• I love this suggestion, Melanie! Best of all, I love that you take something and show how it can be used in your business for a greater good (deepening relationships) instead of just posting about the tool.

    • Aw … you just made me smile, Michelle. Thank you! 🙂

      So glad you made it over here today. (Cause I know how crazy cuckoo busy you are!)

  • I have never heard of Smilebox and love the idea! I have had moments when I just want to send something nice to a client or a team member. This is perfect for those moments. And if it’s that quick to create one – I love it even more! 🙂

    My relationship with my clients is number #1 priority and sometimes simple things like this make the world of difference.

    Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to send my first Smilebox. 🙂

    • Goody gum drops! I’m excited for you, Denisse. And I’m happy I was able to introduce you to a new toy … oops … I mean tool. 😉

      Your right …
      Simple things like sending a Smilebox make a world of difference.

      Have fun creating and thanks for the visit!

  • Melanie you hit the nail on the head with this post. Despite constantly having to fight BSOS (Bright Shiny Object Syndrome) I try very hard to consider why I need a tool. How will it help my bottom line. Otherwise it’s the electronic equivalent of a toy, and relegated to after hours. Making deeper connections that matter is important. While I must take exception to the statement “Numbers don’t matter.” I know you were talking in the context of relationships, not the financial numbers of your business. Fantastic post.

    • Thank you, Nicole! And, yes. “Numbers” does not refer to the financial numbers of your business. Those are very important numbers that matter big time! And if folks want to make biz finances fun, they need to see YOU. 😉

      Spot on comment about tools — will they help your bottom line? Or not?

      I think any relationship-building tool that assists with creating touchpoints (any point of contact between a buyer and a seller) is worth its weight in gold. 🙂

  • I think you hit the nail right on the head when you re-emphasize the importance of what the tool enables you to do: build better connections with people, and not just use the tool cuz it’s new and shiny and awesome.

    What a great reminder of the focus that we’re all after when we pick up a new tool – using it to connect to someone on a more human level (and funny that we choose to do that through software).

    Your daughter’s words are pretty in-tune with my own thinking about that time. I had signed up to CSU for a CIS major (think computer science, but more social – you could put us in front of the clients rather than throw us in the server closet with a pizza and mountain dew). Anyway, I knew the degree would ultimately be worthless if I didn’t add Marketing to it. I was one of 2 people who graduated with that combination over the span of 3 years. I ended up using less and less of the CIS part, but it certainly helped me to organize and understand how projects flow, how to speak developer when I needed to, and how to ask for exactly what I want when developers are involved.

    Anyway, great advice!

    • I totally love that you made your education YOUR OWN. Thanks for sharing your story. “Standard, usual, and customary” isn’t weaved into the fabric of your mind. Being able to see “the bigger picture” is an undeniable blessing and an invaluable asset (Although I had fun picturing you in a closet with a pizza and a can of Mountain Dew). LOL!

      Can’t wait for the day Ryland boldly expresses his core values. His words will hit you like an asteroid! It’s gonna be a Kodak moment, Nick!! 🙂

      You saw through my message like a pane of glass …
      ” … connect to someone on a more human level”

      Kudos and cupcakes for committing to a leadership role in the 30-day challenge!

  • Mel, you’re so right to point out to all of us that it is so not about the tools but about the connection. Easy to forget when we live our lives today at such velocity.

    I suggest to people that they forget about collecting clusters (of likes, shares, followers etc) and think about how to connect to community instead. Just two or three people who love what you do and tell others is a wonderful privilege and your community. All the other crazy activity will not achieve that or anything else.

    Thanks as always for bringing us gently back to real life.

    • You read my mind, Sandy! (Go and add that skill to your portfolio) 😉

      ” Just two or three people who love what you do and tell others is a wonderful privilege”. If only more folks would think that way, what a wonderful world-wide web it would be. It doesn’t take numbers the size of an army to build a vibrant community online.

      The key word? “Privilege”.

      Computers are high-tech machines but the people behind them have hearts and souls. Sadly, internet antics are often void of humbleness, manners, and common courtesies.

      I’d love to witness more human kindness online.

      I’m with you here and I applaud your efforts:
      ” … forget about collecting clusters (of likes, shares, followers etc) and think about how to connect to community instead.”

      Thank you for being you. 🙂

  • Oh I LOVE this Melanie!! I’m with you with wanting to create more real relationships. I think there is value in volume, but not at the expense connection with important people. I’m excited to send a smilebox! We’ll see who’s first on the list. Thanks for sharing.

    • I know the recipient of your Smilebox will not only be tickled, Ashley … but that lucky duck will see you in a whole new light. Funny how the little things in life (and business) really matter.

      I don’t care if people think I’m too “Pollyanna”. Know what I mean? But I’ve been around the block enough times in life to know that a thoughtful gesture goes a long way with us humans. It carries meaning and it sticks with us. 🙂

      A heaping spoonful of thanks for the visit!

  • Always love a new toy, Melanie, so thanks! 🙂 If we would all slow down just a little bit and share a smile or two, we would have blooms everywhere. (I’m going to have to check out that challenge. It sounds right up my alley). 🙂

    • We would be totally jazzed to have you join the challenge, Cathy — click on over! 🙂

      You hit the proverbial nail on the head …
      “If we would all slow down just a little bit”.

      Sometimes it feels like we’re all on a treadmill on fast speed and we’re never going to slow down enough to stop and smell the coffee. But more importantly, we’ve got to end the relentless pursuit of big numbers (fans, followers, peeps, etc.) I’m certain we already have more than ample people in our networks online — most of whom we know nothing about and rarely, if ever, stay in touch with. Insane!

      It’s time to make real friends, support our colleagues, and experience the joy of learning from one in another.

      • Oh, and do try Smilebox, Cathy! It’s super simple to navigate and you can use the platform for free. 🙂

  • Very nice Melanie. I so appreciate your advice about relationships, well said! Once again, you have inspired me to do a few things differently!

    • Very sweet of you to say that, Michelle, and thanks a heap for dropping in!

      Sometimes just one little shift in gears (doing something “differently”) can move a mountain. 🙂

  • I love your spin on this, Melanie. It’s not about the tools but what you do with the tools. And what better way to use a tool than to make life better and grow your relationships?

    I got a kick out of your daughter’s response. It would have been kind of funny if she just said, “Duh, mom.” 🙂

    • Carol Lynn, my twin daughters are the more likely candidates to offer up a “Duh,Mom” response. Oh, and eye rolling. Lots of eye rolling … times two. LOL!

      Thanks so much for catching this post. You’re right as right can be:
      “It’s not about the tools but what you do with the tools.” Tools alone won’t do a blinking thing to strengthen your interpersonal skills. It’s “how” you put them into action that counts.

    • Dang it, Carol Lynn! I was up way past my bedtime last night working to get this post polished up while weaving in a number of other tasks. Shame on me. I just realized as I was replying to your comment that I published the wrong version of my collage. I hate when this kind of crap happens. Anyway, if you’ll take a minute to notice, there’s been an addition of a beautiful young woman. 🙂

  • I used to use Smilebox ALL the time. Then I got busy and forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder! And BIG gratitude for plugging the 30-day challenge. This blooming thing is SO important. We may have to include this post as one of our actionable tips!

    • Birds of a feather, Tea, plus a wee giggle …

      I was “reminded” of Smilebox about two years ago when I visited Evelyn Kalinosky’s blog where she embedded one of her creations in her post. I knew about Smilebox and had used it prior to that but then my chain slipped and I forgot all about it. Serendipity prevailed! 😉

      More than elated to give a shout out to BYOR30. I’m wearing a mile-wide smile to know this post may come in handy in some way. Thank you!

  • Love the collage, Melanie, and the messages in this post. Real relationships matter, whether online or offline. I’m looking forward to the “Blooming” challenge. 🙂

    • I’m wholeheartedly looking forward to “blooming” with you, Sharon. The 30-day challenge sounds not only like fun but totally do-able. I’m more than willing to devote a miniscule 20 – 30 minutes a day to a worthwhile challenge.

      I tend to mount a podium and get long-winded about relationship building … but there’s a darn good reason for my wordiness and wind. I’ve been online a long time (I know you have, too) and I hear all the noise and I see all the ineffective and in many cases, insincere, approaches to networking. Forgive my guttural tone but it’s time for the B.S. to stop.