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5 Reasons they say and 5 reasons I say

On October 10, 2013, while doing research for an essay on teams and managing teams, I tripped over several articles on the economic impact of civil war.

I learned that social scientists, such as myself and those far more academic than Ms. Annie Sells, have spent a lot of time and resources studying civil war and have done some pretty extensive research.  Why?

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I thought you might wonder why. According to reviews of civil war literature, there are 5 reasons civil war is worth studying.

1) Civil war is widespread; it is common place.

2) Civil war causes suffering; human suffering is extreme, economic development suffers, and political instability is a side effect.

3) Civil war undermines regional stability; it tears up counties.

4) Civil war engages the interests of distant powers and international organizations; others are  in the business of countries.

5) Policymakers are re-assessing the efforts necessary to deal with civil war; hindsight is always at least 20/20 and helpful for preparing for the future.

The start of new civil wars has been on the decline since 1994. So why, living in the United States (US), should you concern yourself with understanding civil war? Here are 5 reasons I know civil war is the worth understanding in the US:

1) Civil war is real.

2) Civil war is a problem of the poor and we are getting poorer each day.

3) The Federal Government Shutdown is still in effect, at least the 15% that pays the US’ bills.

4) It has been 148 years since the start of the last civil war in the US; it took at least 700,000 lives, which is only slightly less than the number of people now furloughed nationwide.

5) If it has happened once, it can happen again.

I know we ought to avoid taboos, but come on, if we aren’t, we really should be paying attention.

To Brighter Days,
Ms. Annie Sells

The Grid’s Great: Where’s Your Radio?

Today is a new day, one that everyone who is honest would gladly admit that they are proud to experience. On any given day, I would likely write to you about my beloved home of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

I might talk to you about reaching out and connecting to your friends, family and potential clients via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and WordPress. I might even talk to you about marketing and adversiting solutions for your business and the various ways that you can utilize social media to save yourself and your business time and money.

All of these forms of technology and ways of connecting on the grid are relevant to our way of life. But let’s suppose for a moment that you were to become disconnected from the grid or the grid were to go down for any one of a million reasons. Then what?

My last article on this site was Social Media: Now What? and included a picture of an old computer. It’s no secret that ever day people across the globe are struggling to provide a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, are fighting against horrible diseases, and for their safety. War has become a part of everyday life, so much so that Generation X hardly blinks an eye lash at its ever-present danger!

So you ask “why has the theme of my written gift to you changed?” How did we get from Social Media: Now What? to The Grid’s Great: Where’s Your Radio? Ask me. I would be happy to explain.

Be Blessed,

Ms. Annie Sells

Chi Tea & Me

Ms. Annie Sells is burning her candle at both ends these days. Okay, this year… Don’t tell my Momma because she will chew me out! My defense? A girl has to do what a girl has to do.

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Z’s Daddy is working on his Bachelors. Ms. Annie Sells is working on her Masters. Z’s Mommy and Daddy are working full-time and then of course Z’s Mommy must do her subcontracting jobs. So since school work for the week is complete, now I am up to my elbows in a subcontracted project that I feel very passionate about! Above see my favorite winter coffee mug with chi tea. What keeps you going?

My favorite curse word starts with a P and it is not Patience

Are you wondering what four letter word that Ms. Annie Sells is admitting to as her favorite curse word?

Well, I am not going to tell you. Instead we are going to take an honest look at what really should be a curse word to many of us.

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If you type patience into Google, then your first hit will be the definition.

pa·tience ˈpāSHəns’ – a noun: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

You will also find this Wikipedia definition.

Patience (or forbearing) is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can take before negativity.

If you are a faith-based person you might look up the definition in a King James Version of the Holy Bible. Ecclesiastes 7:8 reads like this.

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Keep your cool. Not letting your blood pressure top out, your voice raise, your heart race, and all those other grand reactions, which we are prone to when things do not go our way is simple. Yes I said simple, not easy.

There are two steps to finding patience. Step 1) Breathe. Step 2) Wait.

So a betting man (or woman) might say that patience is not just a virtue preached to us and explained in Google and Wikipedia, but patience pays!

So breathe and wait for your payday!

Allow me to introduce you to A – Z Tree

A - Z Tree

October, 2013:  I, Ms. Annie Sells, wish to share a very special tree friend with you. I know that this is not Saturday morning cartoons, but the tree pictured here is very important to my family.

This tree lives in the corner of the parking lot at our local Boys and Girls Club. Hundreds of children walk past it daily.  Thousands of automobiles drive past it daily.  This tree lives wedged between a paved road, a paved parking lot, and a concrete sidewalk. Ick!!

I frequently tell friends that I prefer not to live in the city because there are too many people, too much noise, too much concrete, and not enough trees!  Yesterday, we touched on “being a survivor.”  This tree that my family calls the A – Z tree is in fact, a survivor!  Any living thing that can live on a tiny piece of land between a paved road, a paved parking lot, and a concrete sidewalk has determination to live, like no other!

Now, you may ask me why this tree is important to my family?

Several reasons in fact.  The first of them is that my son is 8 and developing his independence, as well he should, and I am 32 trying to develop mine from him.  But this is where we meet in the middle – literally.  Daily my son’s cues are given in relation to this tree.  Will he walk past this tree to the Boys and Girls Club?  Will he meet me under this tree, get picked up early, and come to work with me at my office?  Will he get picked up early, go for ice cream, and then come home for me to work from home?  Or will he meet me under the tree for me to take him to one of his soccer games?

I travel a lot for work and when I get back into town, if it is before 6 PM, I do not drive home.  I race the clock to get to this tree, because this is where my son knows that he can find me.

I have shared my family’s story with this tree, but there are likely so many more. Trees provide us with fresh air, but they also provide us with a safe place to be.  They shade us from the sun and they are solid. Daily my son looks for me, no matter the arrangements we made, hoping to see my green jeep parked under this tree.

I am A, my son is Z, so ladies and gentlemen please allow me to introduce you to A – Z Tree.  Have a wonderful day!

Spring 2013 Without Shirley L. Watkins

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Spring is the new beginning we all share each and every year. It is the time when the bitter cold, freezing rain, death, and desolation of the winter passes away. The birds begin to sing, the daffodils bloom, and the crops take root. Generally speaking, I am tripping over myself with excitement about the arrival of Spring and the possibilities that come with it.

I usually find myself chomping at the bit waiting for the next sale paper for the local Yeager’s, Lowe’s, Sutherland’s, Home Depot, and the Mulch and More. I actually let myself miss the opportunity to purchase top soil at $1.00 for a 40 pound bag times 20!

By now the seedling pallets are usually springing to life in the bedroom floor. The first new raised bed is usually built and a new year of mulch going down. Most years I would have an assortment of bedding diagrams with complex plans for what will go where completed and waiting.

Spring 2013 is different than the the last 31 of my life. This is the first Spring without my Master Gardener Grandma Shirley L. Watkins. She talked about the coming spring until the very end of her life and her final struggle. She made it until the daffodils began to bloom, but then moved on. I know from my study of life stages and psychology that it is normal for my loss of her to affect other areas of my life, but if she were still here I don’t think she would smile on my lack of dedication to our stewardship of this world.

Therefore, I think she would agree that it is time to get to work. The first step was cleaning up the yards last week and burning last year’s yard refuse and then cutting the grass yesterday. The next step is to get that next raised bed built, filled with dirt, and plants transplanted. This year we will have to skip the seedling process and purchase nursery stock: Farmer’s Co-op and Neumeier’s Nursery & Florist here I come!

Changing tides in #social media, #business & #leadership … Social Me

A respected colleague posted a full analysis of their Facebook activity to their news feed  and I could not resist checking it out. I was redirected to Zeebly and accessed Social Me.  After more than five years in online marketing and social media advancement this was new to me.  Okay … I have been busy. So sue me.

The next step was to allow them access to my Facebook page. They said I use Facebook a ton. Big surprise there.

ImageAccording to their analysis 83% of my posts come from Facebook (of course with the assistance of many apps) and 7% come from Android. (This is about to change folks, as I just ordered my first tablet computer today).  Rumor has it that the average person posts from Facebook 58% of the time. I talk the most about Social Media, Community, and Business and am ambitious and spontaneous. They examined my statuses, looked in depth at my speech, my likes, my post times, my friends, and much more to figure out my online personality.

Of my 1,200 plus posts they are usually about education, general questions, culture, love, excitement, my day, humor and happiness. The personality traits that they attribute to me are extroverted, confident, compassionate, spontaneous, traditional, spiritual, ambitious and optimistic. They say that I have published more words than the Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, which has a total of 36,363 words. Too bad they only looked at Facebook, if they ran the same analysis of all my social media channels, then I am sure that I have published what amounts to many books.

My most popular status thus far is:

“To every single one of you who are on my friends list – – I enjoy catching up, looking at pics, hearing about you and your family, sharing jokes and news, along with getting and sometimes giving…”

Ironically this sums up my philosophy. We all have an online presence. Whether we are aware of it and manage it is our choice – this goes for individuals, organizations and businesses alike. This motivated lady took it upon herself to brand herself and to learn how to teach others to do the same. This assessment of one of my platforms shows that my efforts have not been in vain.

What does your online presence say about you?