I Am Thankful for Family

My family and I were getting together for dinner at a restaurant that we frequently visited. The wait was a bit long but it was no worries because there was a bar and lots of football games on. A busy restaurant has a lot of things going on and since it was cold outside, everyone was waiting inside. As we waited, we began to people watch. There were two young boys that walked in (probably around the age of 10-12 years old) and they stopped inside looking around. You could tell they were looking for someone. Then they said, wait there she is and they ran up to a waitress and they said “Mom! Sister cut her knee and it’s bleeding bad!” and the mom replied “Where is the babysitter? How bad is it bleeding?” and the boys went on to say that they didn’t know where the sitter was and that yes the knee was bleeding bad. The waitress asked, “Well, I am very busy right now and cannot just leave my job. Do you think it’s an emergency?”

It’s moments like these that puts things into perspective. This mom was torn between working her waitress job or attending to her children. The job was what provided food and shelter for her family but left her feeling guilty for not attending to her children’s needs at that very moment. What seems so simple from the outside was probably incredibly stressful for this poor waitress.

I tried to think what I would do if I was in that situation. And you know what? I would call my husband, my mom, my in-laws in that order. And even though, I thank the dear Lord for these people in my lives, it’s still easy to take them for granted. I lean on my family so much for anything and everything and know that they will be there in a moment’s notice.

When we had to take my daughter to the ER on Christmas at 2am, I called my parents and they were there in minutes.
Every Wednesday afternoon when my son gets out of Parents Day Out at 3:30pm, my father-in-law picks him up and watches him until we got off of work.
My husband is there by my side every single day being an available daddy to our kids.

I know it sounds like this should be the norm but it isn’t. There are too many parents out there doing it on their own, no spouse, no extended family to help. And so when I look back at 2013, I am thankful that I have these people in my lives that are there to support me so I can be a better parent to my kids.

So cheers to my family! Love y’all!

The Perfect Gift for your Little Girl

As a woman in tech, as a mother of a little girl, it is my duty to share this amazing video.

Buy the Goldie Box here: http://www.goldieblox.com/collections/products

Read more about my journey as an Engineering major.

Earn the Right to have a Conversation with Potential Customers

You’re at dinner with your friends enjoying wine, laughing over funny stories, waiting for your meal. Suddenly a random person comes to sit at your table. They act as if they know you and before you can start a conversation with them, they begin talking about themselves – who they are, where they grew up, what accomplishments they have and why you should listen to them. Who does that? Lots of companies do.

Often times, companies become so focused on beating the competition that they their marketing becomes a constant “beating my chest” type of marketing that boasts how much better they are than their competitors and they overlook the “P” left out in business school, the person.

In today’s information age, consumers are overwhelmed with information that instead of making it about you, you’ve got to first, make it about them. What value will they get from listening to you?

In the industry I’m in, B2B Tech, we’re selling highly complex solutions which requires highly sophisticated conversations. The biggest part of our job as marketers is educating. We are selling cutting edge technology that you cannot see or touch. However, at the end of the day, we are selling to humans. So what is the secret sauce? Well first, I don’t have really any secrets but if I were asked for advice, I would focus on these things.

Make friends

Humans become friends based on commonalities. They speak the same language and share the same interests. To make friends, we’ve got to learn more about the person and discover what it is that you have that can relate to them – this is developing the buyer persona.

Before we begin a marketing campaign, we do the persona research. After we’ve defined whom we want to target, we find those people, buy them some coffee (or tacos if you’re in San Antonio) and talk to them for a couple of hours. Let them own the conversation, you just guide it. What do they value, fear? What annoys them? What is their reputation at work and at home? You need to know all of this before you can develop a message that resonates with them. And make sure you are talking to your target person, not someone who thinks they know your target person.

Get invited into their house

Here’s where I think many marketers miss. After we’ve developed the message and value proposition, we cannot think that by posting to our website, our friends will find it. Remember, these people already have their own lives and daily habits. Our friends are already in their own communities, talking about things they love with people they care about. Go to them – don’t expect them to show up at your door. Find the websites they visit, go to the social networks they’re part of, attend the meet ups they’re at. Go where they are comfortable going.

Bring a gift

Once you get to their community, provide value. This is where content plays a huge role. Educate the audience on what you know about the subjects they care about. Develop interesting, compelling, educational content that is NOT about you. For example, in my industry, we sell hosting. Do you think that I am going to go to the market and talk about SSD hard drives, Gigs of RAM, or firewalls and load balancers? No. If the person cares about their retail site, I am going to talk about the best practices for keeping their shopping cart online so they don’t risk losing revenue. If they care about getting more downloads of their mobile app, I am going to talk about innovations in mobile technologies.

Find a way to be of value to your friends without using your product/service.

Say thank you

Now you have the right to begin talking about your products and services because you now understand the problems they are trying to solve. Give them an offer that is appropriate for them. Customize it to their needs. Don’t be generic. Sometimes you may have four buyer personas where you are selling the exact same thing but you sell it tailored to the needs of the buyer.

What I went over is just the top of the funnel  (Awareness/Consideration). I see many marketers jump directly into Purchase (talking about their product and price) and completely miss the person. There is a whole another strategy once you get into Purchase which I did not cover here.

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Moving to Texas? Why San Antonio is a Good Option.

This post was contributed by Tali Wee of Zillow

From the River Walk to the Alamo, San Antonio has a variety of activities for tourists to explore. However, the city has more to offer than attractions. In addition to culture, art, music, entertainment and restaurants, San Antonio is a practical place to live for those looking for affordable housing and good schools.

Here are four reasons why relocating to San Antonio is a good option.

Strong Home Buying Market

The average asking price for a home in San Antonio is $165,000. Comparatively, average list prices in nearby Austin are much higher at $291,000. Houston and Dallas’ median list prices are elevated at $204,500 and $250,000, respectively. Of these four major cities in the Texas Triangle, San Antonio is the most economical option for relocating.
While San Antonio’s asking prices are the lowest of those four major Texas cities, the market is still on the rise. List prices have increased significantly throughout the past year by 10.7 percent. Assuming the market maintains its momentum, purchasing a home now which appreciates should lead to a profit at resale.

Affordable Rental Properties

Zillow Rental Properties









Average Rent (Zillow.com)

Rent prices in San Antonio that average $900 per month reflect a 3.9 percent decrease since 2012.

In comparison, the average rent price in Austin is $1,180, illustrating a 7.3 percent increase since 2012 in the region. Similarly to Austin, Dallas also averages higher rent prices at $1,190 per month and Houston’s average rent is $1,340.

Since a leased property isn’t an investment for the renter, the lower monthly price point in San Antonio saves a prospective resident more money.

School Rankings

San Antonio has 438 primary and secondary schools. Out of those, the city has a total of 56 schools that earn a GreatSchools rating of eight or higher, 10 being the highest possible score.

To compare, Dallas has 385 schools, yet only 13 of those have a GreatSchools rating of eight or above. Out of Houston’s 657 primary and secondary schools, there are 33 schools that rank eight or higher. Only 5 percent of Houston’s schools obtained these high rankings, compared to San Antonio’s impressive 12.7 percent. Although Austin is significantly smaller, the city only has six schools ranking eight or higher, narrowing options for potential movers with school-aged children.

The top three elementary schools in San Antonio are Encino Park, Hardy Oak and Roan Forest Elementary, all with a GreatSchools rating of 10. Jose M. Lopez Middle School, Bush Middle School and Frank Tejeda Middle School all rank the highest in grades six through eight. Travis Early College High School, the Young Women’s Leadership Academy and the School of Science and Technology are all top high school facilities in San Antonio. Test scores, community ratings, reviews and student demographics for K-12 public, private or charter schools can be found on Zillow’s school information database.

Low Commute Time

Compared to the major metropolitan areas in the Texas Triangle, San Antonio ranks number two for lowest average commute time at just 25 minutes.
Austin outranks San Antonio by one minute, with an average commute time of 24 minutes. However, the population in Austin is far lower, which explains why accessibility is somewhat easier. Austin is comprised of about 773,906 people while San Antonio’s population is more than 1.3 million. Dallas has a smaller population than San Antonio (1.2 million), yet a higher commute time of 28 minutes. The largest city in the Texas Triangle is Houston, made up of more than 2 million people, with a much higher commute time averaging 29 minutes.

While any major metro city in Texas is going to have its drawbacks and benefits, affordability and the emphasis on education distinguish San Antonio as an ideal relocation city.

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The Power of Giving

What a wonderful short film that depicts the true power of giving. It serves as a reminder to give not to receive but to just simply give (because we truly care). Our life will unfold in ways that we don’t expect but if we’re always looking for instant fulfillment, we’ll never be fulfilled.

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