smart enough to know what I don't know, and when I am not the expert in the room (on any topic). But through the magic of the Internet and, well, Distance Learning, you can always learn more. About anything. For those who are contemplating a Reiki distance session but are skeptical about energy work, it seems (to me) to be more about bettering your mind and actions as well as getting more insight into your current situation, and maybe some things you're struggling with subconsciously. I believe that anyone who is looking for some guidance answers, or a different perspective would benefit from this. 

And honestly, are we not all looking for these things? 

The key is to keep an open mind. As with most things, everything is new - once. But only once. Heck, it was only a few years ago that people were asking "What is Zoom?" And now, Zoom is a verb. And I laugh when people say "Hey, let's meet on Zoom" and they send a invite for a BlueJeans or a Microsoft Teams meeting. 

Will Reiki become big? Like Zoom big? 

I'm feeling.......yes.