Courage … in fancy high heeled shoes!

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We’re looking forward to co-hosting tonight’s #BEaLEADER Twitterchat as @PrPinkPonies/@PrettyPinkPro and our networks from Meetup.com, Etsy, USC et al…

As you may know, Pretty Pink Ponies has a successful and accomplished team of over 100 small local merchants with online shops.

Here’s our team description:

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Boyfriends w/ D1 backgrounds = better relationships (teams)

“How do you manage people who are better than you?”

There Is An I In Team: HBR Presentation w/ Mark De Rond and Angela Herrin
Marvel comics, team, Xmen

Marvel comics, team, Xmen

I listened to a recent web presentation provided by the Harvard Business Review titled, “There Is An I In Team”.

I’m fascinated by collaboration among team members as a result of having had a couple of long term boyfriends who played Division I sports (Hot!).

It made very little sense to me in college that men can experience anger and frustration with a teammate or rival, duke it out, then grab a beer and hang out as friends the following day.

They seemed to be able to separate their roles on their teams from who they are off the team. But, how?!?!?

These abilities — a) getting over setbacks and moving forward, and b) separating one’s role on and off his/her team — are paramount to one’s chances of success in large organizations (i.e. Professor Xavier’s school for the gifted, or if you prefer reality, large world class corporations).

Marvel comics, team, Xmen

The HBR presentation I mentioned  is one of the better studies on how the best teams function, what makes teams effective, and how to manage teams to accomplish wins. De Rond takes his observations of university rowing teams and boat races to examine coordination between team members.

One insightful observation De Rond discovered in the results of team surveys is that high performers typically underestimate their own teammates**. And, as we all have experienced, this makes high performers or those who are highly intelligent dismissive of others.

If this is true, what can we do to exploit the value high performers can provide while mitigating the risks these high performers’ behavioral tendencies often cause?

Surprisingly, the answer isn’t found by forcing all team members to get along. It turns out that expressing emotional experiences and venting to teammates create winning performance***.

While most of us define team harmony as an absence of competitiveness between members, this is only half of the story. Competition (“lack of harmony”) cannot truly be forced out of individuals because it is innate. If suppressed, competition resurfaces in more destructive forms under the radar of team leaders and creates more dysfunction than if they were acknowledged, accepted and resolved in a psychologically safe and moderated space.

My favorite take away from this presentation is this: 

Harmony cannot be forced in teams. Harmony is created naturally when teams experience wins and achieve great things through collaboration with one another.

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How about you? How was YOUR day?

How about you? How was YOUR day?

Rate this:

“…the beauty of letting things go…”

Bridget Hoida

 

“The beauty [of Los Angeles] is the beauty of letting things go; letting go of where you came from; letting go of old lessons; letting go of what you want for what you are, or what you are for what you want; letting go of so much—and that is a hard beauty to love.”—Michael Ventura, “Grand Illusion”Letters at 3 AM: Reports on Endarkenment

via Bridget Hoida on: hard beauty.

Bridget Hoida on: hard beauty

Bridget is a friend, mentor, inspiration, advisor, twitter follower, confidante, et cetera…

I learned a lot about self-acceptance from Bridget’s writing advice during my years as an undgrad (and afterwards).

As it turns out, writers view words as instruments by which individuals connect to others. I learned that writing can be formatted in any way as long as the message and the spirit of the message are successfully transported to another — carrying with it the essence of its source.

Writing is a vehicle.

And, unlike perfectly formatted bullets on a memo, the musings of a good writer isn’t only concerned with getting you to point B –she wants to take you on a ride!!!

Congrats on your beautiful book, B. And, thanks for the ride.

Love,

Meg

Bridget Hoida on: hard beauty.

Pls. share: What’s in your purse? (img)

 

Without cheating (and, without any jokes about Deep V-neck shirts) please share with us the contents of your purse right this second….

Can you tell a lot about someone’s personality based on what they tote around in their handbags???

Thanks everyone!

 

3P

Happy Mother’s Day, mom!

My taste for fashion and professional clothing is greatly influenced by my mother.
Each morning, I watched her leave the house to run her medium-sized print ad company, VIRGO INC.


Always tailored; always ladylike.

Cool, Determined and Entrepreneurial: Etsy Community Strategist, Morgan Evans is awesome!

The Pink Ponies Etsy team is honored to have been invited to tonight’s Etsy dinner by Morgan Evans, Community Strategist for Etsy , the global online marketplace for handmade goods and antiques.

“Cool, Determined and Under 30” (via Inc. magazine)

Tonight we met inspiring local entrepreneurs who create and sell handmade goods via their online store on Etsy. These Los Angeles creatives utilize technology and the platform provided by Etsy to lead teams of like-minded sellers.

We don’t necessarily think about the handmade goods seller when the word “entrepreneur” is used, however, these small business owners aren’t sitting around bedazzling for nothing — they make it rain!

Stay tuned for more feedback and some background on the L.A. – based Etsy Entrepreneurs in an upcoming post!

3P

(Inc. mag article link)

Funny…

 

How to improve your A-Game (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).

You were known as a focused player who wasn’t very personable. Did that hurt your career?

Well, it had a negative effect on how I was portrayed. But I had no one to explain the value of public relations to me. When I was in college, there was such an intense demand from the press that John Wooden said they couldn’t talk to me at all. So that was what I took for normal going into the NBA. Being at the top of my game and working as hard as I could for the people who employed me—that was my primary focus, and everything else was secondary. So I didn’t always respond to social situations in a pleasant way. When it came to talking to people, I was kind of reserved. But shyness is something you have to overcome. Later in my career, I started doing a lot better relating to fans and talking to the media. I think that’s continued to improve in my retirement.

Excellent interview with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Harvard Business Review. This interview highlights elements of success and transcends industries beyond sports. We continue to explore lessons from athletes on tonight’s #3PChat with @RickardonSports. Please follow and ask questions using “#3PCwin”. Thank you.

This interview discusses:

  • Why PR matters in addition to your team’s results.
  • What role managers play in development.
  • Being multi-dimensional
  • How to play with Magic.
  • How being described as “difficult” hurts your game.
  • Improvement in general.
  • Being accessible.
  • How to market and sell yourself.
  • Good-judgment.
  • Et cetera…

We highly recommend this interview with Kareem as he reflects on his trajectory as he evolved from a great player to a winning player on and off court:

Life’s Work: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Harvard Business Review.

It may not be pink, but it helps tell our story…(img)

Connect  … in fancy high-heeled shoes (“pretend” high-heeled shoes are okay, too)!!!

Don’t be shy – reach out and connect!

… in fancy high-heeled shoes (“pretend” shoes will do)!

Happy networking!

3P

The greatest hazard in life…

“To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

Leo F. Buscaglia

Wishing everyone a beautiful week!

3P

Is anyone listening? (Video)

Why have we become afraid of conversation…intimacy…relationships???

Poignant and sad perspective re: how we are being shaped by technology by psychologist, Sherry Turkle.

 

How to effectively communicate with ANYONE…(guide)

I receive applicable and straightforward career advice by listening to the Manager Tools, LLC podcast.

One of the topics I found most useful is what hosts, Mark and Mike, refer to as “behavioral diversity”. In simple terms, behavioral diversity refers to the concept that our tendencies are some combination of four broad categories represented by the letters D,I,S & C in the DiSC model.

I won’t go into DiSC theory here as it is lengthy and there are better resources of information for this behavior identification model. You also have to take a test to better understand your own behavioral profile.

That said, if you’re already somewhat familiar with DiSC, the outline we provide in this post (below) of the basic behavior types may serve as a useful communication reference guide.

As Mark often says (via Drucker, perhaps), “communication is what the listener does”.

BeEffectiveWithDISC

Cheers!

Meg & the Ponies

Please note: the DiSC information was published and is owned by
© 2012 Manager Tools, LLC. All rights reserved

Kindness isn’t always sweet…

Know what occurred to me earlier? Kindness isn’t always expressed in a pleasant sounding voice. Sometimes it’s disappointing when someone makes a decision that’s for our own best interest.

Can I Be Fully Me?: Stages of Relational Development

“…it takes thirty years to mature emotionally,…”

via Can I Be Fully Me?: Stages of Relational Development.

Can love make you healthier and more immune to disease? #Love #Health …

Can love improve mental and physical health and aid in our  response to pain?

Can love  make us wiser?

© 2006-2010, all artwork and website copyright, http://www.carolinehu.com. All rights reserved.

Included in this post is a link to an interesting piece by Diane Ackerman on a new field in science, interpersonal neurobiology (in other words, the science of relationships).

The fundamental idea of interpersonal neurobiology draws its vigor from one of the great discoveries of our era: that the brain is constantly rewiring itself based on daily life.

What we pay most attention to defines who we are — physically altering our brains…

The article argues that how one chooses to spend the hours in our lives literally shapes our physical selves.

Continue reading the NYTimes article.

Caitlin Flanagan: Combating cupcake culture

How would you describe the “Pink Ponies” brand? (discussion)

Hello, friends! In 25 words or less, how would you describe your initial impression of Pretty Pink Ponies?

Thanks in advance for your input.

“Losing friends” to adulthood…

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girlfriends

“I’m pregnant”, she happily delivers in a text message. Continue reading

Hoard Much?! Donate Professional Clothing to a Good Cause!!!

We’re proud to have worked closely with Dress For Success and the organization’s clients since late 2010 when they officially opened the doors of their West Coast headquarters in Hollywood. Continue reading

::: The Bank of Life by Emily Post :::

THE BANK OF LIFE

Life, whether social or business, is a bank in which you deposit certain funds of character, intellect and heart; Continue reading

Difficult Conversations: A step-by-step dialogue template

I received simple but important communication tips tonight. Continue reading

How To Respond to Rude Behavior… (Per Twitter experts)

Stephanie Tanner (Full House)

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Quote of the day #Judgement

“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”

― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray


(Love to Bridget for sharing this with me.)

Retrospectives: Gen.Y Rants on Relationships… (no pictures)

Let me be the first to tell you that I’m far from perfect. (This is an understatement)

I’ve screwed up simple situations that most of you would’ve probably handled with more maturity, tact and foresight.  

*enter growing pains + embarrassing realizations

I take time to wax introspective on my behavior, my thinking, my values, et cetera…to understand how I managed to make silly mistakes that my friends claim they wouldn’t have made. I mull this over until I’m satisfied and have come to grips with how I screwed up or inadvertently created a negative impression on others. (Please don’t ask why I spend too much time reflecting)

That being said, I’m certain all failing results I’ve been part of aren’t always caused primarily by my deficiencies. Deciding whom to blame is not a productive activity; it’s a waste of time.

OBJECTIVE:
However, I’m hoping my insight and reflection will provide perspective that will help others who like to mull things over.

CONCLUSION: 
I’ve decided that a lot of times, errors are combinations of misinterpreted facts, emotionally-charged mis-judgements and unnecessary conclusions people make about others.

The problem is, often times we tend to think our abilities to decipher and decode human behavior are a gazillion times better than they actually are. Sadly, we are only wasting our time when we sit and analyze others’ actions to try and determine WHY they behave the way they do.

Fact is, people’s motivations change all the time. Even if you pinpoint another’s motives and intentions, they aren’t helpful. For instance, if you’re someone’s boss, then your role requires you reduce risk by assessing others’ behaviors to predict their future behaviors – not judge your direct’s value as an individual.

Again, motivations will probably change. Behavioral tendencies will less likely change that much. 



CHALLENGES:

A. Needless to say, a person who believes he/she has the natural Freudian acumen and capacity (and time) to analyze enough behavioral data to comprehend others’ intentions is ineffective.

Again, ineffective. Why?

  1. you’re not Freud.
  2. you’re not smart enough to make those conclusions.
  3. you don’t know the person’s background (even if you do dig and waste time and resources to find background information about a person)
  4. you’re not in the person’s head.
  5. Your conclusions don’t matter and will probably won’t contribute to your overall purpose.
B. Many people attach their emotional response to others’ behaviors and consider it in their analysis of the individual. This leads to inaccurate assessments and relationship problems.
For example, some people (ahem) tend to be more assertive than others. This is fact. We all have different behavioral tendencies.
For instance, some may talk more quickly, occasionally interrupt you while your speaking, etc… However, these behaviors are not done to offend or hurt others’ feelings. They are merely tendencies that are emotionally neutral (most of the time in a professional environment). The person speaking often does not consider it an affront to behave more assertively than you. It is merely part of their behavioral inclinations as an individual.
*enter behavioral diversity What a concept!
C. As you can see, this could be a big problem at the workplace. 
For example, if a “boss” takes offense to his/her direct’s behavioral tendencies then decides said person is “rude”, “disrespectful”, etc… it will create a culture that shuts out good ideas and good people. 
A person who decides another is “disrespectful” vs. considering that the person’s behavior is “different” from what is familiar to themselves is focused on judgement and is not separating fact from emotion. Attaching these labels on people is not productive, correct, professional or a good technique for effective collaboration.
CLOSING THOUGHT:
Why not create less conflict by understanding that people each have their own behavioral tendencies and spend less time figuring out why the person who offended you is less ____________ than you? 
That way, you can productively help improve others’ behaviors to achieve the outcomes you mutually desire without creating discomfort between one another? What do you think?

…more rants

Handmade Greeting: 2011 Christmas Card (ta! da!)

I finished sending the first batch of holiday cards to friends and family last week. I’ll be sending the second batch tomorrow. This is an exciting time for me. I love wrapping gifts, making cards and most importantly, the holiday and new year cards I purchased at discounted prices throughout the year redeem their value and reward me for my early holiday preparation.

It may seem silly to buy holiday cards in March and April despite their discount, and many naysayers who see me shop probably think to themselves that I’ll only lose the cards before Christmas. But I know better. I feel great about not spending a dime on holiday cards especially because some of the finer paper cost a fortune!


That said, I have to admit I did spend under ten bucks on blank envelopes and blank cards to design a Christmas card for my etsy.com shop. 


Since most cards during the holidays (appropriately) look frosty and frigid, I decided to use warm tones this holiday. 
Are you sending Christmas cards this year?
If holiday cards aren’t in the budget this year, one great option is to spend time designing and personalizing e-Cards. PaperlessPost.com has tons of stylish options for free!

Have a warm and safe holiday season, everyone!
Pretty Pink Ponies
(Psst! Follow us on Twitter @prettypinkpro)

About: Sepia Smiles, etsy.com friend – (images) Re-Post

(re-post)
One of the best things about blogging is meeting people with similar interests.  Roseanna, owner of Sepia Smiles, is one of those people whose interests and styles we find inspiring.  We’re lucky to have met her through our blogging adventures.

Roseanna’s aesthetic is simple, clean, restrained femininity.  Her pastel color schemes and collection of vintage household items is an elegant interpretation of Anthropologie’s “country chic”.

The Sepia Smiles “look” is apparent in Roseanna’s interior designs, home decor, hand-made stationery and even her website layout


As you know, we, too, love making stationery, lots of white-space in our design layout, vintage items, and many other things Sepia Smiles finds ‘pretty’…

We look forward to offering Sepia Smiles products on the Pretty Pink Ponies site soon.
Nice job, Roseanna!!!
(**all photos courtesy of Sepia Smiles)

Dear Twitter…I can’t quit you…(book review)

I recently read the book, Twitterville (2009, Shel Israel), before I committed my time on Twitter.com.

I wanted an understanding of Twitter’s history and main purpose.

What was most interesting was Israel’s belief that Twitter can be an effective tool for creating authentic “communities” of like-minded individuals providing access to others who share your passions, interests and fears eliminating geography as an impediment to making “real” connections.
While I’m excited to experience that it is possible to create a sense of authentic community online,  I notice that Twitter is also flooded with wanna-be “Social Media Experts”, “Social Media Entrepreneurs”, and various permutations of ‘bots and wanna-be marketing gurus whose contributions are not their original thoughts, but scheduled tweets of redundant thoughts with links to their sites and ads.
The result? Worthless connections with bots and phony Twitter accounts (pgs. 241-250, Twitterville).

<enter hashtags: (#Twitter, #prettypinkponies, #SEO, #marketing, #relationships, #Twitterville, #books)

Am I guilty of promoting our site via Twitter? Yes. However, I’m genuinely interested in understanding  the people behind the #hashtags. I aim to provide information I find useful and I’m not selling anything.

(warning: tangent)
*I spend a lot of time with my Twitter friends (…so much so, that my non-Twitter friends have slowly begun to resent me). I’m not bragging and I’m not necessarily proud of this. This is just how things happen to have panned out naturally.*
Anyway, while it’s pretty awesome that one can find worthwhile discussions, support, knowledge and expert opinions on Twitter, it’s not as easy as scheduling Tweets. You’ve gotta put in the time, and you’ve gotta sit through discouraging lag where you don’t connect with others for a while.
Most people become frustrated with Twitter because they don’t see the results they want overnight. They don’t understand Twitter’s non “SEO” value and buy into Klout score, numbers, “points” and computer-based algorithms that make their existence on Twitter more about marketing analytics than actually building relationships.
I’ve observed that Twitter users who truly connect are those who put themselves on the line and risk being wrong, disliked or unpopular out of loyalty for their authentic individual brands.
The others, the “so-called” digital marketers, redundantly post about digital marketing ad nauseam (yawn) and are ineffective in keeping followers engaged. The experience of building a genuine community on Twitter with relevant people (vs. buying friends) is a worthwhile lesson in patience, relationship-building, community contribution (and, naturally, social media’s version of marketing). Relationships with clients, peers, professionals, etc… aren’t built on superficial involvement via auto-tweets. The connection people want are similar to what offline relationships require – engagement and reciprocation.
People want to experience interaction with you.

The most valuable and interesting take-away from the book is Twitter’s unique ability to create success for its most generous contributors.
My point? Twitter is a great tool to connect and build solid networks that require more than tweets as the relationships develop. However, Twitter is also littered with thousands of shell accounts and calculated SEO atuo-tweets that require time to filter through.
As in most relationships, if you have the time to sit through the boring part and filter out the irrelevant individuals without content, you can make the ROI on your time spent on Twitter more than worthwhile.
Thanks for reading (and, thanks for connecting on Twitter, Facebook, our site, or in spirit).
Cheers,
(#Twitter, #prettypinkponies, #SEO, #marketing, #relationships, #Twitterville, #books)
“Twitter is over capacity” error image

Meet The Family – (Will you act like a Focker?)

So,
you’ve won him over.

Before
I congratulate you, I’d like to remind you that the toughest is yet to come –
winning over his parents, his siblings and their family pets.
While
you may have done a great job planning for the holidays by buying greeting
cards and presents six months ahead of time, the invitation to meet his family
may be something you didn’t anticipate when scheduling 2011 back in 2010.
Here
are three questions that’ll help you prepare for this nerve-racking invitation:
As
with all social gathering events, I like to ponder the following three
questions when deciding what to wear, what to bring and other small details
that are key to making the best possible impression of yourself.
1.
Who
are you?
2.
Where
are you?
3.
Why
are you there?
Who
are you
?
In
other words, being confident in who you are in the face of possible rejection
can be tough. Regardless of what discomfort this might present, it’s important
to stand up for who you truly are.
Meeting
his parents isn’t your cue to turn into his mother’s vision of the perfect
woman for her son. Let go of your strategy to channel Betty Crocker and develop
a passion for collecting antique cat figurines by December. This plan is bound
to lead to disaster.
Nothing
is more impressive than a woman who is confident and comfortable in her own
skin and who handles conversations with diplomacy and grace.
If
his mother’s disappointed you’re not Betty Crocker, she’ll get over it if her
son’s happy and enjoying himself with you.
Where
are you?
Are
you meeting his family at their cozy home down South or at a fancy extravaganza
at their neighborhood’s 75th annual holiday gala? Either way, keep
in mind the occasion’s level of formality as well as the weather (in case
you’re traveling to a region you’ve never been before). It will not impress
anyone if you’re wearing your bedazzled cocktail dress to the Scrabble game
with close family and neighbors after holiday dinner. Obviously, a cozy sweater
and casual pants would be more ideal when playing with the family dog and your
date’s adorable nieces and nephews.
Err
on the side of practicality first, then decide how to express your awesome
style.
Why
are you there?
Well?
Why are you meeting his family? Are you there to learn more about how your new
boyfriend was brought up? Are you there to get to know him a little better? Or,
are you there because you’ve decided that this is an audition for an upcoming
role as their daughter-in-law? If you think a nice holiday with his fam is an
audition, don’t go.
I
repeat: don’t go.
This
trip is more about him than it is about you. Get to know his family. Get to
know him. Try and get an understanding of why he prefers pancakes to French
toast and bond with him. This isn’t your opportunity to show off your
baton-twirling act. This is your opportunity to connect with others and to show
that you’re honored to have been invited to share the holidays with their
family. What wins people over? No. Not your fancy Prada purse. You’re not going
to mingle with Bruno at the Milan fashion show (are you?).
People
are won over when you care about their interests and are considerate of their
needs. Talk about your Prada purse another time.
Best
of luck!
Meg

For other Love + Dating articles, visit MadeWomanMag.com