Two days ago I had a milestone with this blog. I have been officially blogging for 16 years, and since this was my first official blog I want to acknowledge that. It wasn’t the first time I was writing online, but it was the first time I owned what I was writing on. So, I’m going to take a bow because very few people make even two years of blogging so I’m proud of what I’ve done here, and it also allows me to think a good number of people who offered me congratulations on LinkedIn, though they thought it was my business anniversary.

business blog anniversary

The truth of the matter is that I started blogging for basically two reasons. First, I was hoping to use it as a tool to help market and promote my business. Overwhelmingly, the topics I have addressed on this blog have centered around the two areas that I’ve made most of my business income on. One is health care finance topics, or health care in general. The other is leadership, which I can also break down into all the different facets that end up addressing leadership in different ways.
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There are many cartoons that have human characters interacting with animals. This kind of thing goes back to the beginning of animation. Anyone who loves cartoons remembers those old Fleischer cartoons where not only did animals talk, but inanimate objects talked as well.

not this kind of mouse lol

There’s always differing ways these humans interact with animals. Sometimes there’s the initial shock, but most of the time they just talk as if it were the normal thing to do. I know it’s fantasy, yet I often think of how that would work in the real world.

Imagine I’m in the kitchen making a sandwich, and suddenly I hear this little voice asking for a piece of bread. I look around trying to figure out where the voice came from, and suddenly I see a mouse actually sitting about 5 feet from me, looking at me with no fear or none of that other stuff that I understand mice do. It’s actions almost seem human; it even has a human look on its face. Then it repeats itself, verifying that indeed it was talking to me.

What would my reaction be? Would I freak, yell out “mouse” and start chasing it? Would I stand frozen because I was surprised that a mouse was talking to me? Would I question my sanity? Or would I talk to it, even if I had to wait for that period of shock to end?

One can extrapolate these feelings into how we deal with people we don’t know. It might seem strange to say that a person might go crazy if someone else was talking to them unexpectedly, but doesn’t that kind of thing happen on a regular basis? I don’t know how many women I’ve talked over the years who have said that they were minding their business when some “creepy” guy spoke to them and how disturbed they were.

When asked what made the guy creepy, there’s no specific way every woman describes the man. Often they didn’t look strange and they didn’t act out of the norm. The women were just surprised and, at times, scared because they might have received a compliment they weren’t expecting. Maybe they were concentrating on something else and didn’t expect anyone to talk to them. Maybe they were in a crowd trying to “hide” but it didn’t work. The reason they’re discomforted could be any number of reasons; you’ve probably been there yourself.

Have you been going somewhere, even where you work, when suddenly someone says something you weren’t expecting? Maybe it was from someone you’ve never seen before, or may have seen but never paid any attention to.

Maybe you were the perpetrator who started the conversation, even if it was only a word or two. A compliment I used to get when I was an every day employee was that I would talk to anyone, no matter which department they worked in, and sometimes patients and family members walking down the hall. Some employees felt that people in other departments looked down on them or ignored them totally because of the job they did. I’m not sure how non-employees felt when I talked to them, but I never heard anyone complain about my being friendly.

In a weird way, I often find myself being in the “starter” position. I’ll say “hello” to a lot of people, or “hi” or “howdy.” I make eye contact. I try to be friendly. That definitely goes against my grain, since in general I’m kind of an introvert. But I can do a quick hello, or say something in a moment where something’s happened that neither party was expecting; that happens a lot in the grocery store. 🙂

I’ll admit it’s possible that sometimes it scares a few people off, but in general the response I get is fairly positive. I figure that you never know when you might run into that person again, when either you or they might need something crucial, and it’s best to already have broken the ice.

If you work in a company with a lot of people, you may never know another employee’s circumstances, whether things are good or bad or if you might encounter them again. How much effort does it take to say “hello” to somebody? You never know when that minor greeting might come back to benefit you later on; trust me, I know this from experience.

Now that I’ve explained it I’ll ask the question again; would you talk to a mouse?

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One question that’s always out there for consultants and others who work for themselves, or even own small businesses, is how much should they charge for services. Truthfully, even seasoned consultants struggle with this question.

self employment

Price point is a problem because all of us want to get work and close contracts, and we’re perpetually battling someone else who wants to undercut our rates.
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While having a conversation with a friend of mine on Facebook, I thought of a line I believed I had used in a blog post some years ago. Turns out I did, back in 2012, when I talked about taking a stand for fairness. As I read that post I have to admit that I felt a sense of pride that I had followed my convictions at that time, handling things the right way, to address an injustice, not intentional, and help bring changes I felt were necessary.

Just Dance
jason carlin via Compfight

My friend and I were talking about a lot of things, and most of them I had to admit that I just don’t keep up with them, and some of them I didn’t know anything about.

I’m not normally overly political, not counting certain people, and I obviously have a point of view. I don’t know a lot about many things, and there’s a bunch of names I’ve just recently gotten to know.
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I have 4 blogs of my own and one I manage for my accountant. I’ve been blogging for a lot of years, and I have a fair bit of knowledge on how to work almost every part of the inner workings of them.

tshirt change

Until last week, there had only been one drastic change to my blogging platform in 16 years. That came a couple of years ago when WordPress, the software most used throughout the world for blogging, changed the process for creating and editing articles. Almost no one saw it coming, and for the longest while a lot of people stopped blogging; some left it for good. I couldn’t figure it out, but I found a plugin that reversed the process back to what the rest of us were used to. I don’t know if this is a forever thing, but I’m happy for the time being.
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