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Mary Schmidt Business Builder & Renovator


Idea Pool

Mindful Monday: Sometimes I’m Not Okay and Neither Are You.

Mary Schmidt

Apr 04, 2016

“I’m not against having a nice day. I’m not against happiness.”— Barbara Ehrenreich at TEDxZaragoza (video here).  Ms. Ehrenreich conceived of her book, Smile or Die, How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World, when “she became ill with breast cancer, and found herself surrounded by pink ribbons and bunny rabbits and platitudes. She balked at the way her anger and sadness about having the disease were seen as unhealthy and dangerous by health professionals and other sufferers.”


In Brain Food, Mindful Mondays, Pet Peeves

The Three Most Abused Words in Business

Mary Schmidt

Mar 16, 2016

In no particular order:

1. Partner.

As in, “We want to partner with you, Mr./Ms. Customer.”  Calls to mind a meeting I once had, in a Fortune 50 gig, with one of our top sales executives.  He had great fun (snort, snort), “Yes, we want to be YOUR PARTNER, Mr. Customer. Give us all your money!”

“Partner” implies that both parties in the transaction are in it for more than dollars or that single transaction. There’s nothing wrong with being an operationally excellent company who excels at

In Brain Food, Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

“Experts Don’t Know Any More Than I Do.”

Mary Schmidt

Feb 18, 2016


Doesn’t it seem like there are about a billion experts out there, with many promoting a list that will magically make us successful, happy, wealthy and wise?

The other day, I had lunch with a delightful entrepreneur.
She’s pouring her passion into an inspiring endeavor that will help make the world a better place. Very smart, savvy woman (an attorney by trade) who is diligently diving into all things marketing, including social media. And so we came to all those experts…As we discussed

In Brain Food

Mindful Monday: You Have To Breathe Anyway

Mary Schmidt

Feb 15, 2016

Don DraperHere’s how I boil it down. No “om’ing,” workshops, gurus or complex woo-woo stuff required. If you practice mindfulness, you do less stupid crap.  Looking back, I could’ve avoided a lot of my dumbest decisions if I’d taken the time to breathe and focus. Maybe not do (or say) anything. In most situations, we do have time. And, you’re breathing anyway, right? 

From Forbes, Future of Work as a Leadership Practice

...As defined by Dr. Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness is “paying attention in a

In Brain Food, Mindful Mondays

Mindfulness is the Human Operating System.

Mary Schmidt

Jan 25, 2016

From Keeping It Human, How to Humanize Social Media, “Mindfulness is the Human Operating System.”

Being Human in Social Media and Content Marketing Means Being Mindful

That PITA. You know it when you experience it. It’s that ‘pain in the ass’ person that destroys value with every communication he or she makes. You’re busy. So, you avoid the call, email, website, everything. You stall getting back to the person because the time to do so is valuable time wasted.

What happens when, God

In Brain Food, Mindful Mondays, Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

Eek! Feminine Hygiene!

Mary Schmidt

Jan 22, 2016

frightened man This is pretty much the look I get from men (and some women) when I talk about my pro bono passion, Women To Be (feminine hygiene kits for Nepal refugee camps). Just the other morning, when I was doing the “need pitch” to a group, the men were (for the most part) freaking out. They weren’t screaming out loud, but I saw the “EEK!” thought bubbles. 

But here’s the thing—MANY things make us uncomfortable. Some even frighten us. If we’re going to solve problems, we have to get uncomfortable

In Brain Food, Do Good. Do Well.

“Write It Down.”

Mary Schmidt

Jan 20, 2016

if you didn't document it Yup. It’s still January 2016. Still time to work on your personal success and happiness projects for the year.

Yesterday, in the Trusted Advisors meeting, we talked about setting realistic goals.  My wise, big brain colleague who was leading the discussion helped us focus on what we really want in 2016.

Which led to the “why” of what we’re doing. We were all scribbling away on old-fashioned paper (which is how I get my synapses going anyway, on any project.)

Here’s a reality check

In Brain Food, Start-Up Sanity Checks

Start-Up Sanity Check for B2B Tech Ventures

Got a great idea? Are people telling you it’s crazy? Good! You’ve got to be a little insane to take that start-up leap – rather it’s out of your garage, the lab or a day job. I'll help you decide where and when to leap (and what to do when you land).

Investment: $500.00 (Why do I call it an investment? Two reasons: 1. If you’re willing to pay, that tells me you’re serious. 2. When you pay for advice, you’re more likely to value and use it.)

Drop me a line and we’ll see if we’re a good fit. If I can't help you, I’ll tell you (and if possible, tell you who can.)

Got funding? I work with one to three start-ups a year, on retainer (minimum of three months, maximum one year).

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Social Media Isn't Free, Easy or Magic.

If one of the self-anointed experts contacts you, pitching magical thinking, ask:

1. What results can I expect if I work with you? (Note: Twitter followers aren't necessarily customers.)

2. What kind of time will I have to invest? (Social media, properly done, is all about personal relationships. You with your customers...and a good relationship takes time.)

3. How do I integrate social media tools with my current operations? (Your salespeople need to know what you're saying on Facebook. Your customer service process and policies should be consistent across the board, from phone to Twitter.)

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