Sports, Sponsorships and Scandals


With the prevalence of corruption arising from the FIFA to the IAFF and now within the upcoming Olympic Games, we have to wonder, what should sponsors do? 

Marketing Week recently published an article telling sponsors exactly what they should do, but regardless of sponsors calling for change and large events still have an ever popular appeal, we have to wonder, what are our so called role models teaching us?

As kids, one moment we’re told that cheaters never prosper but then a parent mutters that if you aren’t cheating you aren’t trying.

So which is it?  Should I tell my eight-year-old son to try his best against an opposing basketball team with kids twice his size? Or do I tell my daughter to trip the opposing soccer player to steal the ball?

With the 2016 Olympics approaching we have seen blood doping scandals become a trend and fleeing sponsors a result of the aftermath. But when the International Olympic unnamedCommittee Chairman, Thomas Bach, stated that the decision to let individual (Russian) athletes compete if they can comply with the IOCs testing program “is about doing justice to clean athletes all over the world,”  I have to wonder, is this justice or futile attempt to enact change.

Society takes its cue from champions, in this instance, Olympic athletes.  Time and again we see top level coaches attempt to reduce the unpredictability of human performance.  But who can blame them when the pressure to win is so all-encompassing that they must push the boundaries, operate in the gray and some cases flat out cheat, risking the possibility of getting caught for the glory of winning the gold.

Anyone who has played Pop Warner football can recall their coaches stating that there isn’t an “I” in team, a worthy try to encourage teamwork. However,  as a parent, you become conflicted, obviously, you want your kid’s team to win but at what cost?  You don’t fill them full of steroids before peewee soccer, but parents have resorted to lying about Johny or Julie’s age to play on a specific team forcing leagues to verify birth certificates during registration.

Another prime of example of scandals and sponsors fleeing is ‘deflategate’ in 2015. So why did the NFL league did not renounce the Patriots 2015 Championship win and eventual SuperBowl 49 victory.  It would be logical to assume that the Indianapolis Colts and the Seattle Seahawks would vehemently fight to see injustice rectified yet the Patriots, not the Colts, played in SuperBowl 49.unnamed

So then we ask, why? For a scandal of such magnitude to occur with no direct repercussions, one has to wonder why?

The answer is simple; it would expose rampant team cheating in the NFL and most definitely tarnish the most respected brand in US professional sports.  I will save the conspiracy theory that Tom Brady was Bill Belichick’s scapegoat for another post. You would assume that society would punish Tom Brady for being a cheater, but you would be wrong.  Interestingly enough, after the NFL announced the four-game suspension, Tom Brady’s apparel sales spiked by 100%, which makes you wonder about the incongruence from our societal values.

Fleeing sponsors or sponsors enacting change aside, it seems that any publicity could be good publicity, maybe even for Russia?


Merging of Global Beer Giants

On July 20th, the US Justice Department approved the sale of SABMiller to Anheuser-Busch InBev for over $100 billion. On July 26th AB-Inbev upped their offer slightly and is offering an 8% premium to fair market value. US antitrust approval is one of the last major steps, after receiving similar approval in Europe and South Africa. Similar consent from the Chinese government is the last hoop to jump through. They are expected to close the deal later this year. The deal requires SABMiller, a British company, to sell off their US subsidiary MillerCoors. AB InBev, a Belgian company, isn’t able to own MillerCoors. Combined with AB-Inbev’s Anheuser-Busch holdings this would create a monopoly over the US beer market. Just look at the charts below, these two companies dominate the US market.

Data from IRI
Data from IRI

InBev and MillerCoors own most of the top 15 beers in America. Many of the brands you love to drink are owned by InBev or MillerCoors.







The SABMiller and AB-Inbev merger is mostly about global beer markets, not American. US sales represent about 30% of AB-Inbev’s current revenue. This move would reduce their dependence on American beer drinkers. AB-Inbev is especially eyeing SABMiller’s African brands. AB-Inbev has been unable to create a foothold for their own brands on that continent.  African beer sales are up 11%, and Indian sales are up 9%, showing growth and possibilities, where the US market is getting increasingly competitive.

From AB-Inbev:
From AB-Inbev:

In the US market AB InBev has focused their growth into buying up many craft breweries and pushing their distribution nationally. They recently purchased 10 Barrel, Elysian, and Goose Island. They also own a stake of Craft Brewers Alliance which brews Widmer, Red Hook, and Kona.

Beer Graph 3
Data from IRI

It is not hard to see why. Craft Beer has been the largest growing segment in the industry for the last few years. Market share of premium beer (ex. Bud Light) has dropped from 42% in 2010 to 35% in 2014, while craft beer has increased from 9.4% to 15.4% over the same period. Even with ads like below, their is considerable attention on the Craft Beer segment.

One of the conditions of the merger placed on AB-Inbev by the Justice Department, is a restriction on the purchase of more craft breweries. Now AB-Inbev has to seek Justice Department approval before the acquisition of future craft brewers for the next 10 years.

Beer Graph 4
Data from IRI

AB-Inbev has seen sales in the US drop with the rise of craft and Mexican beers (AB-Inbev owns the Corona and Modelo brands outside of the US, but Constellation Brands sells it in the US). This merger is a slight acquiescence from AB-Inbev, foregoing further investment in the US, and turning their focus globally. If the merger is finally approved by all national trade organizations AB-Inbev will basically become the brewer for the world. They will control almost every popular local beer brand outside of the United States.

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Why Do People Run Half Marathons? – I’m not doing it for the shoes!

When one types in a search for “why do people run half marathons?” into Google, they are most likely doing one of two things. One, they are following their marketing professor’s instructions for how to create a good blog post for a digital marketing class OR (more likely) two they are asking themselves the same question I’ve been asking myself lately:

“Why the hell AM I doing this?! Why am I training for a half Marathon, again?”

It’s just 13.1 miles. What’s all the fuss about?

A lot of you are reading this because you’ve heard through the grape vine, or from me directly, that I’m training for my first half marathon. And honestly, the first question most of you have asked me is “why?”

I’m here to tell you what all the fuss is about.  For me, anyway.

Running Shoes

Originally, I set out on this journey to:

  •   Test my physical strength
  •   Test my mental strength
  •   Test my willpower and commitment to a goal
  •   Test my ability to create a new habit and stick with it

The sheer curiosity of if I could or couldn’t do it was the entire reason I started training.

My motivation to keep training?

1. Camaraderie

The number of complete strangers in the global running community who continue to support me, follow me, read my blog, like my sweaty/frizzy haired instagram photos, offer advice, and cheer me on literally leave me in awe most days.  People who I have NEVER met, and NEVER spoken to, are taking the time out of their busy lives to support me in my goal to run this half marathon. If you want to restore your faith in humanity during this crazy time in the world, look no further!

2. Confidence

Sometimes you have to remind yourself what you’re really made of. Your body has to prove to your brain that you are a force to be reckoned with, and that you really can do whatever you set your mind to.

3. Curiosity

The sheer curiosity of if I could or couldn’t do this was the entire reason I started training. And my curiosity is still a main reason why I keep training and keep being motivated to work towards this goal. I guess we’ll find out if curiosity killed the cat in a short 36 days time!

Why Some People Run Half Marathons

Some common results from my quick Google search indicate the following as “reasons why people should run half marathons”.  There are some funny ones, that certainly don’t apply to me.

1. You Have A Thing For Bling

“Many races include all kinds of perks and amenities to draw runners to the starting line. One such amenity is the ubiquitous race medal. The bigger the race, the bigger (and gaudier) the medal you’ll typically receive at the finish line. Medals now double as coasters, bottle openers and more. If you complete more than one half marathon in a particular race series (for example, the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon Series), it’s likely you’ll get a special medal for your multiple efforts. So, if you’ve got a penchant for the bling, half marathons will hook you up.” (Forsman, n.d.)

Nope, I’m not in it for the bling. I’ll gladly wear a finisher’s medal when I feel like I’ve earned it, but the shiny, heavy circle around my neck is NOT my motivation. Doesn’t the strap end up chafing, anyway?

2. You Like To Party

“As mentioned earlier, the perks and amenities at races today are staggering. Aside from the gaudy ‘bling’ one typically receives, there is almost always some kind of post-race party or celebration. Destination Races sells out all practically all of its wine country-themed events to some degree because of the post-race wine tastings following the race. The anti-oxidants can speed recovery and augment the runner’s high. Live music often accompanies the imbibing of said anti-oxidants. If you like to party, the half marathon may be your distance.” (Forsman, n.d.)

Free Mimosas are great and all, but I’ll go to a bar (or my refrigerator) if I want one. And Yes, I do like to party, but not when I smell like literal ass, have Jell-O legs, and want to crawl into an air-conditioned hole to nap. Unless that’s your idea of a party, and then we may just inherently disagree on this one.

3. You want to burn some extra calories

“A mile generally burns about 100 calories. If you’re currently logging mileage consistent with running 5Ks and/or 10Ks, you’re burning some decent calories.” (Forsman, n.d.)

Nope. I like bacon, and my body the way it is. Thanks, though. Also since starting this training I have gained weight, not lost any. I don’t know if I’m enjoying the carbo-loading too much, or if I’m actually losing fat and gaining muscle. Either way: pass the bacon, please.

4. You want new kicks.

“If you are stepping up from the 5K or 10K distance, logging a few extra miles each week will undoubtedly necessitate the purchasing of an additional pair or shoes or two. So, if you’ve been eyeing the hot new pair of Nikes at your local running specialty store, sign up for a half and pull the trigger as you’ll likely need them soon.” (Forsman, n.d.)

Seriously? New shoes? That’s what is getting some people to feel like they are going to pass out from exhaustion? That’s what is keeping some people on their training schedules when it’s hot, when it’s raining, when you can’t feel your toes, when you’d rather do your damn laundry than go on another run. Shoes? Oh my god, shoes. To each their own but personally, this one doesn’t do it for me.

5. Your wardrobe needs upgrading.

“If you’re going to be logging more miles, that may very well mean you’re running more days per week than you have previously.  These extra days of running will make it easy to rationalize upgrading your running wardrobe.” (Forsman, n.d.)

Nope.  See PSA about shoes written above.

My Current Stats:

  • Motivation for my last training run: staying on track with my recent  progress
  • Length of last training run: 6 miles
  • Song that got me through my last training run: Send My Love (To Your New Lover) by Adelle
  • Longest continuous distance ran (to date): 6 miles

Days to Disneyland Half Marathon: 36

– Lauren N

Read more from the Digital Drinkers 

10 Back Flexibility Stretches15 Stretches for Splits, and Tips for Sharing Your Practice | 5 Secrets to Flexibility Training, and Building a Following | Surviving a Beer Fest    |     Investing In A Home, Part 1      |     The Portland Trail Blazers Brand      |   Training For My First 1/2 Marathon



Forsman, Matt (n.d.). 13.1 Reasons to Run a Half Marathon. Retrieved July 21, 2016, from:


Chuck Norris once kicked a horse in the chin. Its descendants today are known as giraffes

Chuck Norris High Kick

Did I get your attention? Never underestimate the power of Chuck Norris to get people’s attention. Or any other celebrity for that matter. The power of celebrity branding or endorsement cannot be understated these days. We see a movie star wear something, we want to buy it to be like them. We see an athlete drink Gatorade, we absolutely must buy a case of it! Chuck Norris also has done a run of celebrity endorsements. Anyone remember The Total Gym? My personal favorite are the Action Jeans, just in case you too need to high kick someone in the chin.


Of course, Chuck Norris isn’t the only celebrity to endorse a product. How many stars are now endorsing shoe companies like Adidas or Puma? What about athletes? How many people have just had to have a pair of Jordans or KDs by Nike? Everyone wants to emulate their favorite star or athlete, and buying what they are selling is a big part of that. If we can’t look like them, we can at least dress like them. Same with cars, or in this case trucks. I wonder how many Volvo trucks Jean-Claude Van Damme’s commercial sold?

But is celebrity endorsement just being seen wearing a particular brand? With most celebrities having several hundred followers on their Twitter account alone, celebrities also have the ability to reach a broad audience base, much more than you or I could on any of our social media platforms. Because of that, celebrities get an insane amount of money just to tweet a brand. A simple celebrity search gives us a few numbers from 2013  to put this into perspective. Actor Frankie Muniz gets paid $252 per tweet. Doesn’t seem like much, but that’s just one time. If he tweets a product 20 times, that’s $5040 for a couple minutes’ worth of work and he’s just reached 175,000+ potential customers. What about a Kardashian? Khloe earns $13,000 per tweet. That’s a whole lot of money, but well-earned because her tweets will reach over 8 million people. Companies that are willing to pay her that kind of money fully understand that if they reach just a percentage of her followers, they will easily recoup their cost.

So what does this all mean? If you can afford Chuck Norris (or another celebrity) to endorse your product publicly, it will likely cost you significantly, but the upfront cost will likely be recouped by additional customers that your own marketing might not meet. And not to be outdone by Jean-Claude Van Damme, I leave you with this video:


Chuck Norris approves this post! (Not really, but imagine how many followers I would have if he did!)

Chuck Norris thumbs up


If you like this post, check out these others:

Pokemon Go as a Marketing Tool

Yelp and Zynga – Big Business Capitalizing on Our Desire to Connect to Our Communities

Are You Unprepared for Your Next Job?

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10 Craft Beers Actually Owned by Budweiser


Even as Budweiser changed their name to “America” this summer, and ran a Superbowl ad teasing and taunting craft breweries, Bud’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch Inbev, has been buying up small craft brewers and taking them national. AB-Inbev is making a push to expand their brand names and capitalize on the rising tide of craft beer in America,

1) Elysian Brewery (Seattle, WA) – Acquired by AB-Inbev in 2015


2) 10 Barrel Brewing (Bend, OR) – Acquired by AB-Inbev in 2014



3) Golden Road Brewing (Los Angeles, CA) – Acquired by AB-Inbev in 2015 golden-road-logo

4) Four Peaks Brewing (Pheonix, AZ) – Acquired by AB-Inbev in 2015 fourpeaks

5) Breckenridge Brewery (Breckenridge, CO) – Acquired by AB-Inbev in 2016download (2)

6) Goose Island Beer Company (Chicago, IL) – Acquired by AB-Inbev in 2010header-logo

7) Blue Point Brewery (Patchogue, NY) –  Acquired by AB-Inbev in 2013Blue_Point_Brewing_Company_logo

8) Shock Top (St. Louis, MO) – In house AB-Inbev Branddownload (3)

9) Redhook Brewing (Seattle, WA) – Owned by Brewers Alliance, AB-Inbev has a 35% ownership stake logo_gate

10) Kona Brewing (Kona, HI) – Owned by Brewers Alliance, AB-Inbev has a 35% ownership stake kona

Check out these other Awesome Posts from Team Money!

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10 Back Flexibility Stretches for Dancers

The stretches that took me from “I can’t do a wheel pose without help” … to… “Yeah, I can put my head between my feet.”

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 4.25.24 PMAs a dancer, back flexibility is always a topic of discussion. Unsurprisingly, when you type into Google “back flexibility” the first question that autofills is “back flexibility stretches for dancers.”

This has been an area of focus and success for me – with achieving the illusive “head-to-feet” in January of 2016.

back flexibility

10 Stretches: How I Got My Head-to-Feet

  • Disclaimer: I am not an expert on flexibility. However, these are all stretches I learned from certified personal trainers, yoga instructors, and contortionists.
  • Warm Up: Spend 10-15 minutes warming up. You can do chest circles, shoulder rolls, cat/cow poses.
  • Be mindful: Your spine is important, take special care and rest days.
  • Questions? I’ve hyperlinked to video tutorials from professionals for most poses.

1. Cat/Cow Pose (Howcast, 2012)

Inhale into Cat Pose, exhale as you round your back for Cow Pose. Rotate between both poses 3 times.

Cat Cow Pose

2. Downward Dog (Yoga with Adriene, 2012)

Press into the ground with your hands and draw your hips back. Hold for 3-5 breaths.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 12.03.44 PM

3. Cobra Pose (Yoga with Adriene, 2013)

Inhale as you press up. Focus on lengthening your spine. Gently twist side to side to warm up your low back.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 12.05.55 PM

4. Cobra Kicks

Once in cobra, I like to bend each leg. Bend each leg two times and hold for 3-5 breaths. Then, press your hips back for Puppy Dog.


5. Puppy Dog Pose (Ekhart Yoga, 2010)

Keep your hips over your knee as you drop your chest down. Hold for 3-5 breaths.

Puppy Dog Pose

6. Camel Pose Rotations

Using a gentle rotation to grab both ankles, lead with the arm in the direction you plan to go. Sweep out the opposite direction. Repeat 3 times in each direction.


7. Camel Pose (BeFiT, 2013)

Gently reach back for your ankles or feet. Hold for 3-5 breaths. Repeat 3 times.

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 7.26.00 PM

8. Wheel Pose (, 2013)

Press up into wheel pose. Hold for 3-5 breaths. See video tutorial for proper form.

Wheel Pose

9. Plow Pose

Keep arms and palms down to your sides, pike both legs to roll overhead. See video for leg variations. As you unroll, pike legs together and unroll one vertebrae at a time.


10. Feet to Head: Lower Down from Camel Pose

Work on lowering down with your back muscles. If this feels too challenging, practice with walking your hands down a wall. Feeling bendy?  Reach overhead for the ground and walk hands in towards your feet.


How often to stretch?

I do the stretches listed above for 20-40 minutes three days a week. 

Happy bending!

Melissa Barker

P.S., This is the 3rd post in my series on flexibility, for more see  5 Secrets to Flexibility Training and 15 Stretches for Splits.

Read more from the Digital Drinkers 

15 Stretches for Splits, and Tips for Sharing Your Practice | 5 Secrets to Flexibility Training, and Building a Following | Surviving a Beer Fest    |     Investing In A Home, Part 1      |     The Portland Trail Blazers Brand      |   Training For My First 1/2 Marathon



Howcast. “How to Do a Cat Cow Pose for Energy | Yoga.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 23 June 2012. Web. 14 July 2016.

Yoga with Adriene. “Downward Dog – Downward Facing Dog Yoga Pose.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 12 December 2012. Web. 14 July 2016.

Yoga with Adriene. “Cobra Pose – Yoga With Adriene.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 16 January 2013. Web. 14 July 2016.

Ekhart Yoga. “Yoga, the Puppy Dog Pose.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 1 March 2010. Web. 14 July 2016.

BeFiT. “Jillian Michaels: Yoga Camel Pose” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 24 March 2013. Web. 14 July 2016. “How To Do Wheel Pose – Yoga Pros on Yoga Poses.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 29 June 2013. Web. 14 July 2016.

Books on a Screen?

I’ve always loved books. As a child, I read a dozen books each week. I read outside, inside, in the car, in the dim light of evening and well into the night. I was an English major in college, which exposed me to a whole different world of literature. I love memoirs and post modernist fiction, cookbooks and newspaper comic collections, and have favorites from every genre. I talk about reading a lot, so naturally, I am frequently posed with the question “how do you feel about ebooks?”

I am not a voice in the chorus of “save our hardcovers!”  I also, however, love having a shelf full of tangible books that I can gloat over, lend out, and dust. Just kidding, I never dust. I recognize the visceral experience that a paper book gives. I have many a fond memory that revolves around thumbing the pages and slamming the cover shut at the end of a gripping tale. It has been interesting, as an adult in this era, to watch the transformation of the printed word. There is something to be said for defending our precious, strained eyes from yet another screen. A book will never run out of battery. If you leave it in a train station, you don’t have to remotely delete your personal data. You cannot press flowers between your favorite stories on your e-reader.

However, I’ll shout it from the rooftops. I love my Kindle.

The grown up child-me, whose carry-on luggage was just a backpack full of books, loves the ability to carry hundreds of volumes at any given time in my purse. I like the instantaneousness of my electronic books. The joy of acquisition is amplified by the idea that I’ll be able to read that book whenever and wherever the fancy strikes me. While I don’t get to go fight the lines in the excited crowd for a midnight release, which was a great part of the excitement for new Harry Potter books in my youth, I am still very excited that I will have Harry Potter and the Cursed Child delivered to my e-reader immediately on July 31st.

The dawn of the e-book brought about a wave of fear from bibliophiles everywhere. However, the data seems to say we have nothing to fear. While there has been backlash of the digital age (RIP Borders and B. Dalton), it seems that we are in a happy middle point. Phillip Jones of The Guardian said it beautifully in his post on the relationship between e-books and printed books “[readers] have proved to more promiscuous and more flexible in what and how they read than anyone predicted.”

What are you reading?

If you want to read more Ruckus MBA blog posts, you can find them here!

How to Find Your Greatness

Why do you push your limit? Sometime’s it seems stupid, or you might not even be trying to purposefully do it. But often it is planned and a significant amount of thought and preparation go into the moment you decide to push your limit. But you will face many challenges as you navigate the process. So how can you set yourself up for success? I am a climber that has set a specific goal of climbing 5.13 this year which I have never done. I entered the year able to climb multiple 5.12a’s but knew that I what I was going to be at this level was not going to work, here is the journey I went on.


Step 1: Choose your goal, subgoals, and a timeline


In January every year my wife and I sit down at a table and set goals. To be clear, these aren’t New Year’s resolutions. I choose one over all goal and then make sub goals that will have a direct impact on the main goal. My main goal was to climb 5.13 this year.


To get to this point I knew I needed to fix a few things, my diet was the first, I had slipped off of the main plan my wife and I used so it was back to it. Subgoal #1: Eat paleo 80% of the time. Something to note here, I am not trying to sell paleo, I will however preach to pick a dietary plan and stick with it 80% of the time if it does limit what you are used to eating. As part of this goal I have also elected to only allot two alcoholic drinks per week. There was also the issue of dessert. So I have limited myself to only eating a small dessert if I have worked out that same day.


The second point I knew I needed to fix sas how often I was working out and how I was working out. Up to this point I was climbing, doing a bit of campus boarding and a bit of lifting that specifically complimented climbing. This was not going to do. Subgoal #2: Work out with a trainer with the specific goal of 5.13 at least four times per week(This includes climbing and . I have my degree in Exercise and Sport Science and have been a personal trainer for years but there is a point at which I need to own up to the fact that I don’t have the knowledge, at least initially, to get myself to that point. This is also keeping me accountable for working out and also gives an outside perspective on the progression that I will have. (Choosing the correct program to follow is also important but this is very subjective and needs to be personalized so I have chosen not to cover this. I will say that if you have a specific fitness goal you should be spending 80% of your time working on specific strengthening for that activity and 20% on generalized fitness)


The third point was to cross train specifically cardio since that is not highly focused on in climbing. Subgoal #3: Run four 10k’s and complete two mud/fun runs. These aren’t long enough distances that I will start to build specificity in running but it will make a difference in cardio needed while climbing and will allow for time with friends.


The last bit is setting a timeline. The subgoals should start as soon as possible. But the main goal is not obtainable yet. So setting the proper timeline takes into account many issues climbing season’s, short term goals, and proper times for rest and relaxation. I chose to be in shape and ready to work the 5.13 in Late September, early October which is the primary season for climbing in Central Oregon. Since I have set specific goals for working out I also want to set specific goals for climbing. I have added that by the 12th of August I want to climb all of the 5.12’s at French’s Dome (7). I also want to climb 2 5.12’s at Smith Rock prior to August 12th.


Step 2: Start, Change, Keep Going


Start your journey towards obtaining your goals. Start as soon as possible and build in a foundation that allows for change. You will need to take breaks, change your regimen, and at times just plain goof off. I started my main training in February of 2016. However it wasn’t until March that I really got in the groove. I started working a 5.12c at Smith Rock called Tsunami. It wasn’t until June I have finally built the needed strength and endurance needed to climb the route. This success set in motion the drive to keep pushing. It is now toward the end of July and I have climbed all but 2 of the 5.12’s at French’s and have gotten two twelves at Smith Rock. I choose subgoals that were highly applicable to my success. The routes at Smith Rock are specific to the style of climbing that I will be climbing. The style of climbing at French’s requires a high amount of endurance and strength, though they are short routes.


About every month my trainer and I add or change the type of training though we do keep a few consistent factors. We are always working grip, core and shoulder strength and stability. We will change how we work these over time making them harder or changing how we stress the muscle/muscle group. This should be something that you talk about with a trainer.


Keep going! You will face differing demons along this journey. You will give up hope, find it is not worth it, and many other demons that will tell you to give up. I had a coach when I was younger that wouldn’t lie to us, he often stated that you will doubt, give up, and try to move on. But if it really matters to you, you will fight. The other mantra I use is “It’s not how many times you fall, but how many times you get up.” Find what you need to get through your journey. This is one of many that you will fight through. But if it is worth it, keep fighting!


Step 3: Realize your true potential


What you will find is that you are stronger than you think you are. You will find that if you keep going you will find that you will overcome much more than expected. But know, no matter how much you overcome, the truth is that you will have much more to go. It doesn’t stop and you will face new demons that will come from unexpected places. One of the biggest issues you will find is that you are going through this for yourself and no one else. It is hard to bring  others along on the full journey. They will see bits and pieces, but they will not know everything that has gone through you mind, the work you have put in everyday, or what you have given up to reach your goal. This will be the toughest part of the the whole journey, it feels very lonely. The the truth is that you wouldn’t be here without all those people around you. And ultimately you are successful because of your effort and the effort of those around you. Be thankful and appreciate those that have helped you.

Though it sounds kind of childish a good idea is to keep a journal to track your journey. You can look back to see what challenged you and what was easy, was worked and what didn’t, what changes you made and what changes you should have made. This isn’t a one time gig, you can take the information you learn from one goal and apply it to the rest. I have used this structure for climbing, finding a new job (a trainer in this instance becomes a mentor), and life goals. So I ask you now how will you find your greatness?

The 7 Deadly Sins of Content Marketing Strategy

In a world where the importance of content marketing is rapidly growing, marketers must beware of the 7 deadly sins…



  1. You only need to be on social media if your customers are on social media. FALSE!

You don’t have to be on every social network, but you should be on the ones that will help grow your business.  Your current customers may not be on social media, but chances are your future customers will be if you have a strong inbound marketing strategy.

  1. Want more exposure on Twitter? Use as many hashtags as you can fit. FALSE!

Less is more.  Tweets with only one or two hashtags receive 21% higher engagement than tweets with three or more hashtags.

  1. You don’t need to be on Pinterest unless you’re a B2C brand that sells food or clothing.  FALSE!

B2B brands can utilize Pinterest to share company photos, favorite infographics, user generated pins, and even lead-generating content.

  1. The best way to quickly increase email performance is to buy lists.  FALSE!

Get your email lists organically. They make take longer to generate, but they’ll be significantly more engaged.

  1. Marketing automation will solve all of your email problems.  FALSE!

Automation can help solve email nurturing problems, but not all of them.  If your new leads aren’t becoming customers, take a look at the bigger picture.

  1. The more personalization, the better! FALSE!

Don’t creep out your customers.  Personalization is a good thing, but not when it’s overdone.

  1. If you write it, they will come. FALSE!

There’s tons of content just like yours on the internet.  You need to develop a strategy to push the content in order to attract readers.

Ginny Soskey is the Manager of Content Marketing Strategy for HubSpot’s marketing blog.  Check out more of her helpful marketing tips on her blog or on Twitter.

Can you put a price on your value? Your new employer will try.

Salary negotiation

If  we are being 100% honest here, no one really wants to look for a new job. It’s a lot of tedious work to update your resume, (which if you are anything like me you haven’t done in a few years), writing cover letters, and completing a lengthy online application profile (which is different every single place you apply). Then, after you get all of your materials submitted you still have to endure the gauntlet of interviews that are in front of you. However, when you finally make it past the trap doors and fire breathing dragons and receive that glorious phone call from a recruiter saying, “congratulations! We want you!”, it is often quickly soured when the salary offer comes in about 20K a year less than you were hoping. In today’s world everything is about value creation, ROI, and how your skill set will enhance your new employer. So before you say “YES I WOULD LOVE THE JOB!”, take a step back, sleep on it and see if this is truly going to be a good fit.

Getting to the final stages of a job offer can be one of the most exciting things in life, like buying a house or the new car you always wanted. However, this is also the time that you get to ask all of the questions that you didn’t get to during the interview. When the offer is on the table your potential new employer is wanting to impress you just as much as you are wanting to impress them. Now is the time to ask about the benefits package. What does it really entail and how much out of pocket is the insurance actually going to cost you? Other questions to get right before you talk about the money is how much paid leave do you accrue, are flexible schedules possible or can you telecommute, are there corporate sponsored events and how much professional development is associated with this position?

All of these areas should affect the salary you will be requiring to get started for example, if your new position starts at 70K a year, but you are shelling out $500 – $600 a month to cover your family for insurance, that can significantly impact your salary requirements if your previous employer covered 100% of the insurance premiums. Once you have a stronger insight into the benefits offered by your new employer, now is the time to talk salary. When you really start to talk about hard numbers, THE MOST IMPORTANT KEY to negotiating a fair salary, is to know your value. You can’t expect a new employer to understand what your value is if you first haven’t taken the time to measure your value. Research what your dollar amount is in comparison to this position in like industries and competitors.

... pay raise at your current company, negotiating salary is never easy

How do you find out what the competition is paying? Check out websites like Glassdoor and Their sole purpose of existence is to provide objective 3rd party reviews and salary comparisons. With this information, you will be equipped with the knowledge of your going rate. It is important to note that not all of the items in the benefits package will be negotiable, nor should you negotiate on all potential items. If the salary is not going to be where you need it to be, make sure that you look at increasing vacation accrual or a flexible working schedule. However, also know that you should pick your top 2-3 items going into the salary negotiations. When you try to negotiate every available option, your employer may get cold feet and jump. Keep in mind nothing is finalized until you have a written confirmation from your new employer.

If you are seeking more information about job hopping tips, how to leave your employer on a positive note, or looking for more tips on negotiating salaries, check out and U.S. News as they always have great articles being posted regarding these subject matter areas.

Do your research, ace the interview, get the job, and feel good about your salary when you start! Happy hunting!

Tips for negotiating a higher salary | Agile Vietnam