Tag Archives: GFSR

Now What: Connect Authentically

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What can I say? At home in Fort Smith, Arkansas it has hardly rained in two months. Even the watermelons are in short supply and they can grow in road ditches, given that they get enough water. Where I normally have a beautiful flower garden and vegetable garden, I now have a lot of brown and dying vegetation. The 100+ temps day in and day out are exhausting, horrible for the economy and well – depressing.

But on a much happier and lighter note the pool has been oh so inviting. Here is where my confession comes in:

I have spent as much time playing with my monkeys, as I call them, as possible, teaching my son how to swim, getting way too much sun and swimming, swimming, swimming. When it is too hot to breath and everyone I know is closeted in their homes under their inefficient air conditioning, I have had friends over for BBQs and playing in my much-loved swimming pool.

No I am not making excuses, just stating the facts.

Today, I, Annie Sells had the privilege of talking to some really incredible people, one such person was Sherese. She and I where in the back seat of a car, being driven to dinner and I confessed to her that I haven’t been writing of late and have neglected my online friends and fans. She wanted to know why. I told her the truth. I have spent my time connecting as authentically as possible with the people in my life. For if you cannot connect authentically with the people who you can see and reach out and touch, how can you possibly connect authentically with people in your virtual world?

I say you cannot.

Now that I have a clean conscience, let’s get back to work.

I want to send a special thanks to Ms. Sherese Duncan of Efficio Inc. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with, speaking with and getting to know her both professionally and personally over the last 8 months.

Sherese you have reminded me of several things:
1. There is no box, only our core.
2. We must believe in ourselves.
3. We must be active and take ownership.
4. Only we can push ourselves to excellence.

I say thank you and pray that you like all the small business owners and entrepreneurs that I know experience true success, fulfillment and happiness in your work and in your personal life!


Ms. Annie Sells

Running water, toilets, electricity, frozen ice cream, tillers, jeeps and Social Media

Do you now or would you like to own a small business? Have you ever worked for a small business? I can answer these questions with conviction and odds are that you can also. In my opinion, small businesses are where it’s at and they are the back-bone of America. (Non-profits aren’t too bad either.) Seriously, home based businesses, small businesses and entrepreneurs are the United  States’ greatest source of innovation.

I make no bones about my passion for my home, the Greater Fort Smith Region, or about my passion for entrepreneurship.  So why would someone like me utilize much of my free time studying, getting to know and interacting with small businesses, their employers and entrepreneurs? Why would I advocate the use of social media and/or teach others how to utilize these tools for their own personal use and/or for their businesses.

Let’s look at this from a different view.

Have you ever drawn your water from a well? Or had it gravity feed from a pond, stream or lake? Have you ever used a chamber pot or an outhouse?  Have you ever gone without electricity and used candles, lanterns, and/or fire?  Have you ever made hand crank ice cream?  Have you ever tilled a garden by pulling a plow and/or by hand with a hoe?  Have you ever ridden a bicycle to school or work?

I have done each of these things and would do them again tomorrow if I had to.  But now I have running water and electricity in my home.  I also have  two toilets and I like ice cream that is already made that I can scoop, spoon, and swallow.  I also like tilling with a tiller and I really love driving my jeep.

There is always more than one way to skin an animal  and there are always many different ways to get to our destinations in life and in business. I do not advocate the use of Social Media because it is some magic bullet.  I advocate the use of social media because anyone that is willing to learn new things, utilize new tools, put themself out there and to possibly fail can and will benefit from it.

We all have to generate exposure for our products, services and businesses.

We all want to generate more traffic, because then odds are in our favor instead of against us.

If we are online, we all want to increase our search rankings.  People look for things online and they find them.  Whether they find them from you or someone else is within your control.

We are always in the market for new colleagues and new business opportunities and increasing the likelihood of these is in our favor.

We are all in the lead generating business and anything that helps in that department is a step in the right direction.

We all want to get the most bang for our buck and there isn’t any better way to do that than to decrease our marketing expenses.

Improving sales is the name of the game.

So with the benefits who needs a magic bullet? I don’t. I have running water, toilets, electricity, frozen ice cream, tillers, jeeps and Social Media.

Rock Star – Am I Complaining? No Way.

May 9 – 16, 2010 was a whirlwind. No sooner than I take an awesome day-time job, things in my personal career and life take off! Go figure. Take the leap of faith to do what is best for my family and my career takes off. Am I complaining? No way.

This week I have finished off a contract with one clients and launched another contract, which looks to be promising. I was interviewed by Aric Mitchell a freelancer who also writes for The City Wire about River Valley Business Networkers, fondly called Team RVBN, which I have been managing the social media extensions and public relations for.

Those alone made for a great week, but add in the fact that my Twitter account has gone nuts, Michelle Stockman recommended me calling me a Social Media Guru on LinkedIn and Susan Davis asked me to contribute to her newest mission and invited me on as a contributing writer to www.rivervalleyspotlight.com, only to turn around and call me a social media rock star that she knew she could count on!

What makes me happiest is knowing that I am helping a least a handful of small business owners in my community.

Time and technology in Fort Smith, AR

Dear Readers and Friends:
It is amazing how quickly and in so many ways change occurs. But we get comfortable.

We get comfortable with what is familiar. We fall into habits and habitual behavior. That being said, most of us have become accustomed to a certain level of technology and connectedness through virtual worlds, in line txting, SMS messages, etc. What is the earliest tools humans used? Their hands, just their hands. There was a time not so long ago when technology was simple and required no additional energy, power, or connectors. Oh, how far we have come. or have we?

What is technology? Very simply it is the application of this knowledge for practical ends. The first tools or technology were simple. After the use of just our hands, we bagan to fashion technology.

Some of the earliest:
* bones,
* stones,
* clay, and
* other natural items. We made huge advancements with these simple tools.

Now our technology includes:
* D Wave computers;
* CERN’s purpose-built particle accelerators;
* the Large Binocular Telescope Near-infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research telescople;
* IBM’s artificial intellegence programs;
* the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium published the first draft of the human genome in the journal Nature in February 2001 with the sequence of the entire genome’s three (3) billion base pairs some 90% complete; and
* roughly 65% of Earth’s population utilizes a smart-phone.

Theories suggest that the best and most evolved technologies have been held tightly and secretly from the general pubic and our understanding until those technologies became economically useful. So it follows that the wealthy were privileged to own the most advanced of our developments.

The world is supplied with access to techs that are meant not to last, so that we are fed a steady stream of new advancements, one after the other. Most importantly it keeps us spending our resources, our trade — for our time and our money. This is the engine of our economy.

What changed? With the stock market crashes, the Great Depression and the Great Recession came many opportunities for advancement via innovation and a drive to survive and eventually thrive. The sheer volume of technologies that have become household names and the norm are staggering! Perhaps that is why literature including movies are created to warn us against our dependence upon technology. The sky is the limit, or maybe not even there.

We hold within ourselves enough knowledge and tools to make anything we desire happen. After all, it is these technologies that make our lives as we know them possible. As a two-time graduate of online learning, I am here to testify to you that the choice really is yours, but that you should choose your tools wisely. Do not be afraid to submit your two (2) cents worth regarding the tools and technologies of our community.

Thank you for allowing me to be your eyes, ears, and voice. Ms. Annie Sells looks forward to sharing your future with you, each and everyone, big and small, wealthy and poor. If you haven’t been, then I welcome you to this new land flowing with technology, like a land flowing with milk and honey.

MS. Annie Sells

Tidbits and Sondance Let Their Colors Shine and Say Go TeamRVBN!

Tidbits the Neatest Little Weekly Paper and Sondance the Clown presented their persons and their companies’ talents to the Greater Fort Smith Regions (GFSR) at the 2nd Annual Heritage Festival this past Saturday, April 10, 2010 at the Fort Convention Center from 11 AM until 5 PM.

They were of course not the only attractions; they were accompanied by live Irish and Native American dancers, trolley rides around downtown, a petting zoo, and free admission to the Fort Smith National Museum.

Tidbits passed out their last three weekly issues of their entertainment magazine riddled with puzzles, games, tidbit facts, and local advertising, while Sondance made balloon shapes and animals, kept a crowd, and brought smiles to hundreds of local children’s’ faces. Look out for their faces and pictures in upcoming convention and city publications.

Both Tidbits and Sondance are members of a local premier networking group known as River Valley Business Networkers and TeamRVBN. They learned of the event through their network, secured their booths with contacts within the group, and even purchased their banners and advertising props through connections made within their group. These two most especially deserve a little recognition, but perhaps their group deserves a second look, too.

For more information about these two entrepreneurial companies, go to http://www.teamrvbn.com.