Thursday, January 31, 2013

#SOBCon in Your Inbox: Chicago 2013 Revealed & Early Registration Ends today!

This is it! You can save $200 now on your SOBCon Chicago registration if you sign up by January 31st. As of February 1st, it will go to $895. So claim your seat today.
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SOBCon Newsletter

Chicago 2013 Revealed

It's crazy to think that what started out as just an idea has grown into not only an event, but a community. And we're so excited to celebrate that success that we've pulled together an amazing group of speakers that highlights just how far we've come after 10 events.

This list isn't complete yet, but we wanted to give you a sneak pick of what to expect if you sign up today:
  • Carol Roth, NY Times bestselling author and WGN radio host
  • Sean Ogle, lifestyle entrepreneur & founder of Location 180
  • Chris Brogan, NY Times bestselling author and Human Business Works CEO
  • Barbara Jones, BlissDom events co-founder and Blissful Media Group CEO
  • Jeannie Walters, Chief Customer Experience Investigator™ & founder of 360Connext
  • Ric Dragon, author of "Social Marketology" & DragonSearch CEO
  • Dianna Rae, entrepreneur and Glam Media Co-Founder
  • Alli Worthington, Blissfully Domestic Magazine founder
  • Drew Marshall, Innovation consultant & principal of Primed Associates
If you sign up today, you'll guarantee a seat in the room with these super-talented individuals and another 149 people who are committed to turning ideas into actions.

During #SOBCon Chicago (May 3-5, 2013) you can expect to hear about:
  • Building deeper, more valuable working relationships with your customers
  • Adjusting your business metrics to enhance your understanding of the competition
  • Fostering and sustaining influence through information sharing
  • Learning how to engage with customers to deliver a richer, more meaningful experience
  • Creating lasting connections from customers' first impressions
Throughout the weekend, you'll learn the power of true collaboration. Whether it's discussing the models in depth with your mastermind team or connecting with someone new over lunch, you'll see that learning doesn't need to be lonely.

We're confident that if you want to, you'll leave SOBCon with strategic action plans that will move you and your company forward.

Add to that our famous opening night party and our Give Back Sunday and you have an event that deserves to be on your calendar.

And with only days left to save on registration, you don't to miss out on the $200 savings if you sign up by January 31st (this Thursday).

You know you want to be in the room. So what are you waiting for?
SOBCon Chicago 2013
Hotel 71 - The Place to Be
Only 2 Blocks from the Summit Executive Center

We're thrilled to announce that for the sixth year running Hotel 71 will be the host hotel for SOBCon Chicago 2013, May 3-5, 2013.

There are a block of rooms available at the awesome rate of $179 (their current offered rate is $230) – all you have to do is:
  1. Call 1-877-999-3223
  2. Say "I'd like the special SOBCon event rate please" (they may ask you the dates of the event – May 3-5)
  3. And book your reservation at the $179 rate
Please make your reservations as soon as possible, because these weekends in Chicago are always packed with other events and conferences – and, the rooms at this excellent rate are limited.
SOBCon Chicago 2013

Save $200 - Ends 1/31

It's your last chance to get this ticket discount

This Thursday is the last day you can claim your seat at SOBCon Chicago AND save $200.

We know budgets are tight, so make sure you don't miss out on these savings.

Sign up today.
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Amaryllis in full bloom

Two blossoms are in full bloom this morning with a third preparing to open

It takes time to blossom

What are you doing today to blossom tomorrow?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A storybook story!

"The Princess Bride" is one of our family's favorite movies. The girls know the movie so well they can (and do) recite the script without prompting. Or it while watching the movie, you get three-part harmony.

It was fitting to have this as music for the entrance and beginning of the ceremony on Saturday.

More pictures and stories form this wonderful event are coming, stay tuned!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Special day

me, at a loss for words? maybe...

well, where does one begin? at the beginning maybe?

One favorite author, Madeline L'Engle also happened to have this as her special day
In 1942 she met actor Hugh Franklin when she appeared in the play The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov.[9] L'Engle married Franklin on January 26, 1946, the year after the publication of her first novel,

So today, we live in Franklin, MA. And Allie will marry Brad. 

That is a bingo!

Look for connections around you!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Amaryllis - Day 34

The blossoms continue to expand. You can detect that while there were two distinct blossoms, there is now also a third fitting in there too!

amaryllis - day 34
what are you doing today to blossom?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Amaryllis - day 32

today is actually day 33 but the photos and thoughts are from yesterday so we'll go with that for now.

It is cold again here in Franklin today. The cold snap hitting most of the US has us in single digits again this morning. It was 4 degrees yesterday when I went running. Yes, I got "the look" from my wife as I headed for the door.

Good thing I am not scheduled to run today. The temp is recording -1.3 this morning!

She should know better by now. We have been married for more than 30 years. I run in all kinds of weather. No, I don't run in the real dangerous thunderstorms or hurricanes. I am not insane. Dressed appropriately, I would rather run in the cold than on a 90+ day in the summer.

The amaryllis is doing well indoors, in the warm, catching the afternoon sun, out of the frigid cold!

Stay warm!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Amaryllis - Day 31

In the wisdom of the calendar designers there are only a few months during the year with 31 days

In October, Halloween is probably the most likely comparison to this

The amaryllis blossom is opening. Soon we'll see the full and glorious bloom!

Which is much different from forecasting the weather here in New England. So Dolores comes down to the kitchen table this morning with such a gloomy face. Apparently the next snow is forecasted for Friday night into Saturday

Yes, the wedding is this weekend. Forgetting that the snow forecasted overnight did not come to fruition moving further offshore and leaving us with only a dusting!

Heck with the forecast for snow on Friday, I am looking for the fullness of the blossom!

Monday, January 21, 2013

"I have a dream"

In a world where injustice still exists, where inequality still thrives, we must remember why this day is a holiday.

"To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction."
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., The Purpose of Education

Spend less than 20 minutes to listen (or listen again) to "I have a dream"

How can you help to make this dream come true?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Road race planning for non-profits

There are a number of Franklin based non-profits conducting a road race as a fundraiser for their organization. As a life long runner and volunteer on the board of a non-profit, this is a happy junction of interests! 

Some of the organizations are relatively new to the race arena, so I thought it would make sense for the organizers to get together. Those with experience can share the best of what they have learned. 

Perhaps the awareness of the other races can be shared with each others mailing list? Perhaps the scheduling of some of the races can be spread around the calendar to avoid conflicts. Such learning and sharing should help all to create a more successful race for their respective organizations.

Who would NOT want a more successful race?

  • More runners
  • Better prepared to execute the race
  • Less hassles
  • More communications about the race/cause

I spent a few minutes this morning in Google looking for best practices in road race organization. Some of these links you may have found before but if not, they may be helpful to take from them to create a better race. 


A road race planning guide from RunBritain

Road Runners Club of America

Individual shares his best practices via YouTube

From the Run/Walk/Ride organization, a collection of articles around best practices in fundraising and race management

Road Race Management offers a book for members and non-members

Active.Com has a section on fundraising

They also offer services like event management

USA Track & Field Association documents on long distance running

Chicago Area Runners Association has this link with some good info
These general guidelines largely address administrative tasks.   Use this
checklist as a guide to elements which make for a well-conceived and executed

Do you have any road race best practices that you would like to share?
Please leave a comment or send me an email!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Andy Puddicombe: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes (video)

I talked about mindfullness earlier this week. And found this in my TED Talk queue this morning.

"Most people assume that meditation is all about stopping thoughts, getting rid of emotions, somehow controlling the mind. But actually it's … about stepping back, seeing the thought clearly, witnessing it coming and going.” (Andy Puddicombe)

Hear this quote in the context of this 10 minute video

Then reward yourself with 10 minutes of nothing.

You can do it!

This was also posted to Franklin Matters today.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dr Steve Sherlock

No, not me. I like it when I find another person with my name doing well. I have followed Dr Sherlock since he made this discovery and he has now published a book with all the details.

THE archaeologist behind one of the most important discoveries ever made in the region held a book signing session this weekend. 
Dr Steve Sherlock discovered a striking 7th century gold pendant, which would have belonged to a princess, as well as glass beads, pottery, iron knives and other objects, in Loftus, East Cleveland between 2005 and 2007. 
The finds, which were described as “unparalleled” by experts, now form the Saxon Princess display at Redcar’s Kirkleatham Museum. 
The Princess was buried with her jewellery about 1,400 years ago and the haul was discovered at the only known Anglo-Saxon royal burial site in the North-East.

You can read more about Dr Steve Sherlock, the archaeologist here:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


There is so much happening and it is so early in the new year.

Aunt Martina's wake is later today, funeral tomorrow

One of the classmates of my daughters died suddenly on Sunday

Preparations for Allison's wedding continue to make progress. My quick line is I don't have to do much; just walk down the aisle and write the check. Can't really get away from all the rest of the preparations though!

Hence, in the middle of all of this, it was refreshing to spend time listening to

Opening to Our Lives: Jon Kabat-Zinn's Science of Mindfulness (Dec 27, 2012) [encore]Jon Kabat-Zinn has learned, through science and experience, about mindfulness as a way of life. This is wisdom with immediate relevance to the ordinary and extreme stresses of our time -- from economic peril, to parenting, to life in a digital age.

Monday, January 14, 2013

the aha moment for Molly

What does the Women with Drive Foundation mentioned in yesterday's post do? Molly, the founder and the key woman with the drive to make this organization happen tells in her own words!

Find out more about Women with Drive on their webpage and follow their activities across whatever social media channel suits you best.

Go Molly!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Young ladies night out

The charming young ladies paused for a moment on their way out for dinner. Time does fly!

My favorite advice to other parents; treasure each moment. They grow so quickly.

Idea from earlier in the day: an end line for one in the series of Geico commercials. Nothing happier than a group of women planning a wedding for one of their own!

And Geico, if you do use this idea, you can put the royalties to a great charitable purpose like Women with Drive or the Franklin Food Pantry with my permission.

Young ladies night out

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cracked ice

Walking by Spruce Pond this morning, the surface is nature's art. Explosions, star bursts around some holes in the ice create an interesting pattern.

And a warning sign. Beware of the ice, you may not be able to walk on water!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Amaryllis- day 19

19 is a good number. The syllable count for sherku is 19.

19 is an impossible score for cribbage.

Today is the 19th day of the growing amaryllis.

What are you doing today to stretch and grow?

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

So much can be found within the tracks we leave!

In December, before we got our big snow fall that still leaves the ground covered, we got a dusting. Enough to sprinkle whiteness around. Enough to change the color of the world.

running tracks

Enough to allow for looking back on where one had been and see what mark had been made.

Only one vehicle had passed on the road thus far.

Only one set of foot prints had left its mark.

Were they human? Did the spacing indicate walking or running? What kind of shoes were they wearing?

So much can be found within the tracks we leave!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

3 word goals for 2013

For several years now, I have been following +Chris Brogan's 3 word goal process. To save you some looking here is what I have declared previously:

In 2009, it was Basic, Leverage, and Return.
In 2010, it was Conversation, Content, and Community.
In 2011, it was Analogy, Bold, and Conduct

For 2012 it was Learn, Share, and Laugh

Bananagram titles

This year, my three words are Mentor, Leverage, and Exercise.

This is a part of me. I do it a lot. On my running blog, I have the tag line "Leave no buddy behind." I tend to approach an individual and his/her situation in that way. Leading them to their answer. Lending confidence, fostering courage. The relationship is not about me. It is about them and what they can do to help themselves and others. We are all in this together. We might as well help each other along.

Hay, you used leverage again? Is there a rule not to use the same one twice? If so, I am going to break it. Continuing the theme of helping each other along, leverage gets at using situations smartly. Doing something once that can be re-purposed. Write once, read many was an older technology (WORM). The concept still applies. In a busy world, working smartly will tend to be more successful in the long run than working hard. Hard generates sweat. If the sweat can be used for something else, then that is leverage!

Yes, I run. I am a life long runner and love it. I do walk frequently. There is something about the walk around Franklin that is not unlike "management by walking around". if I am walking around anyway, why not carry the camera with me. That photo, yes it has good lighting, this shot can be useful! Take it, leverage the time on the walk. Maximize the effort with the opportunity for multiple returns. So that is all well and good. What I mean by exercise is that as I build my mileage back up, I need to do more stretching and upper body work. Running is not enough. Not doing the stretching and upper body work will actually hinder the higher mileage running and create the opportunity for injury. Not what I want!

So that is how I am approaching today and the next as we get into this new year. What are your goals for 2013?

+Chris Brogan

Monday, January 07, 2013

Amaryllis - Day 16

A new morning, light is growing outside as the sun rises and reflects off the snow.
The stalks are getting bigger. I turned the plant as advised toward the sun.
Are you turning to the sun for light to guide your way and you stretch and grow?

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Amaryllis - Day 15

I am behind in sharing the progress and there has been good growth! I am pleased with this plant and look forward to some great blossoms

Thursday, January 03, 2013

goals delayed

While I have been preparing for my three word goals, I have not solidified them at this time. There is some wavering among the key words and until the wavering settles, I'll continue to ponder them and hold off on announcing them.

In the meantime, take a walk in the cold and enjoy the scenery of winter in Central PA. A visit with some good friends over the New Year's weekend provide the opportunity for this (and other photos).

The stream of my thoughts around the three word goals is still flowing!

Have you got your goals yet?