Archive for the ‘Positivity’ Category

Searching for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur

June 22, 2014

Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur

Fuzion are delighted to be working on two great initiatives that have been introduced by the Government and are being operated by the Local Enterprise Boards.

The first of these is Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, which was recently launched by the Taoiseach and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

It is a new competition to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, with a total fund of €2 million available to invest in winning businesses and entrepreneurs in every county in the country.

Ireland's Best Young EntrepreneurThe competition is being run by the new Local Enterprise Offices, and the winners at county level will be eligible for an investment in their business of up to €25,000, while the winners at national level can receive an additional investment of up to €50,000. Investments in the winning businesses will be determined according to business prospects and investment needs.

This is really encouraging to see as it recognises the importance and encourages entrepreneurship in Ireland. The competition is applicable to anyone aged 30 and under with an outstanding idea/commercial venture for a start-up or existing business.

Almost any young person with a business idea can enter the IBYE competition.

It doesn’t matter what their background is and it encourages anyone who has researched a business idea, anyone who is itching to be their own boss, or an existing young entrepreneur, who has an idea to improve their existing business.

It also includes anyone who wants to return home and set up their own business in Ireland. Getting some of Ireland’s best talent to return and set up a new business would be fabulous for our economy.

The competition falls into three categories including Best New Idea, Best Start Up and Best Idea by an Established business.

If you know anyone who fits this bill then please encourage them to enter the competition, which has some great prizes including financial and other supports.

In Cork the campaign will have a distinctive Cork flavour ‘Just Do It.. Like’ (we couldn’t resist!)

Young entrepreneurs can apply via the IBYE website.

Any initiative that encourages, supports and celebrates young entrepreneurs must be applauded – well done!

The Fuzion Crew ..

Check out the other terrific initiative, Online Trading Vouchers which is designed to encourage and assist Irish businesses with eCommerce potential to get trading online and not miss the opportunity to expand their business. Vouchers of up to €2,500 are available to qualifying businesses. 

 

Hashtags and Breadcrumbs

June 6, 2014

Hasttags Explained

I see the confused look on their faces and Hashtags are often just one step too far!

What is all this hashtag business?” I get asked.

At times it does feel like we are talking another language…

At my social media courses I think it is the one thing that definitely seems to bother people the most. It is a step too far: On Twitter they understand followers, they get following and know that tweets must be less than 140 characters but the mere mention of Hashtags and it seems to add that Tipping Point of confusion that never fails to get a few moans and groans of exasperation. Too much!

So what the hell are these nasty things and how and when might you use them?

In very simple terms a Hashtag is a means of adding a “tag” or label to a post (tweet) on Twitter by using the “#” symbol followed by a continuous set of characters. This is normally a word or a few words joined together.

For example if I prepared a tweet about a new shop opening in town I might tweet “Great to see a new shop opening on Grafton Street #Positivity

When you do this on Twitter it automatically changes the colour of this text, making it stand out and it also adds some “link” functionality to that word(s). If you click on this “link” Twitter will display a list of all the tweets where this hashtag was used.

In a way it gathers them together, which is really handy if it brings the reader to a bunch of tweets about a topic they were very interested in.

While Twitter will track popular topics and show you the keywords that are used most frequently in posts (trending) it will also track the most frequently used hashtags. If everyone who is talking about a popular topic uses a particular hashtag to label these posts it not only gathers them together but it also helps to get the topic trending.

Hashtag ExplainedSo when might I use a hashtag?

For me the single biggest advantage to the use of a hashtag is the simple colour change to that keyword. The text appearing in a different colour draws the readers attention to it and when used properly it can help to communicate the subject matter of that post. The link functionality as discussed earlier is an added bonus.

You can use your own hashtags (there is no ownership of them) or decide to join in on conversations about topics where a particular hashtag is being used already and use it in your posts – this can give you and your tweet visibility if this topic has stirred up a lot of interest.

For me a hashtag can be used in a powerful way to signify a Key Message of yours or a significant  “Breadcrumb” that you wish to leave behind about you and your business for the reader.

You might use a hashtag to label posts about:

  • An event or concert #LondonFoodFest or #EP14 (Electric Picnic 2014)
  • Elections #LE14 (Local Elections 2014)
  • A place #Dublin
  • A cause #LGBTRights
  • A sentiment #LoveCork
  • An outlook #Positivity
  • A philosophy #WinHappy
  • A show #Murnaghan
  • Your team #LFC #YNWA
  • Recommending followers on a Friday #FF
  • Publicising job opportunities #Jobs or #JobFairy

You can use the hashtags in very many ways to suit the occasion and to draw extra attention to the point you want to make or a particular keyword(s) in your post.

Murnaghan

You will find the more progressive TV shows will encourage the viewer to tweet about a topic being discussed and will suggest a hashtag to use – in a way the viewer is asked to “join the discussion“.

Hashtags are also appearing in adverts for brands, where they are often used to help create an association for the consumer between a sentiment and the product or service #LoveLife.

For me hashtags are used best when you decide on a “family” of these, which should be used consistently for you and your business.

Having decided on your key messages you might devise a range of hashtags that might best be used to communicate these little breadcrumbs about you and your business.

For example a restaurant in Dublin who prides themselves on using local artisan suppliers, who have an extensive menu with good gluten free and vegetarian options, who stock a range of craft beers and is very proud of the city and who offer free treats on a Tuesday, might regularly tweet using hashtags such as:

#SourceLocal #Artisan  #GlutenFree  #VegMenus  #CraftBeers  #LoveDublin  #TreatTuesday (hopefully not all at the same time!)

When you are posting you are best keeping your hashtags as short as possible, memorable and try to use them just one at a time in tweets. Used consistently and in the right context you would be surprised how quickly a place gets known for these things.

For example when I tweet I use hashtags a lot to draw attention to particular things in my posts and the ones I use most frequently are #Positivity (when talking about good news or job announcements) #WinHappy (when talking about Fuzion – this is a core philosophy) #FuzionFriday (when talking about our Friday lunch with the team) #FuzionPlaylist (when I mention the music playing in the office).

It amazes me when people play these back to me (“I’d love to join ye for FuzionFriday some day”) in the context that I intended and I then realise that I have managed to convey our key messages effectively by using this simple Twitter device.

I do fully understand people’s frustration with all of this new media and it’s quirks and idiosyncrasies but most of it is built to be easy to use ….once you know how!

You may prefer not to use hashtags at all (sometimes there may be no need) but if you want to get that special message across then start using this new language…

 #HashtagHeaven

Note: Hashtags are now also being used on other social media platforms but they are a very significant feature when used on Twitter.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

Big, Brave, Bold ….Belief

February 7, 2014

Teamwork.com

The .com domain name for Greg Canty gregcanty.com can be registered with Register365 for the total price of €8.95 per annum.

The .com domain is the big one, the universal one, which is easy to register and without any fuss. For example with the Irish domain .ie you need to jump a few hoops and at least make some attempt at proving that you or your business has a valid reason for being able to claim that name.

The frenzy at the beginning of the internet boom was the practice of some very clever people anticipating which domain names would be popular in the future. They purchased these in the hope that at some point in time they might earn a windfall when they could sell them off for big money.

A lot of domain names are still registered to people who will never use them and are still waiting for their big pay day!

According to Wikipedia the top ten most expensive domain names are:

  1. VacationRentals.com $35 million in 2007 
  2. Insure.com $16 million in 2009 
  3. Sex.com for $14 million in October 2010
  4. Fund.com 2008 £9.99 million
  5. Porn.com 2007 $9.5 million
  6. Fb.com by Facebook for $8.5 million in November 2010
  7. Business.com for $7.5 million in December 1999
  8. Diamond.com 2006 $7.5 million
  9. Beer.com 2004 $7 million
  10. Israel.com 2008 $5.88 million

It looks like the last big money transaction was in 2010.

What would make you pay this kind of huge money for a domain name?

  • It must be a core part of your brand and who you are – so much so that you can’t have anyone else using it and must get your hands on it
  • It must have huge earning potential in order to justify such a huge price tag – unless of course you have so much money that earnings are not a critical part of the equation

Even if these two elements are in place do you have the resources to pay out big money for a domain name and this must be weighed up against what you could do with this amount of money – could you make your existing domain name or a new name just as powerful if that fund was put being a marketing campaign?

Big, Bold, Brave

Teamwork LogoLast week I was at the Guinness Store House (a strange experience for me – I could see my old office from the top floor) for the launch of a domain name by a Fuzion client and great friends of mine, Digital Crew.

The guys have an incredible cloud based project management application called TeamworkPM, which only after a few years is creating a storm online and is quickly becoming the standard within the sector for managing projects.

These guys from Cork had paid over half a million euros for the domain name www.teamwork.com and were celebrating with friends and clients – at 9pm the new domain name was set live.

When I first heard this news I thought someone was pulling a fast one on me and when I realised it was true I wondered if they had totally lost their marbles!

This was certainly a BIG move, they are paying and playing big, they are thinking big (huge!) but then again they have a global product so it is a big market. What’s more they have big plans to develop a whole suite of products under the Teamwork name. 

It was definitely a BOLD move …they aren’t a Google, a Facebook, a Microsoft, a Twitter but this was a big bold move, which shows that they see themselves in that Premier league table.

BRAVE ….I’m not sure if I could have written that cheque!

To be fair to these guys this is isn’t the first time that they have been Big, Bold and Brave.

When Digital Crew were working on their core web development business and on some complex web projects they realised they needed a project management application to help co-ordinate their teams and the multiple tasks that were required. After playing with a few different applications online they decided ….these aren’t good enough, we can do better!

While ideas are great and we all have them, the guys got together at weekends and late in the evenings when the regular client work was done and starting building a new application.

After an incredibly hard slog the application TeamworkPM was ready, which they politely rolled out.

There was no immediate success but they interacted with customers, answered countless queries, joined discussions, tracked competitors, improved their product over and over and eventually they had momentum with some serious businesses coming on board and using the application – Walt Disney, Microsoft, EA Sports, Forbes and eBay to name a few.

Word of mouth, continuous improvements and dogged determination brought TeamworkPM to a point where the income from the application had surpassed their core business income.

They made an incredibly Big, Bold and Brave move to divest of their core business and put everything into their TeamworkPM application. Every month there is a big new feature added, which is a challenge they set for themselves.

Within a year they have added significantly to the team and even sent one of the founders to take office in New Zealand (poor Sam – we all know he hates the glorious weather and the beach!)so another time zone could be looked after.

While they have been making Big, Bold and Brave moves for a long time the decision to pay over half a million euros for the teamwork.com domain name is about something much more.

They have incredible BELIEF in what they are doing, in their own capability and in their vision. They know exactly where they are taking their business.

To Dan, Peter, Sam, Billy and all the Teamwork team …..thanks for showing us what Big, Bold and Brave looks like. My belief is your domain will be worth it!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

I had a great 2014 because …

January 1, 2014

visualisation

For the last few years I have been doing this simple little exercise at the start of the year to help get focused around things that are important both personally and professionally.

I have found it to be really useful and one that has made a big difference.

I don’t know about you but making plans and actually achieving them is always challenging and at the start of the year I find myself at the start of that loop all over again making promises that often will never materialise!

A few years ago I was inspired to go about my goal setting in a different way thanks to a book I read called “The Art of Possibility” by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander (a really interesting motivational book by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and his wife who is an executive coach).

Benjamin Zander, the conductor had the task every year of bringing out the very best from a large group of very talented musicians.

His approach is rooted in the power of visualisation – the simple idea behind this is that if you visualise what you want to achieve then there is a much better chance of it actually happening (unbelievers ….stop reading now !!)

Here goes ..

Take a pen and paper and simply write your diary entry in advance for the last working day of the year to come..

Imagine just before you switch off the lights in the office, before you head out the door to do some last minute shopping and enjoy a well-earned rest, you quietly write your diary entry.

Tuesday, 23rd December, 2014

I had a great year because ….

Be specific, include personal and professional goals and when you are done

Sign it!

Place your note in an envelope and seal it – on the last day of every month open your envelope and have a peep to see how you are progressing.

…what are you waiting for?

By the way ….Happy New Year!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

 

Doing the Small stuff Great

November 27, 2013

Kerrie O'CallaghanSomeone has to answer the phone and someone has to let visitors into the building and greet them as come into the office.

This isn’t rocket science but at the same time it needs to be done right. You would hope that the person with this responsibility would carry out the task in a pleasant and friendly manner – after all, it is often the first impression that anyone would experience of your business.

We’ve been really lucky down through the years in that all of our team are pleasant and friendly and will give a really good impression of Fuzion.

The primary responsibility for answering the phone (we all do it by the way) tends to lie with the ‘junior’, the person who is newest to the team. Initially we find that the newbie is more than happy with this role but after a while they do want to feel that they are progressing and that this task is moved onto someone else.

While everyone who has worked with us has been great at that ‘hello, meet and greet‘ role we had one person who really stood out; Kerrie O’Callaghan.

Day after day we had people on the phone or who had come for a meeting specifically commenting about how special their greeting was.

This wasn’t an isolated incident but an absolute trend – she did this important, junior, simple but yet important task incredibly well.

Not surprisingly the hugely talented Kerrie, who did everything with 150% enthusiasm, progressed quickly and went on to do every task incredibly well but unfortunately for Fuzion she had the emigration bug and is now enjoying huge career success down under.

It’s funny how someone who does the small things great ends up also doing the big things great..

Kerrie, we miss you!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Tipping the Customer

October 2, 2013

Hostaria La Cross, Garda

It was bucketing out of the heavens as we stared out the window of our hotel in Garda in Italy during our summer holidays. It hadn’t let up for over an hour and it showed no signs of stopping anytime soon.

We had planned a leisurely stroll into the lakeside town and a nice meal on the waterfront but that was impossible – the tummies were groaning at this stage and the hotel restaurant was shut.

The restaurant that was directly across from the hotel (we were about a mile away from the lakeside strip) didn’t have the views that were on the lake but it didn’t seem to stop the steady stream of locals using the place since we had arrived.

Day and night there was a constant stream of Italian cars in and out of the place – it must be good if the locals were going there we reckoned. I checked on Four Square (a phone APP where you can leave tips about places) on my phone and the restaurant had some quite good reviews left by previous diners.

We decided to make a dash for it and despite it being just across the street we did get fairly wet.

Hostaria La Cross, GardaHostoria La Cross gave us a warm greeting as we entered but after doing so the waitress left us standing there – two minutes later she came back to us with two glasses of prosecco .. “welcome!“.

Wow – we were given a gift on the house before we had sat down or ordered anything.

It put us in great form and we had a fabulous meal (despite every second dish being laced in truffle oil..can’t stand that smell!)

Of course we left a big tip after our special night but really appreciated the “tip” the restaurant gave us at the start of the meal.

The last few times I have taken taxis in Dublin and in Cork I have noticed that each time the driver has “rounded down” when it has comes to the fare “€10 is fine” when the fare clocked €10.70.

The simple gesture is a big change to how it used be and it shows the appreciation of the business and invariably you end up leaving a good tip.

Last night after our meal in Bacco in Ballincollig we were offered a Limoncello on the house as we were settling the bill. They showed their appreciation for the business …”Thank you, we’ll be back

Giving the customer something they are not expecting is a clever way of saying thank you and building customer loyalty.

Are you tipping your customer?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Does the “too good to be true” rule always apply?

July 22, 2013

Too Good to be True

Is it ok if I show this man around your office?” Frank our landlord asked (by the way he hates if we call him that – he prefers to say we are his customer and to be fair that is always how he treats with us).

No bother at all Frank” – he wanted to see how we had laid out the office space, which had the same footprint as the vacant unit two floors down.

Frank introduced me to this English gentleman, Mr Cooper who was starting an airline, which was to operate from Cork ..interesting!

He would be needing Marketing and PR support and he also would need the services from our graphic design team. We had a quick chat but I had another appointment to get to – he wanted to tie things down quickly so he asked us to meet with him the next day for a full briefing.

This could be a very exciting project to work on.

Just before I ran out the door I did a Google search on this guy to see if there was some evidence of his existence online ..nothing!

On the way to my meeting I rang Frank to make sure I caught the man’s name correctly – I had.

What do you make of our English gentleman?” Frank asked. He explained to me that he also popped into the accountants on the floor below us who were also going to do work for him. The following day they were to introduce him to one of the banks.

Frank, is he too good to be be true?

saab airline

We both agreed that maybe it was wrong to be cynical and there was a chance that this well dressed, well spoken Englishman was the real deal after all.

He arrived the following day, a little later than organised but even more well dressed than the previous day. He apologised for being late – there were some technical financial details he was ironing out with the accountant about licences.

He took me through his project in detail – he was really looking for a marketing partner for this venture. He told us that he really liked and trusted us. He spoke to our really talented head designer, Jonathan about his brand and what he had in mind – we all agreed that while he was on a deadline, the work should be done properly.

Maybe this guy was a dream client after all?

After many years in business and knowing how hard you must work to win a new account, this guy had me suspicious. I was “on guard” for a sign, any sign that this was not going to work out.

He started telling me about the lonely childhood he had and now he was alone and did not have any attachments.. for reasons that we would understand. Hmm..where was this conversation going?

He had a request – he wanted to give us a shareholding in the business!

He wanted to embrace the true spirit of partnership – if this happened everyone would work together. He explained he would make the same offer to everyone that was involved in his project. He was doing this as he had no family and he wanted the business to have a “safe” home if anything happened to him.

While this was an outlandish tale maybe it was true? The alarm bell was ringing in my head at this stage but I was feeling a little sorry for this lonely businessman.

I politely told him that people might think he was “nuts” if he were to have that shareholding conversation with them – I advised him to keep that idea to himself and if he wanted to do something like this down the line, then maybe.

He had another request – until he had office space sorted out could he work from our offices?

He had noticed on the day that there were desks with no one working at them. A louder alarm bell started to ring!

That wouldn’t be practical I explained but maybe he should have a word with Frank who might let him use some of the available space in the building until he had a formal arrangement made.

He told me he understood ..

We had arranged to meet the next day when he wanted to introduce us to some of his team who he had already recruited..that sounds ok I reckoned.

Just as he left the office he patted his pockets ..”Damn, I’m a bit short and the bank is closed. Could I borrow €20?” Even though the alarm bell was shaking the whole building at this stage I found myself handing this guy who we hardly knew €20.

On the way home I bumped into Frank as we left the building.

Well, what do you make of our friend?” I asked. He had told Frank that he was very impressed with Fuzion and the accountant and he just needed to finalise everything and get cracking. I told him the story (with a red face) about the €20 knowing already how the whole story was going to unfold.

What’s worse I told Dee the story about the €20 – “You big fool” ..she told me.

If this was going to end up going nowhere I’d prefer to kill it quickly. Before he was to arrive I would prepare a budget and insist on a % payment upfront before we committed any resources to the job – if he was not the real deal then this would flush him out.

20 minutes after he was scheduled to arrive I called him ..nothing.

Another 10 minutes ..nothing.

A few minutes later I received a text from him saying that Fuzion and the people in Cork were the most unprofessional and backward that he had ever come across and he was going to set up in Belfast instead.

Needless to say I haven’t heard anything about the airline but I do wonder about the “dream client, Mr Cooper” who got away.

When it seems too good to be true it probably is ..the tale alone was worth the €20.

Mr Cooper …good luck with your venture!

Greg Canty is a partner Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Can Win Happy work?

June 24, 2013

Fuzion team

It was a gorgeous summer Saturday in Cork and I was strolling around the city with Dee and my two kids.

Everyone was in great form and I knew I should have been but I was miserable and my head was bursting – work was killing me. I had been caught in the middle of a corporate crossfire for over two years between the joint owners and unfortunately this was a no win situation for me.

I was the General Manager and I could have had an easy life if I toed the line, kept my head down, settled for the status quo, played the politics and enjoyed the benefits. This wasn’t me ….I was miserable!

On that Saturday afternoon, 10 years ago I decided I was handing in my notice (handing back my new Saab and turning my back on a hefty salary) and it was the day Win Happy was born.

Win Happy

Fuzion teamThis has been my goal ever since – never again did I want to spend a minute feeling miserable about my work.

It is really important to me that happiness is at the heart of what I do every single day.

Happiness for me is working in a place that I love, doing work that I enjoy, with great people and for clients that I respect.

Utopia?

I guess in a way it is Utopian but why not have that as a goal?

I will be the first to admit that it isn’t always that way but mostly we get pretty close.

Happy..

I do love what I do (except for some horrible admin work every now and then), we work for who we want (we don’t answer to any head office or anything like that, we can accept or even reject work if we choose) and we have carefully chosen a group of really good people to work with.

Every Friday we break bread together as part of a sacred lunch routine we have, which we call Fuzion Friday.

I believe that if you get all of that right you end up with an atmosphere that creates the perfect conditions for great work ..for winning.

Win?

Kerrie & DeeHappy is the first part of my philosophy. I am very driven and while I am not motivated by money I do want to be successful in our profession and this is where the satisfaction from Winning comes into it.

We work extremely hard and we keep ourselves up to date with trends and developments. We carefully choose talented people for our team and we make sure they understand the Fuzion way.

Together we work hard to get results for our clients even if this means us doing more than we are contracted for.

If a talented team, in a happy environment, work hard for clients then you should get lots of wins. Winning leads to more business – simple!

This philosophy has stood us well since the business started and in the 10 years that I have been with Fuzion we have continued to grow our business and our team, mostly with a smile.

#WinHappy

Can it work? – Tell me what you think?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Snap into it!

May 24, 2013
Bueller

Anyone, anyone, anyone?

Snap out of it” I had to tell myself.

I do a lot of social media training and consultancy both directly for  clients and as part of organised courses for the Enterprise Boards and the Digital Marketing Institute.

I use a suite of materials to deliver this training including some very detailed notes that cover the whole area including blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and some of the other emerging platforms and trends in social media.

In the last few weeks I have found myself delivering a huge volume of training and on this particular day I found myself delivering a module to a client group in the morning and a similar programme in the evening to a group of SME’s as part of training for one of the Enterprise Boards.

Facing into delivering the same material on literally the same day and feeling really tired my motivation level had dropped.

I started to question myself as I drove to the hotel:

Was I getting bored with my own material?  

Would I be able to deliver a good session?

I was wallowing ..

Hold on (big conversation with self!)…you have been crafting your training materials for a few years, you have continuously improved the programme, you not only understand the material intimately but you know how to deliver it in a way that keeps the group engaged and learning – Besides you know you are passionate about this whole area.

This group of SME’s have signed up for the programme, they have given up their evenings to learn about something that could make a big difference for their business and you know you can show them how, in a really practical way.

After giving myself a few virtual slaps in the face and a big kick up the bum I managed to change my gears and open that door – “who wants to tell world about how great their business is?

We had a great session ..in fact it was the best reaction to a session that I had in the last few weeks and after it I was buzzing.

What you get from any group at a meeting or a presentation is often down to what you bring in the door with you ..your frame of mind, your attitude, your belief, your energy and your enthusiasm.

Snap into it ..

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion with offices in Cork and Dublin offer social media training and consultancy in Ireland

Girls ….Go for It! (Lean In)

May 15, 2013

Deirdre Waldron on the Cork Chamber billboard

Me, on a billboard? Never in a million years!

That’s what I thought when I found out a promotional campaign I agreed to be part of would be more than just a testimonial on a website.

I had sent a letter of thanks to the local Cork Chamber of Commerce because I won some business after attending a Chamber event. When they called to recruit me for the promotion, I said, “Sure, of course, no bother”, thinking they’d ask me to write up some notes.

Then I found out that my face would be on a billboard!

Even though I work in public relations, I was always reluctant to put myself forward in photographs or other public displays. I thought they were opportunities that could go to clients instead.

Silly, I know; I think I was hiding behind my clients!

The Chamber assured me that eight other people would be on the billboard with me, but when I showed up for my photo shoot, I was all on my own. We were each being given our own billboard.

Roll on a month or so and the billboards went on display. We got great feedback from clients and business colleagues, although I couldn’t look at my picture. I was mortified at my face being as big as a bus, literally.

I met my contact in the Chamber of Commerce to give feedback on the experience.

I thought the campaign was great for my business, but it was a negative for the Chamber because I was the only woman out of nine members who were featured.

What she said next shocked me: “Deirdre, we asked loads of business women—you were the only one to say yes!

Okay, I was a fairly reluctant participant, but it was a brilliant opportunity for our small business to feature in a billboard campaign in our city. I couldn’t say no, even though I wanted to, but it sure didn’t feel nice getting out of my comfort zone.

But what about all the successful, confident, intelligent businesswomen in my city who did say no?

We need to get over ourselves as women in business. We need to take more chances and seize every opportunity that comes our way, because if we don’t, someone else will.

We need to surround ourselves with positive people – men and women who will challenge and push us every day of our lives. We need to face the fear that stops us from achieving everything we are capable of and acknowledge that the biggest deterrent to reaching our full potential is often ourselves.

Girls ..Go for It!

Lean In - Sheryl SandbergNote: Deirdre wrote this piece for the Lean In website, which was started by Sheryl  Sandberg, COO of Facebook who wrote a book called Lean In.

Deirdre Waldron is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency with offices in Cork and Dublin.


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