Branding Management During Times of Crisis via Evita Robinson
There is turmoil in the streets of the United States. We are in the midst of a period of social unrest that the U.S hasn’t seen in years. Recent and continuous killings of Black men by the police have pushed the nation to a crisis point that is being noticed far beyond the continental U.S. As an entrepreneur it is often a difficult balance to represent your growing brand while dealing with troubles that transcend business. The time, energy and commitment to your business could easily be undone if you act incorrectly during this time of high emotions and sensitivity.
Nomadness Travel Tribe creator Evita Robinson is the embodiment of being the Face of your Brand so she understands the symmetry between business and personal quite well. She dove into this topic via Facebook Live and shares some great insight.
Check out for video below.
Sometimes it’s bigger then just the business. Make sure you are following Evita in all her many ventures so you got miss the big things she has upcoming.
Samurai Rides: Spring Forward to Summer with the 2016 Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid
This is a pleasant surprise indeed. Samurai Rides gets it’s first time behind the wheel of a new Toyota vehicle to finish out the final days of spring. This is a pleasure for me mainly because Toyota is the go to car brand of my parents. The Avalon and the Camry have held my parents down for years now. Even beyond that, the streets of my home town New Rochelle are full of Toyota rides. With all that being said I’ve had no experience with the Rav 4 so it’s still a fresh experience and I’m ready to share it with you.
So as I’ve mentioned I’m no stranger to Toyota. In regards to the Rav 4, my initial thought when I learned I was getting one was a college flashback. I remembered the compact 2 door vehicle that my friend drove on campus that I knew I couldn’t fit in. Fast forward to 2016 and space is one of the last things I had to worry about with the Rav 4. First things first, the Magnetic Grey finish on the car was killer and the blue trimmed logo adds a nice touch.
Off top you’re getting the standard goodies like remote access aka smart key, power everything from mirrors to seats to the moon roof. There is plenty of leg room so immediately I’m in a comfortable zone. Now one thing that many others may not noticed that made me happy was the cup holder. I have large cups that usually don’t fit but this Toyota design is perfect. It’s the little things that matter so bonus points for that.
Summer time often calls for heavier packing be it for road trips or store runs for BBQ supplies. Not to mention now with a baby on board that’s just more cargo to carry around. Either way the trunk space had me fully covered and that was without the seats folded down so you’d be in great shape for any serious luggage packing if need be.
The Rav 4’s safety features were all on point. Sensitive enough to alert me to possible issues, especially in the rain but not so sensitive that they were constantly going off. The collection of Toyota safety indicators range form pedestrian alerts to lane departure. Take a moment to look more into the Safety aspect of the Rav 4 here.
My trips range from the short to the long these days and one of the tech tools I look forward to is the entertainment system. The satellite radio is already a must have but that USB plug in brings the real joy to the road as you can get your summer time playlists lined up to make for a memorable ride. With the sound powered by the good people at JBL Audio the tunes are crisp and clean, with no static.
Alright I know all the bells and wistles are nice but handling the road is what it all comes down to and I have to say that I was not disappointed with how the Rav 4 hugged the highway. In perfect weather and heavy rain up and down the Jersey Turnpike Toyota’s Hybrid SUV came thru with flying colors. The RAV4 Hybrid’s performance is a product of it’s gas engine, electric motor and hybrid battery which you can monitor very easily on your dash. All that tech is combining for nearly 200 horsepower and the acceleration is swift.
In all honestly Toyota is a brand that speaks for itself. There’s not much I could say that isn’t known, but I think hearing this from a source you know and trust does help if you’re on the fence about your next ride. Plus for me personally it was good to see how the Rav 4 fared in the compact SUV field where I’ve reviewed so many other stand out rides. Hopefully I’ll get to bring you more of what Toyota has lined up.
Three weeks ago I posted a screen shot of one of my email inboxes showing a folder labeled #Rejections. It sparked a nice conversation on how we define success, failure and the path that can lead to either rejection or success. I explained that I use rejection as a motivational tool to continue my press forward. I wanted to bring that topic here and expand on it a bit. One of the major pros of social media is the ability to share and promote your motivational stories. In many cases though these stories seem incomplete. With the ability to be writer, director and producer of our own presentation, it’s easy and quite understandable when many of the ugly details get left on the cutting room floor.
There are countless memes floating around the internet about “The Struggle”. We talk about grind and hustle without really sharing that element in detail. I feel it’s needed to balance the real picture. For every successful event and business accomplishment there is a trail that is littered with obstacles and set backs. It sounds cliche’ but these pitfalls definitely do build the character needed to complete the job. It’s one thing to see the finished product but when you learn how many times that product had to be redesigned or how many people turned that product down and called it a horrible idea, you get better appreciation for what it took to get here.
In my personal journey I’ve had a duel mission of directing smaller businesses toward better digital standing while simultaneously building my own brand. My entrepreneurial background is often something that tradition mainstream business don’t know what to make of. Instead of viewing it as proof of self starting, multitasking and real world experience from the ground up, it is generally seen as lacking structure or uncertainty of focus. Even during interviews I know this is the case. While so much business is transforming and adapting to new ways of communication, there are still many that cling to classic ways of viewing things. These fresh new professional models of operation aren’t deemed worth stepping away from “what has been working”.
I’ve hit that wall numerous times. Many a great interviews has taken place that didn’t go anywhere because they viewed me as a gamble vs the person with the more conventional background even if it’s clear no one understood the role and had the genuine passion for it like me. How many people Instagram or Snapchat the meal they’re having when they get that email (because they never call anymore) to say they went with another person. Who really posts about feeling of frustration when you’re in negotiation with a potential client and they just pull out at the last minute to attempt to do what you were offering them on their own for free?
No matter what space you’re in if you’re building your own business you’ve been here. It may be financial woes, self doubt, lacking support from the people you expected from, whatever it is always find a way to pull the lesson out of it. Any and everything on this journey can be a stepping stone upward. This is why I share my story in such an open manner. It’s not just to present a rags to riches tale but it’s to truthfully show that this is not easy. It not the romanticized story you are led to believe via these internets. The process isn’t for everyone and for those that it is for, it will break you down before you reach the grand prize.
All of this goes back to one of my most simple rules. We do not have control over all that happens around us but we always control how we react/respond to it. Never forget your power and keep on pressing forward. Your rejections are often your greatest assets.
Last week I had the pleasure of being invited to be a part of a community panel discussion via CMX NYC. Joining Liz Hall of Trello and Ali Sofen of ETSY, I rounded out the trio speaking as Social Media Head of Nomadness. The attendees were super receptive and full of questions throughout the evening.
They spoke often of the connection between holding to true values while acknowledging the need for the communities to be heard, respected and properly made a part of the business.
One of the most powerful forces in our society today is media. It is how people get most of their information and for better or worse it’s a huge factor in how people form their views and opinions. With this power comes a responsibility to be truly comprehensive, honest and engaging with the content you deliver. In addition to that, the people now hold more ability to control the stories and narratives that are presented. Enter Mr. Refined Magazine.
I take personal pride and consider it an honor to have my words among the premiere articles within the newly launched Mr. Refined magazine.
The Mr. Refined brand has set itself as an expanding force in delivering mature lifestyle content for the new age young adult. From style to travel to business and more Mr. Refined magazine looks to deliver a quarterly dose of high-caliber reading material that you can truly relate and connect to.
So, without further ado here is the info to get your own copy of Mr. Refined Magazine. You have your choice of digital or hard copies. You won’t be disappointed so order your copy and please share this among your peers.
It’s Small Business Saturday and that strikes me as no better time to offer my helping hand to the people. I’m blessed to interact with a lot of independent business folk and entrepreneurs. As the new year approaches you need to have your professional plans in order for how you’re going to attack 2016.
As many of you know I’m a social media consultant offering a number of services to improve your digital positioning. For the next 2 1/2 weeks, until Dec 15th I’m offering my two most requested services at a discount. You see the image above. My 2 hour consultation has been cut in half and my Social Media Audit is down 33% to $100. It’s the perfect deal to get your online strategy in order.
Check it out and feel free to ask any questions you may have. You can comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t forget to subscribe to the news letter. I have a lot coming for you guys.
Entrepreneur Launches 1st E360 Conference In New York City
Entrepreneur Media Inc looked to kick off its brand redesign with its first ever business conference E360. Within the confines of the gorgeous Hilton Midtown Hotel Entrepreneur served up a full day of business teachings, testimonials, instruction and inspiration from a wide array of successful self starters.
After morning registration and breakfast, Editorial Director Ray Hennessey opened up the day greeting the attendees and introducing Entrepreneur VP Amy Cosper. She would hold a very personal and powerful one on one with Award winning Producer, Artist and Innovator WILL.I.AM. Fielding questions from Amy and the people via Twitter, WILL.I.AM would share his personal motivations, driving forces behind his work and personal views on the current state of society and culture. One of his key points was his concern about the misuse of social media, which he calls “Dumb-Thumbing” and the under utilization of the Internet for educational purposes. One of the statements that stuck with me the most was the following.
When you’re constantly on the move your bag is often your life support. On the day-to-day you need something that combines organization with smooth mobility. You don’t want to drag a sack around that is over bearing and cumbersom. I have to say that the Moleskine series of bags delivers consistently in this field.
Presently an array of options for the new season, Moleskine provides a wide selection to cover all situations. Choose from classic designs like the totes especially for ladies. In addition to that they have messenger and reporter bags for your daily routine. If you need a little more room you can dive into the collection of weekender bags that can hold a change of clothing for a day or two, a lap top and more as you hit the road.
Personally I’m a weekender bag type. I keep my devices on me due to the nature of my business. It’s water repellent, durable and adaptable with a retractable shoulder holster, luggage tag and more.
It’s not foreign for me to have to dip into a Starbucks while in another city and whip out my laptop to manage a business issue. From buses to car to planes Moleskine is as stylish as it is tough so you know that when you buy one you won’t be replacing it anytime soon.
THE STORY OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA SAMURAI – OVERSEAS SAMURAI FROM NY TO DUBAI #UAETAKEOVER
It started out as a cute name to show my affinity for the Internet and Social Media. Now it is my calling card and the key to new opportunity and business. Closing out the Summer of 2015 I took another step toward growing the brand that is the Social Media Samurai. The United Arab Emirates became the latest venture as my digital skills would take me across the globe for the first time ever. I make things connect and this time the benefits were first class or in this case, business class.
Even as I type this more thirty thousand miles above the earth I can’t help but reflect on what has gotten me here and what it will take to push me further. This is not an end goal but rather a new beginning to prove what I’m capable of.
Since January of this year members of my Nomadness Tribe have visited the amazing cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai due to the infamous #GlitchGate flight sale of Christmas morning 2014. Even though neither was on my personal radar, I too took advantage of the amazing opportunity. While still half asleep I cashed in on a $220 round trip ticket and booked it for nearly 9 months down the road. My random scheduling would turn out to be a major professional come up for both myself and the Tribe, IF I held up my end of the bargain.
Let’s call it a real life test of the methods I’ve preached for so long. I am an advocate for the power of social media and its ability to free people from the shackles of stationary employment. Location independence is the name of the game. Yet, it’s one thing to be based out of New York and bounce up and down the East Coast. The scenery changes but my mobile plan is constant, wifi is easy to locate and the time zone is the same. Even if business takes me to the west coast were only looking at 3 hours of difference. It is an adjustment but not a difficult one. When you aim high life will make you show and prove. In this case it was facilitating contacts with international partners in a foreign land with limited wifi, no cellular service and 100+ community members creating social content in real-time that I needed to funnel towards the proper channels. All of this happening while being 8 hours ahead of my New York base. Thankfully multitasking is what I do. Yet I thrive to do it better. Progress is never ending.
This trip was equal parts leisure and learning. From yacht to rootop I was on call for my people. Although as I look back on it I literally had NO time to myself the end results made it well worth it.
Lessons were learned about what I can do and what I can improve. I’m returning home a far more skilled Samurai. The wow factor of this trip will fade. The interest people have in my business class upgrades will pass, but the connections and business ties if properly managed can go so much farther. For Nomadness and myself I had no choice but to perform. No one else was there but me to keep the brand’s name in good standing. Sometimes you have to just put yourself out there.
In regards to Nomadness I made a promise to myself and my partners. I would not truly consider myself a Nomad within the Tribe I crossed the Atlantic. This venture was my stepping up into those ranks. Growth doesn’t stop once you leave school. Life is a class with no set graduation date and predesignated syllabus. I’m going to savor passing this latest test as I prepare for what is to come.
SAMURAI RIDES: FAST TIMES IN MAZDA’s 2016 MIATA GRAND TOURING
I’ve had the pleasure of getting very comfortable with the line of vehicles coming out of the Mazda camp this year. With the fall season not that far off I was curious if there were any other surprises on deck for 2016. My question was answered in the form of the 2016 Mazda Miata Grand Touring edition. This would put me in a brand new space dealing with a 2 person roadster vs the sedans and SUVs from previous reviews. I was beyond surprised at the results. Let me share the fun I had with Mazda’s newest sports car.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. This is a small sports car. I make it a point to state my size in these reviews so you can get a true sense of the spacing within these cars. I’m 6 ft 5 inches tall and yes I do fit in this ride. It’s a snug fit but it wasn’t uncomfortable or painful. With the top up or down I fit fine. So for average sized individuals you’ll be good to go with space to spare.
Because of the compact make of the Miata understand this isn’t a car for going to do your weekly grocery shopping. The truck space is enough for a few small bags or one luggage piece. As I told a friend its ideal to pack if you’re going to the beach. On the inside there is no standard glove compartment. That space is relocated to a vertical stash space set between the 2 seats.
The Mazda faithful will be happy to see the familiar MAZDA CONNECT system with commander control knob. With my space limited this was very useful in my operating the various multimedia functions without have to reach around much. With the incredible sound system the Miata packs controlling the tunes smoothly is a must.
The charcoal gray leather with red stitching really gives the interior a mean race car appearance. The Miata is the personification of sleek and once you drop the top with is an easy 1 step function, you are ready to hit the road.
I can’t express enough how fun it was to drive this car. The Miata is fast and light. It hugs the road while giving you in and out maneuverability to handle any on road conditions. Yes you wont be packing it full of people but sometimes its cool to know its just you and the road or one special passenger to enjoy the ride with.
Being in New York there aren’t always ideal times to whip a sports car. City pot holes or bad weather often put a damper on things, but if you’re in the market for a fun summer car I wouldn’t hesitate to try out Mazda’s newly redesigned 2016 Miata Grand Touring.