On Trust…


It’s been an interesting month. I’ve had some really amazing highs, but some disappointing lows, mostly having to do with my expectations in others.

I value integrity, honesty and transparency. When I see breaches in these three things in people and organizations, bells go off and I to back away, most of the time permanently. I’ve even been told that I need to be more patient, (by several people), with people who struggle with telling the truth, about themselves and about situations. I’m not, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

But when these people and situations come into my life, I wonder what the “lesson” is. Do I need to be more patient? Do I need to just go along to get along, or do I leave? For me, it comes down to TRUST.

It’s been my experience that people who are dishonest, lack integrity and hide themselves cannot be trusted. I stay away to protect myself, but I realize that at the same time, they have most likely developed these character traits, somehow to protect themselves, too. Somewhere along the line, they learned not to trust others, trust themselves or be themselves. Somehow they learned to fear and not trust. They interact with others in a less than beautiful way and pass that fear and distrust on. It’s a crazy merry-go-round.

So, we’re living in a society where people are afraid of each other, won’t share and are constantly in “CYA” mode. It’s an exhausting way to live. It’s the struggle not to buy into the fear and distrust, not get on that merry-go-round that inspired this post.

Part of my morning ritual is having coffee with my friends on Twitter. This particular morning, Leslie Carothers tweeted about listening to her internal voice and ego. We talked about the struggle to listen to our inner guidance and TRUST, which we both are working on. Then, the energy shifted. Leslie asked me for advice on how I learn how to trust. And true to form, the Universe steps in and reminds me of an affirmation I created to help me deal with months like this one. I’m thankful to her for helping me remember!

“I am surrounded, supported and saturated by all that God Is”

So I tweeted it, then I SAID it…

I felt instantly better. In reality, it doesn’t matter what a person does or does not do. Situations and circumstances don’t dictate our direction in life, it’s our level of Trust. Trust that we are divinely guided, protected and surrounded by good at all times and that we are always safe. When we trust in the Divine, we don’t have to worry so much about whether or not we will be safe or succeed. We know it’s all good in the end.


It seems a lot of Tweet-A-Holics (like myself) were not able to get to some of the Twestival Festivities this week, but I have GREAT NEWS!

Kelly Brown has graciously agreed to host an All-Day (well, nearly) Tweet-Up at Office Space CoWorking on Friday, February 20, 2009. We’ll be working, networking, tweeting and hanging out at this phenomenal Workspace!

Come laugh, work, TWEET and play with Me, Jodi Brooks, Brian Layman, Dawn Mitchell and Kelly and some Other great people this Friday!!!

Afterwards, we’ll be going over to hear my husband, Eriq Troi, and his group, Elemental Hard Groove, doing some crazy Jazz and Funk at Rosarita’s Cantina!!

It’s going to be a good day…Hope to see you there!!!

Many Consultants, Entrepreneurs, Web-Professionals and Bloggers know how difficult it can be working from home. With more companies working to lower overhead and retain employees, telecommuting has become more commonplace. My good friend and sister, Dawn Mitchell and I were recently interviewed by the Akron Beacon Journal on how to be successful working from home. Here are just some of the things we found that make being a rock-star home business owner or telecommuter look easy:

  • Get Up And Get Dressed! Getting Moving in the morning gets us motivated to work. Do everything you would do as if you were getting up and commuting to a job. You still have a commute- it’s just now from the bathroom to your office.
  • Have a dedicated, organized workspace with everything you need to be productive. Calendars, client files, project information and basic tools. Don’t waste valuable time trying to gather materials you need.
  • Know your work patterns. When are you most productive? Are you a morning person or a night owl? Tackle the big jobs during your peak productivity hours. Use the times when you’re less productive to do more administrative tasks
  • Hire a VA (Virtual Assistant) if you can afford it. Outsourcing administrative tasks can be a huge time saver and help keep you focused on what you do best. Just be sure to have a detailed organized plan of communication with an assistant and clear time frames and deadlines to keep costs down. Know exactly what you want the VA to do and give clear directions.
  • Plan your week. Whether you’re a fan of Getting Things Done (GTD) or 7-Habits of Highly Effective People type planning methods, be sure to plan out your week. Identify your key areas of responsibility and create your to-do list and plan of attack. Review projects, old and new, deadlines, client follow up, website and blog maintenance. I’m personally a fan of Mind Mapping to get this done. My FAVORITE tool is MindMeister. A yearly member ship costs just $49! You get unlimited mind maps, sharing and collaboration capabilities and so much more!
  • Have a plan of escape. Even most beautiful home office can become confining. On top of that, being home and all of the things that need to be done, as well as family and friends who think you’re “not really working” because you are at home can be a HUGE distraction. I joined a co-working space, OfficeSpace CoWorking (Northeast Ohio) as a great Alternative! All of the benefits, atmosphere and urban feel of the local Starbucks, but without all of the noise. CoWorking spaces have great facilities and you can choose how often you use the space and buy memberships to fit your individual needs. OfficeSpace CoWorking has membership plans starting as low as $40 per month!
  • Network. Being out of the office “loop” can hinder our growth both personally and professionally. You miss important conversations and we all know that some of the “best” ideas come after the meeting. All things you miss if you’re not there. Stay in contact with colleagues and clients. Meet for lunch or touch base regularly. Go to networking and company functions. Remain visible. Don’t be a victim of “out of sight, out of mind”. Thankfully, Social Media has been a great tool to stay in touch and maintain visibility. Leverage sites like Facebook and Twitter as a valuable alternative to “face time”.

Overall, planning, organization and communication will make you be successful and productive, all while making it look easy!

You can find Dawn, Office Space CoWorking and me on Twitter: @stacijshelton , @dawnmit and @cowork_akron. Read an excerpt from the article on the web HERE.

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Northeast Ohioans are invited to the following event:
Marketing With Social Media

Learn How To

  • Build GREAT Relationships
  • Expand Your Network Globally and Locally
  • Increase Awareness of your Business and your Brand
  • Maneuver Basic Social Media Platforms and Tools
  • …and MORE

Friday, January 23, 2009 from 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM (ET)

Office Space CoWorking
453 S. High Street – Suite 101
Akron, OH 44311

FREE!!! (E-Class coming SOON)

Can you attend this event? Respond Here

I’ve never been more excited about a New Year than 2009. 2008 brought with it amazing new people, insights and experiences that will impact my life for years to come. But for the FIRST time in my life, I did not start the New Year with the same enthusiasm, energy and sense of passion that usually accompanies January 1.

My world has changed…irrevocably.

Social Media has been a powerful tool for me; connecting to others, sharing, growing, learning. The Tribe for me, has an entirely new meaning. Barriers of geography, time, economics, education race and age are being disintegrated at a rapid pace. The playing field is leveled. It’s about thought and expression. People are re-discovering who they are and are being given the freedom to be more of themselves and who they were designed to be. And this freedom is being used for good. People are encouraging others, educating others and sharing information and resources. It is a global community.

I’ve met and had dialogue with people around the world that I would never have had the opportunity to meet, let alone build, interact with and share. I’ve inspired some and have been inspired. I‘ve built relationships, some of which have turned into meaningful friendships and partnerships, which have made the transition from Social Media to the “Real World”.

So, 2009 is ripe with possibility. How will I handle the amazing gifts of friendship, partnership and influence I’ve been given? How will I contribute to the community in a way that adds value, support and encourages others to do so as well? How can I make this year the best year of my life and the lives of others I touch?

Traditionally I plan my year, complete with lists, mind maps, meditation and prayer. I dream big and map out actions that I can take. I know who I am, and I know what I’ve come to do (finally). But 2008 has been so powerful, so amazing, so different that my yearly planning session did not hold the same magic or impact it has for me in years past. So I did my list, made my plan and…nothing. Gone was the charge, the rush the “on fire” feeling I usually have. Yes, my world has changed and so my approach to it must change as well.

Chris Brogan posted a great article with an amazing approach to ringing in the New Year. It inspired a new way of thinking for me. Instead of my lists, what would be my guiding principles; my goals for the year? My guiding principles for life are authenticity, transparency and integrity. I strive to be true to myself, be open and honest and to operate with integrity. But that has nothing specifically to do with my goals for the year, it has more to do with who I choose to be.

Chris’ post challenged me to think of what I want for my year in a unique, creative, thought provoking way. Not just a list of things to do and accomplish; places to go and people to see; no BHAG‘s. As Chris puts it, “something a bit more compelling to pull me towards the future”. Since 2006 his yearly planning involves just three keyword goals for the year. Not just any words. Words that speak to where you want to be this year. Words that will guide you, drive you to your destination. No B.S. list about impacting and achievement. More like guiding principles for your business, life and your year.

So I meditated and thought about where I really want to be this year. What I really want to accomplish. Beyond the list and where I want to go, what I want to have, and what I hope to do. What will be my mantra, mission and emotional G.P.S. for the year? After some thought, I came up with My Three:

E-X-P-A-N-D my network, knowledge and connections. I want to be attached to people from whom I can learn, and to whom I can contribute.

EXECUTE my plans more consistently. I am typically pretty driven and get a great deal done. But, as a person who is naturally creative, I tend to have a shelf full of Visions and Great Ideas that need to come off of the wall and live. More manifesting and less musing.

ENHANCE the lives of everyone I encounter. A lofty goal, but, in my mind entirely possible. Connecting and relationships are everything. I want to change the energy, for the better, in the lives of people I touch, creating a space for them to be everything they were meant to be.

So, thank you to Chris Brogan for a new approach to the New Year. One more example of a life impacted by Social Media, and better way to approach living out the year of your dreams!

Are you a business owner, corporation or consultant who just started using Social Media? Do you see this as huge way for you to grow your business, increase your revenues and visibility? Are you jumping on the Twitter and Facebook Bandwagon?

Before you run out and create your profile and start with your “strategy” to grow your business I’d like to pose a question: Why did you come to the party?

Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook give us an awesome opportunity as business leaders, entrepreneurs, and individuals. But it’s not just to grow your mailing list and bottom line. The greatest opportunities are ones that can translate to bottom line growth, but only if leveraged well. Cultivating relationships, building your reputation and listening and learning from the community are invaluable. People buy from people they like and trust.

I like to quote Franki Durbin, amazing designer, blogger and a lady who “gets it” regarding Twitter (and Social Media). It’s a “cocktail party”. Multiple conversations about any and everything going on all in the same place. People laughing and chatting, sharing information, building relationships and making connections. Did you come to the party to listen and learn, or just to promote yourself and your products? Did you show up to the party to contribute to the community or to find the “hot people to know” are so you can connect and further your business or career goals?

To help you get started in Social Media, here are a few tips to help your party experience be a beautiful one, for you and for those you encounter.

Don’t just shove your business card in someone’s face
In Social Media, your “card” may be your blog, a link to your site or a project you’re working on. Don’t just post links to your site all day, interact share. Nothing will make someone walk away at a cocktail party faster than someone who is just trying to sell them something from the start of the conversation.

Be a social butterfly…everyone counts
Work the room! Float around, learn from everyone. Don’t just follow or befriend famous people or icons. There are some great people there with lots of experience and information, if you get to know them. Follow lots of people who have interesting things to say. Comment on things you think are interesting and funny, interact with people and respond to them.

Balance Listening and Talking
No one wants to be stuck with the person who is performing a soliloquy. It’s a conversation. Listen to what others are saying and interact. Don’t monopolize the conversation. It’s a great way to build relationships and it’s a great way to learn.

Help people get to where they are trying to go
Want to be memorable? Help someone! Answer questions, post information and help people reach their goals. If you see someone post a question, send the answer. Learn about what other people are passionate about. Did you find a great site or article? Share resources that will help people reach their goals. Everyone loves people who help.

Have FUN!!
Above all, parties are about having fun! Enjoy the interactions, laugh, be yourself and watch your friends (and clients as a beautiful by-product) grow.

You’re All Invited…

If you are a friend on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, then You know that I’ve declared December 22nd an International holiday. It’s International Staci J. Shelton Day! It’s a World-Wide, All-Day, On-Line Mega Party!

And the great thing, is since the party is online…wherever you are, the party is!!!!!

Why International Staci J. Shelton Day? Well let me tell you.

I absolutely LOVE birthdays! Not just my birthday…anybody’s birthday. There’s just something magical and wonderful about the day you were born. The Universe gave you the amazing gift of life and the opportunity to create. But also, you were given as a gift to the world. My birthday, for me, has always been a time to reflect on that.

It’s also a time for me to reflect on the wonderful gifts that I’ve been given in the form of other wonderful souls who have crossed my path. I love making the connection, finding out what makes someone’s heart sing and how to help them get it, if at all possible. I love interacting and inspiring and I believe with all my heart that we were placed her to be happy.

Each year, I celebrate my birthday with joy and abandon, whether I’m alone, with friends, planning something fabulous, or spending time reflecting. If you know me well, you know I truly do celebrate my birthday like it’s an international holiday!
But 2008 has been so very different for me. I’ve been able to connect with some amazing people like never before. Social Media has given me friends that I’m certain will be in my life for some time to come, friends that were just waiting to be discovered, that I never knew existed. I’ve made friends all over the planet. Not just superficial friends, but people who share their lives and dreams with me. It’s been the best gift I’ve ever been given.

We are all connected. Even when we don’t know it.

So this year, I decided to celebrate that connection. This year, although I named the holiday in my honor, just for fun, it’s not my day to celebrate me. It’s my day to celebrate YOU, and celebrate the connection. Every one of you has enriched my life in ways you cannot begin to imagine. Every interaction, every post that made me smile, and for those of you that have jumped into my life offline, every conversation we have makes me so very grateful to be on this wonderful planet at such an amazing time. We have access to each other like never before. International Staci J. Shelton Day is a day to rejoice in that!

I hope you’ll join me, this year and for years to come. This year, just a party, next year, we’ll pick a cause that I hope you’ll help me support. I’ll be giving my gift to Dawn’s Angel Wish Network, an amazing charity that connects people in need to people who want to give in a way that I’ve never seen done before. I’ll definitely be telling you more about Dawn and her mission and you’ll be hearing from her real soon!

So celebrate my birthday by living out loud and celebrating yourself and the people you are thankful for! Pop in on Twitter and Facebook and say hi!! Give a gift to your favorite charity. Send a note to everyone who has impacted your life for the better. Do something nice for someone, anyone. Spread the word for me to show just how connected we really are. And smile lots and lots for me, okay?

Here’s the link to the party…and feel free to invite anyone that YOU want to celebrate! The more, the merrier!

Staci J. Shelton