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Showing posts from May, 2022

Pardon My Language

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I'd like to have a word with you. What I'd like to say is... Listen to this idea! I want to feel more optimistic. The way we speak and write about life and people and work and everything else really matter. Words are conduits of energy and they create our experiences. We do need to consider what we say. You are a gift to me and I am blessed by your presence. Thank you. #wordsmatter #wordsshapeexperiences #wordsbringworldstogether

A Late Night Ramble

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It's been an exciting weekend with birthday celebrations, Dr. Strange, and a Sunday afternoon band rehearsal. My voice is scratchy and my heart is full, and I don't have much in the way of focus, so I'm going to turn on the camera and see what happens. First, a thank you for the kind birthday wishes! I'm delighted to still be alive and in possession of some of my better faculties. It meant a lot to receive so many kind notes yesterday. I've been working a lot on low-cost marketing courses. I hear from people every week who are thrown by the expense of marketing their businesses, finding the expenditure of time, energy, and money to be more than they'd anticipated, and in some cases more than they can handle. I teach simple systems that rely on low-cost tools. The main point I want to talk about in this video is that it's difficult to pay your way out of the aspects of marketing you don't want to do for yourself. Yes, you can hire people to do things for

60

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I'm not sure how I got here but here I am. 60 today. I didn't expect to make it this far but I'm glad I have.  So many memories and so much more to look forward to. Life has been, is, and will be good! Thanks for your friendship, time, and attention. Those are the greatest gifts! As I've heard many people say, another day above ground is a bonus! #happybirthdaytome #celebrating #somuchmorelivingtodo

The Power of Gifting - Linda Eskridge

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▼Watch and Listen Below!▼ As an Executive Assistant and a Virtual Assistant, Linda Eskridge realized that much of her responsibility was finding unique and meaningful gifts for the people she worked for to give to prospects, customers, and clients. They wanted more of a personal touch than sending the common branded notepads, pens, and t-shirts. Through these experiences, she had the idea that offering her services as a gifting consultant might actually have a place and Couture Business Gifting was born. Linda is hired by busy entrepreneurs, executives, and yes, their assistants in the process of research, acquisition, packaging, and delivery of gifts that build strong relationships between her clients and their customers. In this episode, she lets us know: ** The importance of building good relationships with customers. ** Research to find the interests and passions of the gift recipients. ** Creating a progressive gifting strategy. ** Remembering to include the gatekeepers. And more.

The Gifts of a Daily Practice

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We're getting ready to celebrate my friend, Lynn Kincanon who has been named Loveland Poet Laureate for 2022-2024. Lynn is an amazing poet and this award is well deserved. One of the things I admire about Lynn is her commitment to practicing her poetry craft daily. And to take it a step further, she posts these daily poems on her Facebook page for all the world to see. It's one of the few things that make Facebook worth the time. One of the things I love about reading her daily poems is that we get to see her process of development. Her abilities are gaining both subtlety and strength as she stays true to her practice. There is something to be said for writing no matter what, or playing, or throwing, or making videos... When we practice something every day, we have a chance to become more proficient, and sometimes the activity itself can become a transcendent experience, where we lose the sense of who we are as the creating just happens. You can follow Loveland Poet Laureate on

To Meridith on Vulnerability

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My friend, Meridith did a TikTok video yesterday asking some good questions about vulnerability. Apologies to her first for my flippant attempts to be humorous. They failed. And her questions did get me thinking. Every few months, the culture at large adopts one of these human qualities as a temporary mascot. Books are written. TED talks are given. Podcasts and videos abound. Just in the past few years, we've seen vulnerability, empathy, transparency, authenticity, and the old chestnut, passion become holy grail material in our pursuit of greater and greater levels of self-development. We've been told that for people to know like and trust us, we have to be these things, and there may be some truth to that. But at some point, it becomes an emotional manipulation and loses every ounce of virtue. I have more thoughts about this in the video, but stick around until the end and I'll talk about going off the diving board. Follow Meridith on TikTok. Here's yesterday's vid

Dreaming About a Test I Haven't Studied For

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  You may hear faint drum beats in the background of this one as my kid copes with some anxiety about upcoming final exams by pummeling his drums. I was not a great student, but I wasn't stupid. I was a slow reader, slow cipher, slow test taker, and a D student until I barely graduated, defeating the odds and the expectations of my guidance counselor. I had professors in college who pointed out that if I learned through discussion, my test scores leaped.  I was a good learner, but I had my own way of navigating the learning process, more of a meandering stream than a direct route I know that feeling of anxiety before tests. Even the common nightmare of showing up for school to fin there is a test and I haven't studied is one I still have, 41 years after graduating from high school (oops it'll be 42 years as of Friday). No matter how you learn, I honor the fact that you are capable of learning and I know that you'll figure out soon enough that you were doing the best you

Dying From Exposure

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At the end of my second year of full-time music, I had a revelation. I was exhausted and broke and I couldn't figure out why. Looking at the calendar for that year showed me something I couldn't believe. I had played 80 percent of my gigs that year for free. It seems like creative people are asked frequently to donate what they do for both good causes and cheap party hosts. After that moment I had to make some decisions about how I would decide when to play for free, and when to decline. This Coffee Break is the rest of the story. Having a creative career means being paid fairly for the talents you provide. Anything less than that qualifies as a generous hobby. There is still room for generosity, but there is a line that is crossed when that generosity is taken for granted and then expected. That's exploitation and it doesn't feel good. If you're asking creative people to share their talents, they need to be compensated.  #creativecareers #beansandhotdogs #exposurel

You Should Be Teaching!

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I come from a long line of teachers. My Grandmother started teaching school not long after she was in high school. She didn't finish her bachelor's degree until she was in her late 40s, but she could get a certificate to teach elementary grades in rural schools in Wyoming just by passing a test. My dad, who would have been 84 today, was also a teacher, and I've had aunts, uncles, and cousins who have taught as well. So it's not a surprise to me that teaching is something I've done a lot of, too. I started making online courses in 2007 and have lately been helping a growing number of people take their knowledge and experience into this medium that continues to grow. I'm also usually working on a course of my own behind the scenes. In this Coffee Break, I tell some stories about how I've seen people using courses in creative business and service applications that may have potential for you.  I've used Teachable for my online course hosting for several year

How Not to Network

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In marketing, we want to be remembered, but we probably want to make sure we're remembered for the right kinds of things. Like how we treat other people, and how we make our point and do the things we need to do, but not at the expense of another person's value and dignity. We've all heard about the importance of making a good first impression. So when we go into a new group of people for the first time, how do we want people to see and remember us? Do you want to be remembered as a person with great ideas and insights, or do you want to be experienced as a self-centered, arrogant hidden body part? It's up to you. I've had the privilege to meet some exceptional people over the past couple of years through online activities that may have not happened without a pandemic-fueled quarantine to thank. But I wouldn't have gotten to know this if I'd have come into these situations with a rigid agenda to pitch and sell and take over. These relationships are paying of

Light-Filled Business and Leadership - Kc Rossi

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  ▼Watch and Listen Below!▼ Entrepreneurs often compartmentalize the different parts of their lives in ways that become unmanageable and that lead to higher stress, burnout, and in the extreme, health crises. Kc Rossi found herself in the midst of such an experience after building a highly successful company but with the high cost of "being on all the time." This unsustainable lifestyle led to an acute health condition that required an immediate and thorough change. As Kc found her way into healthier ways of living and doing business, she also found that there were opportunities being presented to her to work with other successful women facing similar challenges to those she had faced. She is now a highly successful business and leadership coach with a mission to unite and amplify empowered women. In addition to coaching, Kc is also the host of Women Developing Brilliance® - The Spirit of Business With Kc Rossi podcast, and she's a monthly executive contributor to Brainz

Ignore, Block, Delete.

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17 cold pitches in my LinkedIn DMs this morning.  You don't know enough about me. You aren't giving me a good reason. So, no I don't want to "jump on a call" with you. I don't have time or interest to jump right now.  Ignore, Delete, Block. There are ten thousand other ways to generate leads for your business than cold pitching social media messages. Want to find some that will work better for you?  I really can help. https://franklintaggart.com   #leadgen #coldpitching #nothankyou

Time to Raise Your Prices?

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Prices on almost everything are going up. Interest rates are being increased. We're paying more for gas, groceries, home, and travel with each passing day. Are your prices keeping up? Small businesses like ours have to stay sustainable and that means when costs rise, our prices need to adapt. But many are reluctant, thinking that raising prices will turn customers away. And just how do you figure out what to charge. I have a few ideas. #inflation #economy #bitcoincrash

Make, Show, Sell, Repeat.

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After last night's questions about the future of creative work, I rebound with the same idea I always come back to - the activities of business fall into three necessary categories that have to be repeatable and able to be systematized. Make it, show it, sell it is the business plan. Each one of those areas is affected by changes in technology and market trends. This Coffee Break brings it all back home to make, show, sell. #marketingcreativework #businessforcreatives #peoplestillbuyart

Creative Middle Class Where Art Thou?

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In 1989 I worked for a sheet music distributor. I remember being very excited at the time as new equipment was being introduced that would allow us to have our customers call a toll-free number and listen to 15-second samples of new music we were offering and then select a digit at the end of the call where I or one of my sales comrades would take their order. Up until then, we had been making cassette tapes and sending them by mail with one free sample of every new piece of music, then following up with sales calls. The new system was making all of that easier and would easily pay for itself after just a few months of use. The price tag? $25,000. Only a few years later, that system would be made obsolete by new modems that allowed computers to connect with each other through the World Wide Web and the whole process could be automated, including the order taking. The sales force that was once required was no longer necessary. Two customer service reps divided the country between them a

Mother's Day

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  Sending love and admiration to Betsy Taggart and Monica Corrado this Mother's Day, and remembering Monica's mom, Marilyn. I'm surrounded by courageous role models who were determined to find their own path and be true to themselves. They've been through extreme difficulties and have become positive movers and shakers in their communities. #gratefulformom #gratefulformysweetie #honoringthosewhonurture

When Creativity Feels Too Risky

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  Self-sabotage comes in a variety of packages. We creative people can find ten thousand ways to avoid letting people know what we've made. Why? In this Coffee Break, Franklin Taggart delves into his own mystery around this question.  The intent and the inspiration came from a pure place. They weren't self-serving or vain in nature. They were made to enhance the lives of others. Why does this feel so risky? Ego is a slippery critter for something that is no more than a construct of the mind. Finding ways to release our resistance seems to be the step after we finish something we've invested with heart and soul. I've been going through it, too. And so have several other coaches, consultants, and helping professionals I know. The courage isn't in the creating, it's in the revealing. That's when we feel most vulnerable. But what is really at stake? #egotrips #innerchildactingup #helloresistance

Creative Marketing Projects - Monique Renee Eckes

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▼ Watch and Listen Below!! ▼ Most photography studios use traditional marketing methods to book one session at a time. Their communication channels are crowded with competition, and they often have to resort to deep discounting to land new clients. Pro Pet Photog's Monique Renee Eckes took a class that challenged that way of thinking and doing business. In that class, she was inspired to publish a locally-focused book about places people take their dogs in Northern Colorado, and NoCo for Doggos was born. In this episode, Monique shares the story of how this idea developed and how it led to filling 34 photo sessions in just a few days. When she needed to promote her professional videography services to busy veterinary offices, she wondered how she would find and get in front of the people who were making decisions about marketing those services. They were difficult to find online, so channels like YouTube and even LinkedIn didn't prove to be effective. So Monique had a simple id

Mentors Minding the Gaps

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Attending a high school jazz band concert tonight with my son brought back memories of mentors who have been brought into my life at those times when I didn't know who I was or what I could contribute. They had a vision of me that I couldn't see for myself, and they held it for me until I could take it all on myself. I can't imagine what my life would be like now if I hadn't met each of them at the exact times that I did. My hope is to be that for others now. I'm amazed to find that even at this age, I'm still discovering new mentors for myself. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Thanks to my gap fillers. Gratitude doesn't seem to be enough. #mentorship #identitycrisis #weareeachothersangels

Use the Force

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May 4th, 2022 - Star Wars Day.  I missed the theatrical run and didn't see any of the Star Wars movies until Return of the Jedi, but I've been a fan of the Alliance ever since. Darth Vader genuinely scared me and I was driven mad when he revealed his relationship to Luke and Leia. In a testimonial a few years ago, a client of mine said this, "Franklin is like Yoda, only taller and less green." High compliment! So much so that it was the tagline on my business card for a few years. I believe humans have extraordinary capabilities wrapped up in things we take for granted and both use and misuse every day. In this Coffee Break I talk about these ordinary extraordinary powers and ask us all to start using them with more resolve and intent.  I'm excited to see where you all take this one. #starwars #yoda #maythefourth

Social Media Giveth and Social Media Taketh Away

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I've been online since 1995. I've seen all kinds of platforms come and go, from Usenet groups to AOL and Yahoo groups, to MySpace, to every iteration of Facebook and Twitter. I'm late to the Instagram and Pinterest game, and I was possessed by the recent success my friend Meridith Grundei has had on TikTok to just take a look. Social media platforms haven't been easy places to build and maintain good quality relationships for the most part. They change too frequently and they seem to benefit by staying more than moderately chaotic. I participate in a few groups where great conversations happen, but other than those, I'd rather spend time elsewhere. I think we need to build our communities so that they're social media proof. I'm not convinced that email is the answer but in the midst of all the commotion, there are pockets of great communities that would be good no matter where they showed up. The Interact Community is the one I mentioned in the Coffee Break.

Limp Elevator Pitches

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Friends don't let friends write weak elevator pitches. No matter how good they are, they can always be better.  In this Coffee Break, Franklin has some hints that will help your introductions have a more memorable and valuable impact and lead to a natural next step in your relationships with potential clients and customers. Not included in the video - don't use the word "help." There are ten thousand better and stronger and more sensory words to use than that. Try teach, lead, guide, instruct, coach, prod, poke, lasso... anything besides help. If you want to schedule an IdeaBurst session, get in touch through the contact page. This session is for creating a targeted message for a specific situation you have coming up, like a new networking group, a sales pitch, or any other setting where you need to leave a positive lasting impression. Talk soon... #elevatorpitch #ditchthepitch #getintheirheads

What Do You Really Need?

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  When I inquire more deeply into the question of what I need, I find that the list of things I truly need is relatively small. The list of things I've convinced myself I need is longer than my life will allow. And there are things I say I need, but they're just means of getting something I really need. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs identified a few layers of gradually more sophisticated needs, but beyond the bottom layer of core physical survival, I wonder if each successive layer might not actually be necessary. Advertisers and marketers constantly play these survival needs, convincing us that our face cream is the difference between being accepted or shunned by our social group. If we look more deeply at our social needs, it may be that what we believe we need is more of a player than what we actually need. See what happens when I make my video early on a Sunday before making my coffee... I'd like to help you start, finish, and launch the creative passion project you&#