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Archive for the ‘Smart People’ Category

Using Strategy to Prioritize Goals

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

With the summer ending and fall nearing, it’s a logical time to evaluate priorities and determine how time can be spent and what can still be accomplished in 2018. There are endless things to do –– time with friends and family, work and professional growth, giving or volunteering time, hobbies… But how do we determine priorities and how our time should be spent?

In a recent book, The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate, author Fran Hauser discusses the value in sitting down and analyzing the way you spend your time and determining if your choices are bringing you closer to your goals.

Hauser described a system she uses to prioritize her goals. She draws four squares on a piece of paper and in each square, she writes an important area of her life such as: Me, Friends & Family, Career, and the World. Then in each square she lists her top priorities related to each section, only allowing herself to write a maximum of three priorities per square, to prevent herself from overextension.

Participating in that exercise led her to an interesting realization. She wrote, “When I took a step back and looked at my squares, it was clear to me right away that my calendar and to-do list were not aligned with the priorities I had identified. I began shifting my schedule and commitments by saying no to and delegating some of the requests that were not aligned.”

This lesson is something that we can all take to heart –– are the things that we’re doing on a regular basis intentionally working toward our goals? Have we even identified our goals in each category? Understanding what the major goals in our lives are is a key component to deciding how to spend the time we have. The sooner goals are apparent, the faster we’re able to use our time in the most effective and efficient ways. How are you spending your time ?

Where Style Meets Expertise: Cristofoli Keeling, Inc.

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

Cristofoli Keeling, Inc. was founded around the idea that style inspires all. A majority woman-owned marketing communications firm established in 1999, Cristofoli Keeling, Inc. was created when founder, Ann Keeling, paired her seasoned design background with a high level of strategic communications experience. For today’s agile business environment, being comfortable with innovation is a prerequisite. Never shying away from exploring new ways to optimize client marketing investments, Cristofoli Keeling, Inc. embodies the entrepreneurial spirit, while leveraging the expertise and professionalism of an established organization.

After years of working in design management for international brand design firm LPK, Ann Keeling was asked to add the management of marketing communications for the firm to her client service role.  She observed that the public relations agencies would consistently position experienced professionals in the pitch process, but after winning the business, the execution would be handled by those less experienced who lacked industry understanding.

After seeing this reality become an unfortunate pattern, Keeling recognized an opportunity in the market to do things better. Vowing to provide clients with not only innovative thinking, but a seasoned understanding of their industry and challenges, Keeling founded the firm and stepped into the role that she continues to maintain today.

As founder and President of Cristofoli Keeling, Inc., clients have described Keeling by saying, “She strikes just the right balance between no-nonsense professionalism and setting a relaxed tone in the work-place.” An advocate for both clients and colleagues alike, Keeling has expanded her marketing communications empire, without ever neglecting her original goal – to provide every client with expert guidance and strategic execution.

Offering clients expertise without ever sacrificing style, Keeling lives by the adage, “Do It Right…Do It Big…Do It with Style.”

What is your ethos?

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Belcan, one of America’s largest engineering firms, is built on a solid foundation with a bright future. Belcan’s strength and success is attributed to their business philosophy as well as the personal convictions of Belcan founder, Ralph G. Anderson.

An education advocate and innovative thinker, Anderson was an engineer, farmer, and philanthropist. He was born in Harrodsburg, Kentucky and served in the United States Air Force during World War II. He graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering. Post graduation, Anderson served as an engineer for various companies before founding Belcan in October 1958.

Anderson’s convictions took root during his childhood and were formally delineated in a 1995 document know as, 19 Points. Ralph’s convictions are honest, genuine, and timeless. They should not only be read, but thoroughly reflected upon.

Belcan’s 19 Points

  1. If you have a problem, it’s because of how you think. And the only way that you can ever fix a problem is to change your thinking.
  2. If you have a choice between being right or being kind, always choose kind. You always have a choice.
  3. Be part of the solution, not the problem. If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.
  4. There is no stress; it is the way you process it in your mind.
  5. Trust in your intuition.
  6. Negative thoughts tear you down; positive thoughts build you up.
  7. Your opinion of me is none of my business.
  8. When you judge a person, you define yourself; you want them to be like you.
  9. When you let others people’s opinion of you bother you, you let them control you. You have no control of other people’s opinion; you have control of your character.
  10. People don’t care how smart you are until they find out how much you care.
  11. “EGO” = Edging God Out
  12. You get treated in life the way you teach people to treat you. If you fight them, they fight back; if you give love, you will receive love back.
  13. If you seek happiness for yourself, it will always elude you. If you seek happiness for others, you will always receive it.
  14. You can’t learn anything by talking.
  15. Be a leader – one who looks at the overall picture of the company, not just at part of the company.
  16. A leader doesn’t care who gets the credit.
  17. You control your thoughts, your thoughts control your emotions, therefore you control your emotions – don’t blow up.
  18. We live to be happy and to have fun. It’s all internal.
  19. This is my way — what is your way — “the” way does not exist.


Ann Keeling says:

Anderson’s 19 points deserve more than reflection – these convictions should be everyone’s convictions. Everyone, that is, who wants to be all that they can be and lead a complete, happy and successful life.

Ad Blocking: Awesome Apple or Adverse Affect

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

There are a few things more annoying than intensively browsing a website via your mobile device when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, like a meteoroid, an ad pops up. How do I get out of it? How do I go back? – now I’ll never know if Beyoncé and Jay-Z are calling it quits! So. Frustrating. Right? Luckily Apple is here to save the day – yet again.

On Wednesday, September 16, Apple announced that their latest operating system update, iOS 9, would allow users to download apps to block mobile ads and trackers in Safari. Apple’s enablement of ad blocking gives customers the option to block content “for improved mobile browsing experience,” says an Apple spokeswoman.

Ad and pop-up blocking apps and devices have been around for years, primarily used on desktop computers. However, as mobile devices and tablets become more prevalent and ads get more annoying, the demand for uninterrupted browsing is growing. Users are eager for tools to combat aggressive and behavior tracking ads. According to Sean Blanchfield of PageFair, an Irish start-up that tracks ad blocking, user installation of ad blocking apps and devices has increased 48% in the past 12 months – a staggering percentage and potential goldmine for app developers.

Apple’s ad blocking benefit is indeed an exciting new comfort for users, however, could have a potentially adverse affect on advertisers and publishers. Brand marketers rely on ads – especially within the mobile media space – to promote their products and many websites depend upon paid advertisements and sponsors for funding. It’s a seamless cycle of buy and sell that could be largely hindered by ad blocking.

One ad-blocking app developer, Maro Armet, has had second thoughts after considering the harm his app could create for millions of individuals within the ad industry. “Ad blockers come with an important asterisk: while they do benefit a ton of people in major ways, they also hurt some, including many who don’t deserve the hit,” wrote Armet in a blog post. After just thirty-six hours in the top Apple Store slot, Armet pulled his ad-blocking app, Peace. Armet then promised all Peace purchasers a refund.

In today’s fast paced and eager environment users expect and want information, news, video and more instantaneously, without interruption. However, it is important that we take a step back and look at the big picture. Although many ads are annoying and intrusive, there are also many less invasive ads that provide relevant information and offers that we actually may want to see.


Ann Keeling says:

Whether we like it or not, the digital landscape is like any other (print, TV, radio) where advertising is just part of the game. Since digital is immediate and we have much more control over it, we want to control the ads we see, too. We do have to realize however that ad-blocking is potentially putting people out of work. Rather than blocking all ads, using the same technology to only deliver relevant ads to each of us, would be the best of both worlds.

The Doctor Is In!

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Dr. Ben Carson is serving as a surprising contender in the 2016 presidential race. A retired neurosurgeon and new to the political realm, Carson’s growing appeal and political notoriety is taking the Republican Party by surprise.

Carson’s leap in the polls was seen after his performance in the first GOP primary debate. Carson is an outsider without ties to the political system. Despite his inexperience in political circles, he possesses a likeable factor that is essential for any candidate. People want to like who they are voting for and Carson is gaining favorable ratings from voters. Carson, the only other Republican candidate who has not held or run for elected office, challenges Donald Trump as a contender in the 2016 presidential election because voters are looking for a different approach, and one that is genuine as well as relevant for today. Straying from the more experienced politicians, voters are intrigued by what Carson and Trump have to offer.

Trump and Carson are polar opposites in terms of personality. Trump is often seen as a bully while Carson is viewed as a genuinely nice guy. Carson’s likeability factor is contributing to his growing appeal. Even Donald Trump admits he is staying clear of salacious attacks against Carson because he believes his opponent is a nice guy and doesn’t deserve the negative attention. The attention Trump has brought to himself and the campaign is now serving a larger purpose, working in favor of Carson as well. One national poll revealed Carson was by far the strongest contender to Trump and the only candidate with a higher image rating than the business billionaire. Additionally, the survey found Republican voters would prefer Carson to Trump if the two faced off in the primary.

These outsider candidates intrigue voters because they believe they represent real change. It will be interesting to see how voter opinions change as the race continues. Carson’s likeability factor seems to be influencing the polls while Trump works to keep his ratings high, but will more focused attention on these candidates change the results we are currently observing? The doctor is in and Trump just might not like the diagnosis.


Ann Keeling says:

With so many candidates for this critical election Carson certainly represents the voice of common sense. His smarts and business acumen could be exactly what this country need right now. He’s a no B/S guy and has a clear vision of what is wrong with our current systems and outcomes. Plus his nice-guy approach makes him someone that most people can relate to.