Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Q&A: Seth Godin-Founder of Squidoo & Bestselling Author

Seth Godin
Bestselling Author & Founder of Squidoo

Tell us about your book, "Small Is The New Big".
Small is the New Big is a collection of my writings from the last seven years. If you're a fan, I think you'll appreciate it. If you're not, I hope you'll start by reading Purple Cow or The Dip.

What makes Squidoo unique?
Squidoo is the world's most popular site for people who want to build a page about their passions. Highlight books, blogs, vids, online shops, or just spread the word about stuff you love. Bonus: you raise money (for you or charity) at the same time! It's fast, free, and super easy.

Share a secret tip that will help online businesses succeed in driving traffic to their website.
Not so secret: make promises and keep them. Do something people choose to talk about. Go for the edges. Be remarkable and don't settle. Set up a Squidoo lens for your auction listings. Or several of them. Establish yourself as an expert on something, give away advice all day long. People will seek you out. Promise.

How did you become "an agent of change"?
I fear I was born this way. I have a lot of trouble settling for the status quo.

What is your definition of success?
My definition doesn't matter one bit. What's yours? Is it really? And if whatever you just said is really your idea of success, then why aren't you pushing harder to get it?

Name a business trend out there now that we can do without.
Other than business trends? I think the trend toward hyperbolic half- truths distributed worldwide in an instant is a bad one. We need more transparency, not more hype.

What would you like us to know about you that we haven't asked?
Yes, it's my real hair.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Q&A: Robin Hazelwood: Model Student

Author of Model Student,
Robin Hazelwood

Q&A by Celeste
Copyright 2008-by Celeste/All Rights Reserved

Celeste: What inspired you to write Model Student?

Robin: While I was modeling, I kept thinking, someone should write a book about this crazy business. Many years later, I decided that someone would be me.
Celeste: You grew up in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, and you became a model yourself. How did you break into modeling while living in Wisconsin?

Robin: I took a class at an agency in Milwaukee and started getting local work thereafter. I was also stopped by Billy Ford, Eileen Ford’s son, at Summerfest, and was encouraged to join the Ford Modeling Agency in New York, which shows, I guess, that if you have the right look for the business, the business is pretty good at finding you, no matter where you are.

Celeste: I have to ask-- about the bathtub scene in your book--did something similar happen to you in your modeling career..and if so, how did you handle it?!

Robin: Every scene in my book was inspired by real things that happened in my modeling career, as hard as that may be to believe! I wasn’t always as calm, cool and collected as Emily; when situations made me really uncomfortable, I’d either call my agent, flee the scene, cry, or some combination of the three!

Celeste: Robin-you graduated from Yale and were a professional model in the 80's and 90's. How did you survive? What motivated you to stay in the top of your game in academics and in the beauty department?

I used to be a competitive swimmer and I think all those hours of training instilled a strong work ethic in me. But I hardly feel as if I mastered both realms: far from it!

I undoubtedly would have had a better GPA if I hadn’t modeled and I certainly would have had a much more lucrative modeling career if I hadn’t gone to college. But life is about tradeoffs, isn’t it? I decided to pursue both, even if it meant I would sometimes be flailing.

Celeste: What is your beauty regime today?

Robin: Hmm. Well, I have dry skin, so I use Cetaphil to cleanse my face and then a vitamin C serum, followed by a moisturizer with sunscreen. Sunscreen is key, even in Wisconsin, and I prefer those with Mexoryl SX because it is more stable than many sunscreens and goes on well. At night I use Renova and a heavier moisturizer. But I can’t take credit for any part of this regimen: I happen to have a great dermatologist.

Celeste: You say models are born pretty. In your opinion, what defines a model?

That line was a refutation of the oft repeated phrase, “I was SUCH an ugly duckling,” spoken, invariably, by a stunning supermodel, about herself when she was younger—my character, Emily Woods, was having none of that!

From my perspective, a model just happens to have a certain type of look that translates well in photographs. She often doesn’t have to be gorgeous in the conventional sense, she mainly needs to be interesting to look at, and to have a body type that flatters the clothing she is paid to wear.

There are so many stunning women out there who, for whatever reason, don’t work well as models, and so many models which are very plain looking in person. It’s better, I think, not to conflate the two because it leads to the idea that there’s only one form of real beauty and that’s simply not the case.

Celeste: There has been a lot of talk in the media lately about models being too thin. Why now and is anything REALLY being done about it? (i.e. designers hiring curvier figures, etc.)

It’s strange to think of body types being trendy, but right now in fashion, there is a tendency to favor incredibly skinny models. Models have always been thin, of course, but so many today look like they must have an eating disorder, and that’s what led to the outcry.

Abroad, some countries have taken steps to ban emaciated models; here, I’m not clear what the fashion industry claims to be doing; I, for one, haven’t noticed any sort of pendulum shift back toward a healthier looking body type.

Celeste: The main character, Emily, found it challenging to balance being a student and her modeling career. Do you think a girl can be successful at both at the same time?

I think it’s very hard. In fact, when my book came out, I received a call from a woman enrolled at Princeton who was also a fashion model. She’d read my book and felt she faced many of the same challenges to the point where she ultimately stopped modeling in favor of her course work.

The problem is: the peak money making years for a typical female model is her late teens/ early twenties; the agencies hardly have an incentive to try to work around a rigorous academic schedule.

Celeste: How is modeling different today than it was in the 80's and 90's?

Robin: Models are much thinner. Also, I modeled in the era of the Supermodel: fashion models commanded the majority of the covers, the advertising campaigns. Today, the lucrative contracts all go to actresses. It’s a different game now.

Celeste: How did your parents influence your own modeling career?

Robin: My mother was the one who suggested the modeling class, but it was really from the perspective of a parent wanting to explore every opportunity for her child.

My parents were not very involved in my career, but were okay with my modeling so long as it didn’t interfere with my education. It did, of course, but I managed to stay in school and get decent grades. If my parents hadn’t been so adamant, I’m not sure what would have happened; looking back, I’m glad they were.

Celeste: What advice would you give to parents out there who have a son or daughter interested in pursuing the modeling industry?

There are many people out there who will charge you a lot of money in order to help you pursue this dream; you’ll know you’re right for the business when an agency is willing to invest in you: front the cost of getting your pictures taken, spend time developing your career, educating you, that type of thing. If that doesn’t happen, you’re better off making a living in other ways.

Celeste: When will your next book be hitting the shelves and will it be as juicy as Model Student?

Perhaps even juicier! My next novel, tentatively called Hampton Share, follows five thirty-somethings over the course of one summer, and it’s set in the Hamptons, the glitzy resort community located at the tip of Long Island. I’m there right now; it’s a place I know well, and the book should be a fun read, I think!

Look for it in the summer of 2010.

Celeste: Robin, thank you so much for this interview.

Thank you! I feel honored that you wanted to interview me.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Simms Jenkins:The Truth About Email Marketing


Q: Simms, how did you become sold on the power of email marketing?
A: Prior to founding BrightWave Marketing, I ran the Customer Relationship Management group for a major media company that had a network of websites. When I saw first hand the ability to send a message and minutes later see a surge of responses and resulting web traffic as well as the ability to measure this response in real time, I was hooked. I then built the company to help clients more efficiently and strategically seize the benefits of email marketing.

Q: What sets your book apart from all the rest of the email marketing books?
A: I think there are only a couple of meaningful and serious books on the subject by true industry experts and hopefully my book is equally approachable for email novices as it is for big company email marketing managers. The feedback and reviews
http://www.thetruthaboutemailmarketing.com/reviews/ I have received have been really strong to date so I feel like I accomplished that. It is worth mentioning that the biggest compliment I could get on this book would be for an email marketing professional to use it on a daily basis and keep it on their desk as a reference guide.

Q: Give us an email marketing secret that most small business owners would be surprised to learn about.
A: There are many small businesses using email more effectively than Fortune 500 companies. That is one of the beauties of email marketing. It is not about money like some other marketing and media channels but it takes time, resourcefulness and the understanding that permission email is a powerful method of communication but one that should not be abused. Because it is so measurable, any small business owner gets incredible feedback on what their customers and prospects are interested in as well as what they are not. That info can be priceless.

Q: Email marketing is certainly eco-friendly. Did you have a "green" plan from the start?
A: I wish I could tell you that it was part of the master plan but it wasn’t. It is certainly a major reason to consider using email marketing though. I am still surprised to find many leading companies not finding that to be an attractive benefit of email marketing. I know I appreciate the companies that offer me the opportunity to receive bills or promotions via email as opposed to a catalog or letter that gets thrown away immediately. We have found some our clients (http://www.brightwavemarketing.com/clients.html) are leveraging the benefit of email as an eco-friendly communication tool as it makes sense and relates to their brand and offerings. I hope and expect to see more of that.

Simms Jenkins is Chief Executive Officer of BrightWave Marketing, an award-winning email marketing services firm specializing in the strategic optimization of email marketing programs.

Jenkins is regarded as one of the leading experts in the email marketing industry and the expertise of both Jenkins and BrightWave clients have been recognized and featured by many media outlets including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bloomberg TV, eMarketer, Email Marketing Reports, MarketingSherpa, DMNews and ClickZ.

Jenkins and his column for iMedia Connection, a leading interactive Marketing and Media publication, has been called one of the top 21 information sources for email marketers.

Jenkins serves on the eMarketing Association's Board of Advisors and is a Board Member of Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association (AiMA). Jenkins is a graduate of Denison University in Granville, Ohio and resides in Atlanta with his wife and two sons.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Author Interview>> Lawrence Kryske: Ready, Begin! Practical Strategies For Cultivating Courage


Q: If you had to choose Obama or McCain to endorse your book--whom would you choose and why?

A: Tough call. Both Senators McCain and Obama have displayed physical and moral courage in their personal and professional lives. Senator McCain, a former naval aviator and POW, coauthored Why Courage Matters: The Way to a Braver Life. His anthology of courageous individuals resembles President Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage. Senator Obama also needed to confront fears and prejudices in his pursuit of becoming the most powerful man on the planet. In the title of his book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, we find yet another reference to courage. Courage is perhaps the most valuable leadership trait and both these men realize its importance. I’d gladly invite both to endorse my book.

More about the book here:

Q: How can your book, Ready, Begin! Practical Strategies for Cultivating Courage, help a business that is striving to be eco-friendly?

A: My second Cornerstone of Courage is “Courage grows out of clarity of purpose.” The strength of a business’ convictions with respect to being eco-friendly will determine how much pain they are willing to experience while walking their talk. It takes courage to embrace innovative approaches especially when risk managers wield more power than change managers. Corporate leaders at all levels of an organization need to strengthen their courage muscles, attitudes, and reflexes. As Sir James Barrie, creator of Peter Pan observed, “Courage is the thing. All goes if courage goes.”

Q: Why does courage play such a big part in a leadership role?

A: Leadership involves a three-step approach of vision, courage, and determination. A leader first needs to have a compelling vision of the desired outcome. Then he or she needs the courage to take those first few critical steps. Finally, the leader needs to follow through with determination until the vision is achieved. Most people can craft a vision and if they can somehow just get started, they may be able to plod along until they achieve their goals. But overcoming fears and taking those first few critical steps often become a barrier to them. They need courage to move beyond their vision. My first Cornerstone of Courage is “Courage is taking action despite fear.” The important distinction thus becomes, fear is what you feel but courage is what you do. Winston Churchill, one of the most celebrated leaders of the 20th Century noted, “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.”

Q:Another business book on courage. Why now?

A: Other than Senator McCain’s book, can you remember another recent book about courage? There are thousands of books about leadership on the shelves. There are perhaps twenty of so books about courage. Most of these books are stories about other courageous people. There are really no books that guide and coach a person to cultivate courage in his or her life. My book fills this void and provides over 250 strategies, insights, and tools to overcome fears and anxiety, conquer procrastination, get into action, and burn with more focus and purpose. Leaders fail, not from a lack of knowledge or imagination, but from a lack of courage or will. Never in the history of the human race has the need for courageous leaders been greater!

Commander Lawrence (Larry) M. Kryske, U.S. Navy (Ret.), develops victorious leaders who have vision, courage, and determination. He has over thirty years of worldwide success leading men and women and building unstoppable teams.

He was a career naval officer, private school administrator, and strategic planner. Larry is President of Your Finest Hour Leadership Programs, a full-service leadership firm. He provides programs (keynotes, seminars, workshops, facilitations, and coaching) nationwide on leadership, teamwork, and innovation. He has worked with over 400 corporate, association, governmental, and education clients in over 50 different industries during the past 12 years.

Larry has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Astronomy from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Master of Science Degree in Applied Science from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Larry’s newest book is, Ready, BEGIN! Practical Strategies for Cultivating Courage. He is also author of the leadership books, The Churchill Factors: Creating Your Finest Hour and The Greatest Board in the World. Larry is a respected authority on the life and leadership of Sir Winston Churchill with over 40 years of study and scholarship.

For more information, please see his website: www.YourFinestHour.com

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Queen of Green Deflates Today's Green Hype and Puts Greenwash Out to Dry

Author: Joyce E. White

Q: Debra, I found your book to be intelligent, inspiring and brimming with very useable information. It made me feel good about my own efforts to go green. Tell us what your book is about.

A: Everyday, I am in contact with people who want to live green…they really want to do the right thing. In talking with them, I realized that most people don't know the basics of green. The most common question I am asked is "How do I know if this product is really green?"

My book, Really Green, is the answer to this question. It covers all the basics anyone needs to know to tell the difference between products with real environmental and health benefits and those with misleading green hype. It covers everything from defining biodegradable to how to identify greenwashing. But most importantly, it outlines the basic principles that define green products, so anyone can have confidence they can recognize a green product when they see one.

Q: So, tell the world what "green" really means?

A: In the broadest sense, green includes any product, service, or activity that is supportive of life, both human and otherwise. So this would include everything from helping the environment to human health and social issues. "Green" is the umbrella that encompasses everything in these fields, including organic, recycled, biodegradable, fair trade, and other life-supporting practices.

Q: Is there a standard by which we measure what is really green?

Yes, and it is not based on opinion. All we need to do is look at nature to see that a green product would be made from resources that are rapidly renewable, taken sustainably, made with efficient use of resources, and other practical guidelines. There can be no more solid and true foundation for what constitutes a green product.

Q: What excited me the most about your book was to learn that I am not this thing called a "consumer." How can we become more human in living and less the consumer we've been taught to be?

A: Our whole consumer identity of having our lives revolve around the buying of things is simply not our natural state. We don't have to buy our lives, we can live our lives. Consumers rely on others to provide for them, but as humans we can think for ourselves, feel for ourselves, create for ourselves, and act from caring about the well-being of all life.

Q: And, with all the years you've been in the business, why did you choose to write this book now?

A: Quite suddenly I felt a new urgency...we all need to go green right now! This past winter I spent some time in San Francisco. Amazingly, in December, the camellias were blooming, the fruit trees blossoming, and the fields were yellow with mustard flowers. I was shocked! None of these things are supposed to happen until February. I lived in Northern California for 47 years and I know when the flowers bloom. The earth is changing.

This is more than a book to me, it's a mission. I feel called to do this at the deepest level of my being. The Earth is calling all of us.

Really Green by Debra Lynn Dadd can be ordered online at http://www.dld123.com/reallygreen

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/environment-articles/the-queen-of-green-deflates-todays-green-hype-and-puts-greenwash-out-to-dry-334493.html

About the Author:
Joyce White is a writer and the founder of Wordistry, a company that provides a variety of support services to writers.

Contact Debra Lynn Dadd at:





Thursday, July 17, 2008

Author Interview: How To Be A Creative Genius by Gary Unger

Q: Who (or what) inspired you to write this book?
A: My wife. I am a serial idea generator. I have more ideas in a day than I could ever actually do. One day my wife put a notebook on my desk that basically said "finish this book idea, even if it doesn't get published." That was all I needed, no obstacle can stop me when my wife encourages me. Its better than a blank check.

Q: What creative genius tools can businesses who wish to go eco-friendly utilize?
A: Act rebelliously against the way in which things are "supposed" to work for your industry. One of the things that I do is that when I am going to not use my computer for a bit during the day, I'll put my computer to sleep, AND turn off the monitor. Simple little extras like that have cut our electric usage in half in one month.

Q: What is the easiest way for people to get water off the brain?
A: Don't let it pool up in the first place.

Q: Do you believe cgs have higher potential to become alcoholics or drug addicts?
A: Only the ones who choose not to chase their dreams regardless of the obstacles. It took two and a half years to get Creative Genius published and on shelves.

Q: Variety is a spice of life. What do you say to those who simply "don't get it"?
A: I say give them time. Usually the people who don't "get it" are too worried about something and their minds are bogged down with that worry. Everyone has down time emotionally, but it is cyclical. So give them time and when they hit the upside, they'll "get it."

Q: Favorite cg and why?
A: C.S. Lewis. Because he married both the logician side and the artistic of his mind. I think if CG's can merge passion with correctness we'd see better ideas that last longer and have real affect.

Q: Tell me about the Levi Strauss T-shirt Hall of Fame.
A: I was asked to submit some shirt designs for the Levi's employee's annual walk for a cure for cancer. I was told that recent submissions for the past were rather uninviting. My idea was to not "design" a shirt but to get the message loud and clear. So I did a type only shirt. It won the hearts of the people and got the message across no matter what side of the shirt you see first.

Q: Salt or pepper?
A: Salt! :)