By Genae Girard
A weird thing following treatment has occurred after my particular cancer treatment. I have lost my sense of time. It isn’t that I am late for appointments or don’t know what day it is, I just can’t remember or even don’t care about those hands moving over the increments on that big white oval.
There is a shift in my consciousness that has left me without a need for time. Perhaps it is a protection device that has kicked in to keep me focusing on the present tense vs. what my life was before cancer made a road map of Europe on my body. To keep Time on my side I practice some disciplines around it to keep Time in check:
Focus on one thing at a time.
Remove myself from stressful situations sooner rather than later.
Reduce multi-tasking which reduces focus and depletes energy.
Sleep and eat on a regular schedule. I struggle with this one, but am getting better.
Eliminate toxic relationships.
Release anger and resentment from previous situations in life. Looking at yourself, the master time-keeper in your life can reduce stress and help you to remember to live in the moment. If you were a watch what type would you be?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Genae Girard is a speaker, author and entrepreneur. She is the founder of an online social media tribe of over 18,500 breast cancer survivors and regularly speaks on the topics of women in leadership and building a tribe. She is also the author of “Off the Rack: Chronicles of a Thirty-Something, Single, Breast Cancer Survivor.” For inquiries email: info@BeyondtheBoobieTrap.com
By Genae Girard
Marcy has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. She is thirty-eight years old, has two kids and her head is spinning as she tries to sort out where to go from here. She doesn’t know anything about cancer and doesn’t know what her future holds. She is a single parent and has no other family nearby. She is confused, tired and doesn’t know where to turn for information. What does Marcy do to reduce her fear, get information and try to move forward through her treatment protocol?
Finding help is the first line of defense when crises strike our lives. However, sometimes there is so much information out there with social media, finding the right information can be a daunting task. Here are some ideas on how to get the right information, save time and move forward when crisis strikes.
1) Join a Social Group
Social groups that talk about disease, divorce or other tragedies can provide a support system that helps you move forward after a diagnosis. Many of these groups disseminate information about health care facilities and their experiences help you make a safe, educated decision. Look for groups that are upbeat, fun and lift you up. Pity parties are not going to help you move forward, so great leadership within a group is the key. Write down your questions so that when you do approach a group you can be comprehensive in the information you need without wasting time. Quick searches through sites like www.Meetup.com can help you find groups that will help you move forward.
2) Try Facebook.com
Facebook is a great place to meet people that might be in the same situation as you. Under Facebook’s search engine, you can look for topics that can be helpful in moving you forward. Monitor the site for about a month before posting. That way you know if it is a good fit for your personality and needs. Be careful about sharing too much personal information and always try to communicate one-on-one with an individual if you want to get a personal question answered. People that have been through your situation previously can guide you through helpful steps. The camaraderie that can be created through these sites can reduce stress as well.
3) Look for national organizations to help educate you. Almost every cause, disease or group has national representation. Most of them are a great source for information and financial aid. Look for ones that have been around for at least 10 years as well as ones that have the best documentation. Study the different resources available that you might need during different phases of your situation. There is a whole list of non-profit organizations at http://charity.lovetoknow.com.
4) Join a competitive team. There are teams out there in local cities all over the country that compete to stay in shape and support one another. They compete in triathlons, rowing and biking to stay in shape and belong. Encouragement is great and all levels of fitness are usually included. Check places like your local YMCA or websites such as www.TeamSurvivor.org to see what exists in your area. Trying to keep up with your exercise and also having increased accountability through a team is the key to moving forward.
Finding all of the information and education you need during a crises allows you to reduce your stress load and gives you a chance to make informed decisions. When decisions are made with information, you reduce your personal risk whether it be financial, health or relationship related. Be your own advocate by becoming your own personal expert.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Genae Girard is a speaker, author and entrepreneur. She is the founder of www.BeyondtheBoobieTrap.com, an online social media tribe of over 18,500 breast cancer survivors and regularly speaks on the topics of women in leadership and building a tribe. She is also the author of “Off the Rack: Chronicles of a Thirty-Something, Single, Breast Cancer Survivor.” For inquiries email: info@BeyondtheBoobieTrap.com
By Genae Girard
Every company is trying to use Facebook in an attempt to move their business forward and stay connected to their customers in this fast paced world. Why are some companies more successful at this than others? Content is the key to staying in touch with your customers and keeping them informed. The content however must be a rich mix of information, education, humor and fun. Use the HICCUP approach to make your Facebook page more successful:
Humor allows your audience to come away with a warm fuzzy feeling and a friendly attachment to your message. It doesn’t have to be industry specific, although it can be. You can do viral searches on YouTube and/or sites that plug social media. Always watch a video all the way through before posting as you don’t want it to include any profanity or other unmentionables. Remember video is king. Written blogs are being trumped by the clever, colorful and often fun video blogs.
Don’t be afraid to ask open-ended questions to your group. For example, if you are a financial advisor, you may want to ask, “what is your biggest concern with the down economy?” The purpose here is to begin the conversation. People posting their answers will create a community buzz. Letting the responses unfold naturally also gives you a marketing advantage. The financial advisor can track the concerns and create future training or webinars around his/her consumer’s needs.
If you don’t provide a myriad of interesting topics, information and current trends, current customers as well as future customers simply go away. Clicking “Unlike” on Facebook is just as easy as clicking “Like.” Smart, clever and challenging content will keep your audience waiting for more. With most companies having a presence on Facebook, competition will become fierce and you have to stand out.
If you haven’t done so already, get plugged in to all online media, and/or trade publications online. When something interesting pops up, pass it along for other people’s knowledge. If something political occurs that impacts your industry for example, pass it along. Never make a personal judgment about the event. Let your community unfold. Use Google Alerts in which you can program in key words to notify you of events and news feeds that pertain to your industry. Use a program like Hootsuite to consolidate and Tweet events out to all of your feeds and accounts at one time.
UTILIZING INDUSTRY FACTS
Keep your followers abreast of changes in your particular industry and relate them back to your own business. For example, if you are an accountant and there are some tax changes around the corner, keep people aware by posting them on Facebook. If you are a medical office, you may want to post information on when a flu vaccine is available and what days and times you can sign up for the office visit. These are specific actions that endear your customers to your brand.
PROMOS and SPECIALS
Mention specials, promotions, new products and services. You can get creative here and run a coupon or contest. Talk about new employees, business awards or articles written by your staff. You can drive traffic to your business and services by using this concept. The one caution is that you shouldn’t overuse Facebook to market to your customer base. They can grow tired of it and quickly choose “Unlike” on your page, causing you to lose a potential client.
To be successful, all categories should be represented on your posts daily. If you personally don’t have time, assign this process to an employee or virtual assistant. Give them these rules for your industry and explain the process. Generally creative, idea-generating minds are the best individuals suited for this task. If you follow this model for promoting your business on Facebook, customers will stick around to see what you post next. As the Facebook community grows, we will all have to fight for the attention of the consumer.
By Genae Girard
Creativity is a large gold key to moving forward after breast cancer treatment. If you don’t think you have a creative bone in your body, go look in the mirror, and look again. We all have creative expression. It can manifest itself in many different forms. Some of us have never been told we were good enough.
When I was a child, my grandmother would sit with me and use the crayon/pastels to teach me how to draw flowers. It is to this day one of the most wonderful memories that I have of spending time with my grandmother. She encouraged me to try. That is just it, “try.” When we are growing up, so many times we are told, “No” or that we are “not good enough.” This begins to nurture the seed of fear.
When we go through treatment we are facing the biggest fear in our lives. So, we have looked our treatment fear in the face and spit in its eye. So, what if you were to capture that energy and overcome all of the negativity of everyone that told you, “No” or that “you couldn’t?” Sending that fear packing on the next train out of town frees you up to TRY.
1) Creativity is not just ART! It can be self-expression in any form.
2) Think about something in which you loose track of time? Might your creativity pertain to that topic?
3) What have you wanted to try that you never have?
4) Forms of creativity you might not have thought of: drumming, dance, writing, learning a new skill, creating a vision board, decorating a room, cooking, learning through the eyes of a child (mentoring), experimentation
5) Let any criticism roll off your back and down the drain
Story: One of the funnier stories of creativity revolves around my book cover. I had the idea of using a doll that represents a type of beauty or perfection. The irony in my book “Off the Rack” about breast cancer and the indignity that comes with it seemed a perfect fit. So I set out to the toy store to find just the perfect doll for the cover.
To my dismay, many of the dolls had painted on undergarments. So there I was in the doll isle with many a parent watching me as I was looking under doll clothes to see if the doll would make the perfect cover model. Can you imagine what was going through those parent’s minds?
Genae Girard is the creator of www.BeyondtheBoobieTrap.com and is the author of "Off the Rack."