What I learned about the customer service experience while in the Starbucks Drive Thru

This morning my schedule was interrupted by a clothes dryer that required a heating element.  While we are waiting for the part to come the mound of dirty clothes began to mount and my bride and I knew what we had to do.  Off to the laundromat we went and my usual morning routine of making a French Press Coffee at home was omitted.

After the clothes were stuffed into the washing machines I decided to go down to the local Starbucks in Belfair and grab a cup of coffee.

 As I drove up to the digital menu I noticed something that I have never seen before, a person staring back at me on the screen.

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I have seen the new trend on Facebook in the last year or so, Videos are becoming more and more popular.  People love to read and to listen but the connection people have when they actually See your face is powerful.

There are companies like QuickPage that are embracing this new trend with an app that allows companies to send video to their clients.  You can then interact right inside of the video page.

 I love this idea because you can describe something in a 30-60 second video that you would normally have to write a 4,000 word email to accomplish the same thing.

Starbucks

The only potential hurdle I see is the feeling that I had when, expecting to see the person on the video screen who took my order, I instead was greeted by a gentleman that took my money and gave me my coffee.

I’m not sure why I felt abandoned by the person on the screen, maybe there are some issues that I have to work through.

I do think there is some value to making sure you remain consistent throughout the process, possibly finishing the transaction throughout the process with the person that took your order and then handed out the coffee.

 

This little “Aha!” moment was brought to me today by a broken heater element and a disrupted morning.  Sometimes hurdles are opportunities……have a great day!

“Bass Solo Take One” Anesthesia Pulling Teeth

There was a time in my youth, around 15 -16 years old, where much of what happened in my life was a blur.  Maybe it’s self preservation, maybe it’s lack of empathy, or maybe most people find that time in their life to be fuzzy and unclear.  What I do remember about that time in my life was that I was living at a “Residential Treatment Center” for youth and I was very confused.

I wasn’t sure who I was, why I was there, or what life I hoped for.  There was just no long term dreams or aspirations during that time in my life.  It was during this time when something very innocent sparked a flame inside of me that burns to this very day.  It all started with a guy named Chris in a room full of teenage kids just as confused and unclear about life as I was.

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At the “Nut Hut” as we used to call it, we were told when to eat, “play”, go to counseling, and when to go to bed.  We had very little opportunities to express ourselves outside of counseling even though they tried their best to encourage arts and crafts as a way to express our feelings.

The only time any of us truly felt like we could express ourselves and have some level of control over our lives is when we sat in a circle in a large room and took turns playing music on the stereo they had.  Each person was allowed to play a song from the tape that they brought into the Nut Hut and for a few minutes they owned the room.

Chris was a tall kid, a couple of years older then I was and he had longer curly hair. He had the kind of facial acne that would make the most outgoing person become introverted and shy away from attention.  The first time I attended one of these music sessions I focused on what I would play when it came to my turn and then quickly remembered that I had no tape…….which means I got no turn.  Chris clinched this tape in his hand and he leaned over to me and said something like “this is good shit, you’ll like it”.

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I had listened to Michael Jackson, Def Leopard, Tears for Fears, and a number of other “Top 40” bands leading up to this moment.  I had a vague idea of music but I was not really a fan of any kind of music.  Chris put the tape in, closed the deck, and then pressed play.

“Bass Solo Take One” is how it started out.  Unless you have heard the song Anesthesia Pulling Teeth it’s hard to describe it.  I heard sounds and tones I had never heard before.  I swore there was two songs in one, or was it three.  And was it really a song? It was an instrumental , no words…….but what the heck is a song with no words?  I had never head anything like this before.

The music tugged at my heart and made things happen physically to my body that I had never felt before.  This was raw power coming out of the speakers.  And once I came to grip with the raw power and rhythm of this majestic song (I hate even calling it a song), it slowed down to a reset right before the final punch hit me right in the heart.  The drums came on, out of nowhere and almost like it was an afterthought.  The drums and bass flirted with each other and played off one another as my head felt like it was going to explode trying to decipher what was going on.

When the song ended I told Chris , “Play it Again” for my turn.  I fell in love with Metallica that day.  And while I wouldn’t say I figured out what I wanted to do with my life I will say that I found in Metallica a comforting friend that gave me the courage knowing that the music would always be there to support me.

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I’ve pulled a song from Metallica’s albums from time to time when I needed comfort and strength.  I’ve reconciled a lot of my childhood through the lyrics and riffs and healed my heart in ways nothing but soul healing music can.  And on the way home tonight, for no apparent reason, I decided to play the old song from Cliff Burton that ignited my passion so many years ago during the most difficult times I have ever had.

I walked straight through the door and opened up the laptop to write about my beloved song and feel as though no words can accurately describe what I feel about it.  It’s just an amazingly powerful song that sparked a flame that will never go out until I’m called for the next life.  If you haven’t heard the song I’d love for you to hear it.

Thanks for reading, Be Good

 

 

Using Anticipation to fuel your Motivation

Anticipation is a powerful emotion.  I remember in school how nervous I was before a test.  The feelings I had before a job interview and even the feedback I get when I ask my bride to read the latest blog post I created.  Anticipation can make your heart flutter or your blood pressure to rise.  But what if you could use anticipation to push you towards your goals?  To pull you through a drab work week or an emotional valley?  Is there a way to harness this emotion in a way that keeps you motivated and tracking towards your long term goals?

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Public Domain from pixabay

My bride and I did not do much traveling during the first 20 years of our marriage.  It wasn’t until recently that we decided traveling together would be a great way for us to get some much needed alone time from all of the distractions of personal and work life.  I was fairly spur of the moment so i would plan a trip within a few weeks of us traveling.  The excitement and conversations we had leading up to the trip was exhilaration.  Would we catch a game, eat at a particular restaurant, visit a friend that lived nearby, the options were endless and for the next few weeks we were excited.

During our last trip, a 4 day quick trip to Southern California, I had a conversation with Carli about how powerful the anticipation for our trips were.  We discussed how awesome it would be to plan several “mini trips” throughout the year and have them planned out ahead of time so we always had something to look forward to.  We immediately decided that we would come back in a couple of months and bring our two sons (7 and 12) to repeat this trip.

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Public Domain from pixabay

Since the  not a day goes by when we aren’t talking as a family about the beaches we will go to, the places we will stay at, and just this morning I looked up surfing lessons for the boys.  The anticipation for a trip that is still a month away is powerful and exciting!  It has been tugging me out of bed each morning, pushing me over the Wednesday Workday Hump, and has added a spark and unity to the family.

Many of us have long term goals that are where we dream of ending up some day.  I believe having small pockets of anticipation throughout the year is a powerful tool that can help keep your momentum going.  For my family it is traveling but for your family it might be staying closer to home.  Maybe instead of boarding an airplane you book a hotel room ahead of time every 2 or 3 months in a cool city where you and the family can hang out.  Maybe it’s a concert or game you buy ticket for and put it on the calendar.  A hike, a trail ride, or even camping.  Anything that you can put on the calendar and have planned ahead where you can focus on when the motivation tank is low.

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Public Domain from pixabay

For me I think every 2-3 months works but for you it might be every Month or even every other week.  It needs to be something significant enough that you get excited for and planned out far enough in advance that it pulls you toward it.

Good luck with your adventures, let me know what you think…….and what your motivating item(s) will be.

5 Easy Steps (That are free) to improving your health

 

That’s right I said it, there’s a program out there that blows away all the competitors when it comes to health.  The results you will experience will be so powerful and life changing that the price to sign up is very reasonable.  The monthly cost for upkeep is also very reasonable.  What is the cost, you ask?

Nothing.  Yup, with all the shakes, supplements, and vitamins on the market they still cannot compete with the most amazing system that has ever been invented.  You.

Your body is a complex computer that makes billions of adjustments a second.  So with a complex system like yourself wouldn’t it stand to reason that you probably have everything inside of you to make yourself healthy?

After looking at tons of information online for the past few years I came to the realization that there are a few things you can do every day that will outperform almost every other program on the market today.  And for those of you that are believers of the products that you consume and/or sell, if you aren’t doing these things listed below then you aren’t getting the most benefits out of your products.

OK, enough rambling, I will get to the program.  Starting today you should:

  1. Drink More Water

  2. Get Sleep

  3. Go for Walks

  4. Do Some Meditation

  5. Stretching

I know, I know……..That is the dumbest plan you have ever seen.  Many will read that plan and think they have to do Cross-fit, or Paleo Diet…….Maybe Vegan or Raw or Organic or any number of other amazing ways to live your life.  Those all have their place and they can be incorporated in anyone’s life with a little bit of planning.

With the 5 items above you can start this today with no extra money and it will improve the way you feel. 

I want to break down a few of these items real quick so you have some facts behind it.  I will also provide some resources that I have used in the past that have served me well.

 

1. Drink More Water

Here are some top health benefits of drinking water.

1. Relieves Fatigue

If you often feel tired, there is a high chance that it could be due to inadequate consumption of water which makes the body function less efficiently. In fact, fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration.

When there is less water in the body, there is a drop of blood volume which causes the heart to work harder to pump oxygenated blood out in the bloodstream, and other major organs also work less efficiently. Thus, drinking adequate water can help your body function better and reduce fatigue.

2. Improves Mood

Research indicates that mild dehydration (even one or two percent lower hydration level of hydration than optimal) can negatively affect your mood and ability to think.

A small study conducted on 25 women and published in the Journal of Nutrition found that being dehydrated can take a toll on your mood and cognitive function. The color of your urine is a good indicator of your level of hydration. The lighter the color the better the level of hydration and vice versa.

3. Treats Headaches and Migraines

If you have a headache or migraine, the first thing that you can do to get some relief is drink plenty of water. Headaches and migraines are often caused by dehydration.

In a study published in the European Journal of Neurology, researchers found that increasing water intake helped reduce the total number of hours and intensity of headaches in the study participants.

4. Helps in Digestion and Constipation

Water also improves the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. This helps in digestion and prevents constipation. Inadequate water in the body often results in constipation as the colon pulls water from the stools to maintain hydration, thereby making them harder and difficult to pass.

Drinking sufficient water boosts your metabolism and helps the body properly break down food. This helps your digestive system work well and promotes regular bowel movements. Warm water, in particular, is good for digestive health.

5. Aids Weight Loss

In a clinical trial, scientists found that drinking two eight-ounce glasses of water prior to meals can help suppress appetite and hence support your weight loss efforts. When you drink water, it fills your stomach and reduces the tendency to eat more.

Plus, it helps increase the rate at which the body burns fat, and promotes the breakdown and elimination of fat cells.

Calorie-free water is also a great replacement for high-calorie drinks like alcohol, sugary fizzy drinks and sodas that often contribute to weight gain.

6. Flushes Out Toxins

Water is an excellent detoxifier as it helps flush out toxins from your body and get rid of waste primarily through sweat and urine.

It also promotes kidney function and reduces kidney stones by diluting the salts and minerals in urine that cause kidney stones.

Though you need to drink adequate amount of water throughout the day, experts warn against drinking too much water (although uncommon still, it is possible) as it may reduce your kidneys’ ability to filter out waste.

Thus, it is recommended to drink the amount of water your body requires. As the amount of water required by the body tends to differ from one person to another, it is usually suggested to drink to your thirst, and also include other fluids and foods with high water content in your diet.

via Top 10 Health Benefits of Drinking Water | Top 10 Home …

 

2. Get more sleep

 

Sleep keeps your heart healthy.
Add sleep deprivation to the list of risk factors that can leave you spending a lot of time in a cardiologist’s office. “Poor sleep quality is linked to heart health problems, from high blood pressure to heart attacks,” says Paruthi. Here’s why: Regularly shortchanging yourself on sleep can lead to a surge in stress hormones such as cortisol. The uptick in stress hormones compels your ticker to respond by working harder, and it doesn’t get the rest it needs, says Paruthi.

It prevents you from packing on pounds.
A good night’s rest won’t necessarily result in losing weight, but it can keep you from adding unwanted pounds. First, sleeplessness cranks up production of the hormone ghrelin, which boosts appetite, says Michael Breus, Ph.D., sleep specialist and author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan. “It also leads to a decrease in the hormone leptin, which signals feeling full,” says Breus. And by making you more stress-prone and low-energy, lack of sleep reduces your ability to fight junk food cravings. Give in to the office vending machine, and that candy bar will send your blood sugar surging, then crashing, leaving your appetite raging all over again.

It lowers your odds of a car crash.
Because a sleep debt slows your reaction time and reduces your ability to focus, “driving a car when you’re low on sleep is just as dangerous as driving drunk,” says Paruthi. Research backs this up: People who regularly sleep six to seven hours per night are twice as likely to get in an accident as those who usually score at least eight hours, according to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Catch less than five hours, and your odds of a crash quadruple, reports the study.

Sleep strengthens your immune system.
Want to stay off the injury list and take fewer sick days? Make a habit of getting high-quality rest to keep the immune cells and proteins of your immune system in fighting shape. That, in turn, improves your ability to beat back colds, the flu, and other infections. Sleep also makes vaccines more effective. “After getting a shot, people with sleep issues don’t develop the same antibody response as well-rested people, and that leaves them more susceptible,” says Paruthi.

It keeps your brain from frying.
Remember that 1980s PSA that compared a cracked egg to your brain on drugs? Well, that sizzling egg is similar to your brain on sleep deprivation. While getting proper sleep is linked to improved concentration and higher cognitive functioning, even one sleepless night sets you up to feel fuzzyheaded, scattered and unfocused the next day. Your memory recall isn’t as sharp, and everything you do is in slow-mo, says Paruthi. That puts your job at risk. “You’re more likely to make mistakes at work, for example, but less likely to realize it and correct them,” she says.

It fires up your sex life.
Steady, quality shut-eye keeps testosterone levels high, prevents erection problems and ensures that you’re never too exhausted for sex. Cheat yourself out of sleep, however, and you cheat yourself out of great sex. Research shows that men who sleep less than six hours nightly have lower levels of testosterone, says Paruthi, and flagging testosterone can sink sex drive.

It can prevent headaches.
If you get stress headaches, scoring plenty of rest will help keep them from striking, says Paruthi. Sleep deprivation also plays an indirect role in making your head hurt as well by making you less able to cope with stress and anxiety, two things that can trigger a throbbing skull, even when you’ve had plenty of R&R.

It keeps you in top form at the gym.
Quality sleep is like nature’s sports supplement, improving your speed, hand-eye coordination, reaction time and muscle recovery. Thing is, even short-term sleep deprivation messes with these, throwing off your performance at the gym. Also, a 2013 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that sleep deprivation reduced muscle strength and power the next day, particularly if your workout was later in the afternoon.

It boosts your mood.
Think about the last time you slept really well: You probably woke up feeling brighter and optimistic, had more energy and drive and were less likely to let little challenges — like bad traffic or a heavy workload — lead to anger and frustration. Well, subpar sleep habits can have the opposite effect. “Even one night of sleeplessness can makes you cranky and irritable the next day,” says Paruthi. You’re also more vulnerable to stress and anxiety. All of these can make it harder to fall asleep the next night, so you become trapped in a cycle of sleeplessness and bad mood. The escape plan: vowing you’ll go to bed at a decent hour, and letting your system recharge and restore itself.

Sleep increases your pain threshold.
If you want to tough out physical pain, hit the sack. That’s the suggestion of a 2012 study from the journal Sleep, which divided study subjects into two groups, one that slept nine hours nightly and another that slept an average seven each night. Researchers then tested how long each participant could hold their finger to a radiant heat source. Subjects in the nine-hour group withstood the heat about 25 percent longer. It’s not clear why more sleep led to more pain tolerance, but the findings echo similar results in other studies and suggest that a long night’s sleep is a potent pain reliever.

It bolsters your relationships.
Considering that sleep deprivation contributes to crankiness and a crabby mood, it’s no wonder poor sleepers have more problems with their partner, including a greater likelihood of disagreements and a reduced ability to have empathy, says Paruthi. “Your sleep habits have a wider effect on the people around you than you think, contributing to relationship satisfaction and happiness,” she adds.

via The 11 Biggest Health Benefits Of Sleep | The Huffington Post

3. Go for Walks

Research even shows getting up and walking around for two minutes out of every hour can increase your lifespan by 33 percent, compared to those who do not.6 According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), the average person only walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps per day,7 but aiming for 10,000 steps is a better goal.

Slash Your Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer, Osteoporosis, and More

One study found that walking for two miles a day or more can cut your chances of hospitalization from a severe episode of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by about half.

Another study found that daily walking reduced the risk of stroke in men over the age of 60.  Walking for at least an hour or two could cut a man’s stroke risk by as much as one-third, and it didn’t matter how brisk the pace was.

Taking a three-hour long walk each day slashed the risk by two-thirds. Walking has additional benefits as well, including to your mood. Walking triggers your body to release natural pain-killing endorphins, and the more steps people take during a day, the better their mood tends to be.

Walking is even known to improve sleep, support your joint health, improve circulation, and reduce the incidence of disability in those over 65.  Research has also shown that walking 30 minutes a day may:

✓ Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease ✓ Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels ✓ Improve blood lipid profile
✓ Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity ✓ Enhance mental well being ✓ Reduce your risk of osteoporosis
✓ Reduce your risk of breast and colon cancer ✓ Reduce your risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes

via New Study About the Benefits of Walking Daily – Mercola.com

 

4. Do Some Meditation

What are some of the health benefits of meditation?

While we understand that it cannot replace scientifically proven treatment modalities, meditation can be used as part of a multi-faceted approach for a number of ailments with compelling benefits.
Decreased blood pressure. The American Heart Association has released a statement that meditation may be considered in clinical practice to lower blood pressure.
Better sleep. In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, participants who underwent a six-week program on mindfulness meditation had greater improvements in sleep quality and fewer symptoms of insomnia compared to those who were taught standard ways to improve their sleep hygiene.
Decreased depression and anxiety. In 2014, researchers from Johns Hopkins found that 30 minutes of meditation a day can improve some symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with mild disease to the same extent as antidepressant medications. This effect likely stems from meditation’s effects on our brain waves, brain cell connections, actual structures (thickening some areas while making others less dense), and even molecules that send signals.
Dealing with chronic pain. While it is not clear how meditation decreases the suffering of people who experience chronic pain, it is believed that it alters pain perception.
Improved immune function. When our body is relaxed, our immune system is able to prepare for battle against germs, foreign invaders, and cancer.
More focus, improved memory. Studies have found that meditation training helped workers concentrate better, remember more of their work details, and stay energized and experience less negative moods.

via Health benefits of meditation – Washington Times

5. Stretching

 

 

Stretching may help you:

  • Improve your joint range of motion
  • Improve your athletic performance
  • Decrease your risk of injury

Stretching can help improve flexibility, and, consequently, range of motion about your joints. Better flexibility may:

  • Improve your performance in physical activities
  • Decrease your risk of injuries
  • Help your joints move through their full range of motion
  • Enable your muscles to work most effectively

Stretching also increases blood flow to the muscle. You may learn to enjoy the ritual of stretching before or after hitting the trail, ballet floor or soccer field.

via Stretching: Focus on flexibility – Mayo Clinic

 

I am not the guy that is in perfect health, and I admit that I don’t always do what is listed above.  If you want to focus on the messenger and not the message I totally understand that.  I encourage you to do some research on your own and try to implement the 5 steps above.  There are several ways to do these steps, even drinking water has a variety of way (Warm, Cold, Lemon Water, Empty Stomach, Before bed, etc.) but you have to find what works for you.

Start with the 5 above and then see how you feel.  After a creating a steady foundation you can branch off from there into a more involved program that you find you like.

So there it is, the 5 step program to getting you on your way to better health and as promised it cost you nothing but a decision to make some small changes.  Good Luck, let me know how it turns out.

 

 

Four Trillion little organisms going down the hatch

Symple Foods Kombucha

Four Trillion, that’s a big number.  I’ve heard plenty of people talk about millions or billions but I never really gave the word Trillion much of a thought.  That is of course until I recently grabbed a bottle of Symple Foods Kombucha at my local Marlene’s store on a recent trip.

I had watched my wife drink the unusual cocktail for years before I conjured up enough courage to drink a bottle this past summer.  I finished my first whole bottle of Kombucha (GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha) and from that moment on I was a fan.

I drank Kombucha the entire summer and into the fall.  One day a comment by an elderly man in a grocery store changed how I thought about my new favorite drink.  “You have these rock star Kombucha brands and then you have Real Kombucha“.

 Kombucha
Public Domain from pixabay

Real Kombucha? Was I drinking fake Kombucha? I had read the bottles and seen there were 2 Billion CFUs of probiotics in every bottle what could be fake about that?  I didn’t think much of his comments until I walked by the bottles of Symple Foods Kombucha and saw the “4 Trillion” label on the bottle.

Not even half way through the bottle I began to do the math in my head.  The strongest probiotic pills I had seen in the chiller section of the store stated it had “50 Billion CFUs” of Probiotics……..and if I was drinking 4 Trillion CFUs………”

“You mean to tell me I am drinking 80 Million of those 50 Billion CFU capsules Carli?” I asked my wife.

OK, I will give you all a chance to digest that, do the math on a piece of paper, and then redo the math and let that sink in.

I was planning on throwing together some resources and sites, talk a little more in depth but to be honest I think most of you Kombucha drinkers stopped reading and just went “Wow” like I did.  Instead I suggest you go check out their site and reach out to the company, pick up a bottle at your local store.

When you get a chance let me know what you think.

 

You can find more information about Symple Foods at http://www.symplefoods.com/

http://instagram.com/kombuchaspeakeasy

https://www.facebook.com/SOMApdx

****The owners of Symple Foods have not compensated nor asked me to write this post.  The 4 Trillion Probiotics now living in my gut……They probably had something to do with this being written.

Health Benefits of Kombucha Infograph diagram

via 7 Reasons to Drink Kombucha Every Day – Dr. Axe

 

 

 

The Allyn Bistro – The ‘Lil Place That Could

Today I wanted to write about something that was close to my heart as well as my home….literally!  There is a little known gem located on the Olympic Peninsula that speaks to the struggle small town businesses are faced with these days.

The location, next to the 27 Hole Lakeland Village Golf Course and nestled inside of the Lakeland Village residential community, has seen it’s fair share of owners come and go.

In a town that has no stop lights The Allyn Bistro location has always struggled with the right identity it should take on for the local residents.  Should it be a high-end steak house, a burger joint, maybe a new age joint with items you would only find in a big metropolis.  In my opinion it was The Allyn Bistro‘s current offering that hit the mark.

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I remember sometime in 2016 listening to the current owner of the popular 2 Margaritas Restauraunt in Allyn explain his vision of the then empty Allyn Bistro Location.  He stated that the town needed quality food and atmosphere at reasonable prices.  This sounded like a tag line but when I looked in his eyes I truly believed him.

In an area like Allyn/Belfair we as a community have watched the Safeway/McDonalds/Starbucks transformation take place but when it comes to a great place for dinner we have always ventured into Bremerton/Silverdale/Port Orchard/Gig Harbor.

I have always chuckled to myself how the small town community would shake their fist at the “Big Corporations” yet drive past Mitchell Lumber to go to Silverdale to buy a 2×4 at Home Depot.  Drive into Walmart in Port Orchard instead of going to Scott MCLendons.

And when family comes into town or we are trying to find a place to take the family for dinner we automatically forget the Allyn Bistro and instead head to Red Robin (Yum) or some other national chain in Silverdale/Port Orchard/Gig Harbor.

The Allyn Bistro feels like it belongs to us, the residents of Belfair and Allyn.  Every time it has closed we have all said , “That’s too bad” but we have never stepped inside and enjoyed a meal.  Countless fundraising events for various civic and school organizations have taken place upstairs but this little spot in the heart of a great neighborhood has somehow struggled.

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The menu alone would require another article on its own but I would best sum it up as “that makes sense”.  Not overpriced, never dumbed down, and the type of menu that makes you nod your head in approval. Some of the items include;

  • Blackberry Crepes
  • Eggs Benedict
  • Deep Fried French Toast
  • Salmon Cakes
  • House Meatballs
  • Potato Leek Soup
  • Smoked Tomato Bisque
  • Honey Sriracha Chicken Sandwich
  • Linguine Chicken Alfredo
  • Marsala Steak
  • Rigatoni Alla Vodka
  • Smoked Salmon Pesto Pasta
  • Panna Cotta
  • Brioche Bread Pudding

 

All of those items are available in your area Belfair/Allyn, and at very reasonable prices. And for you Realtors who are trying to sell that home (or trying to convince that family to join our community), skipping the Allyn Bistro for an “After House Showing Lunch” is selling yourself short.

I just can’t say enough about this place and I am as guilty as the rest of us for not coming here more often.  As I am finishing up my Chef Salad (as good as any I have ever had in Seattle/Portland) I was reminded that I wasn’t downtown Seattle at a fancy restaurant I was actually just a couple of minutes from my home (I looked over my shoulder out of the window )…..

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**** The staff at Allyn Bistro have no idea I am writing this as I am enjoying lunch, nor have I asked for compensation of any kind.

Find The Allyn Bistro Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thebistroallynwa

http://www.allynsbistro.com

(360) 277-4137

 

 

 

 

Proven Advertising on Facebook for Politicians and Candidates – Techniques That Work

This past election season I saw something that I had not seen in previous campaigns.  On both National and Local elections I noticed that several candidates used Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) to try to get their message out.  Most of the candidates reached out to friends and family to help them Share the messages their campaign put out.

There were, however, some candidates that took a stab at a new option that will most definitely be an option in the Next election cycle.  Targeted Online Advertising.

 gary-vaynerchuk HnNUY1   As Gary Vaynerchuk often states,  “Social media is just a slang term for the current state of the internet – the websites and apps that people consume on their mobile device. The mobile device is the most important platform in the world: the phone is becoming the television and television is becoming the radio.”

For those of you that like to skip through articles I am going to do you a solid and put an idea here that I am going to discuss further down below.  This is a very simple idea that could help the next Politician (or person hoping to run as a candidate) win their election before even running it.

“Use Facebook Ads to get in front of your targeted audience on a regular basis WHILE you are in office or during the time leading UP TO an election.  Get a little bit of their mental real estate for your Name, Your Brand, Your Message”

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The engine of the Trump campaign was its digital operations division. Headquartered in San Antonio, the Trump digital team consisted of 100 staffers, including a mix of programmers, web developers, network engineers, data scientists, graphic artists, ad copywriters, and media buyers. The chief executive of Trump’s digital operation was Brad Parscale (@parscale on Twitter)  , a successful entrepreneur and founder of the marketing agency Giles-Parscale Inc.

Parscaleworked closely with President-Elect Trump and was one of select few members of Trump’s inner-circle entrusted to tweet from his personal Twitter account, @ realDonaldTrump. Parscale’s lack of prior campaign experience was actually one of his greatest assets.

“I always wonder why people in politics act like this stuff is so mystical,” Parscale says. “It’s the same shit we use in commercial, just has fancier names.” On the strength of Parscale’s ability to generate campaign donations using Facebook and e-mail, the digital operations division was the Trump campaign’s largest source of cash.

In the Bloomberg BusinessWeek piece, “Inside the Trump Bunker, With Days to Go”, reporters Sasha Issenberg and Joshua Green detail how deeply President-Elect Trump was interested in his campaign’s digital strategy and fund raising operations. “Trump himself was an avid pupil. Parscale would sit with him on the plane to share the latest data on his mushrooming audience and the $230 million they’ve funneled into his campaign coffers.”

 

100,000 Trump Campaign Websites

160229 POL SITE collage fInR3K(Photo Credit Slate.com)

In the early days of Trump’s campaign, Parscale was given a small budget and the goal of expanding Trump’s base of supporters. Parscale made a calculated decision to invest all the money on Facebook advertising. Using his laptop to buy $2 million dollars in Facebook ads, Parscale unceremoniously launched Trump’s first digital ad campaign.

To start, Parscale uploaded the names, email addresses, and phone numbers of known Trump supporters into the Facebook advertising platform. Next, Parscale used Facebook’s “Custom Audiences from Customer Lists” to match these real people with their virtual Facebook profiles. With Facebook’s “Audience Targeting Options” feature, ads can be targeted to people based on their Facebook activity, ethic affinity, or “location and demographics like age, gender and interests. You can even target your ad to people based on what they do off of Facebook.”

Parscale then expanded Trump’s pool of targeted Facebook users using “Lookalike Audiences”, a powerful data tool that automatically found other people on Facebook with “common qualities” that “look like” known Trump supporters. Finally, Parscale used Facebook’s “Brand Lift” survey capabilities to measure the success of the ads.

Parscalealso deployed software to optimize the design and messaging of Trump’s Facebook ads. Describing one such test, the Wall Street Journal reporter Christopher Mims writes that

“one day in August, his campaign sprayed ads at Facebook users that led to 100,000 different webpages, each micro-targeted at a different segment of voters.”

In total, Trump’s digital team built or generated more than 100,000 distinct pieces of creative content.

via How the Trump Campaign Built an Identity Database and Used …

 

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But is there danger in using Social Media to maintain your political position or to win the next election?  There was a recent case that has politicians concerned and somewhat confused on how to use Social media.  In a recent article that was written about a case coming out of my state of Washington;

 Ethics board fines Melanie Stambaugh, R-Puyallup, $5,000 over Facebook posts

(Photo from Wikimedia.org)Tacoma First Night 2016 - Melanie Stambaugh - cropped mBHch2

 

The state’s Legislative Ethics Board has ruled against state Rep. Melanie Stambaugh, R-Puyallup, who chose to fight allegations that she violated state ethics rules by posting legislative videos and photos to Facebook.

In a ruling released Friday, the board said Stambaugh misused state resources for campaigning when she posted the videos and photos produced by legislative staff to a page that also included campaign materials.

The ethics rule Stambaugh violated is intended to maintain access to public records while blocking the use of state resources in campaigns, according to the board.

Stambaugh was found to have committed 44 violations for posting 19 videos and 25 photos in 2015 and 2016.

While the maximum penalty for that number of violations would have been $220,000, the board instead fined Stambaugh $5,000, the maximum penalty for a single violation.

Reached Friday morning, Stambaugh said she plans to challenge the ethics board’s ruling.

She said the board’s decision serves to “inhibit direct communication between legislators and the public,” adding that the legislative materials in question were available for download on public-facing social media sites such as YouTube and Flickr.

“If any member of the public can use them, that also applies to legislators,” Stambaugh said. “This is about government information being shared with our constituents.”

Stambaugh’s case marked the first time a legislative ethics panel has held a hearing in Washington state in 22 years. During her December hearing, Stambaugh argued that board members were applying the state’s ethics law in a way that didn’t account for how people use modern technology.

Key to Stambaugh’s argument was the photos and videos in question were already posted on social media sites geared toward sharing those types of materials. She argued that restricting her use of the photos and videos violates her free speech rights and subverts the state’s Public Records Act.

The board rejected those arguments, saying Stambaugh’s logic would “allow legislators to direct the production of any number of taxpayer-funded videos and photos which could be used on campaign websites and social media platforms without restriction.”

“Such a misuse of public resources would be inconsistent with the broad policy reflected in the ethics act and would enhance the power of incumbency in legislative campaigns,” said the ruling released Friday, which was dated Feb. 14.

The board reiterated its previous stance that Stambaugh’s posting of legislative videos to Facebook would have been proper had she linked to the original legislative source website, rather than embedding them directly on Facebook.

The board has stated lawmakers can link to legislative materials from campaign sites, but they cannot post or embed those materials in a way that allows them to be viewed without leaving the campaign page.

The board faulted Stambaugh for not purchasing the state-produced photos that she posted on the site, as most lawmakers do when they want to use official photos in their campaigns.

Stambaugh has 10 days to ask the board to reconsider its ruling. She has 30 days to decide whether she wants to appeal the board’s final order in Superior Court.

She said Friday she is still weighing which approach she will take.

If she doesn’t challenge the decision, Stambaugh is expected to pay the $5,000 fine within 90 days.

via Ethics board fines Melanie Stambaugh, R-Puyallup, $5,000 …

 

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I think the problem with the case above was the Photos and Videos that were used which were produced by Taxpayer money, not the fact that Melanie Stambaugh used Facebook to help her with her campaign.

What would I do if I were a politician?  What would i do if I were trying to win the next election and unseed the current office holder? 

I would do four things:

1) Create an ongoing Facebook Ad showing your Name, Image, and where to find information about you

2) Have the Ads lead to a Landing Page that you have attached a Facebook Pixel to in order to track visitors

3) Offer a sign up to a Monthly Update Newsletter that shows either the things that you are doing in office, or if you aren’t in office point out the things you Would Have Done instead of what the current office holder did.

4) Make that Newsletter a Post on your Facebook and then Boost the post to your current audience that hasn’t signed up for the newsletter as well as those that have not gone to your landing page.

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This is the other point you need to take home

 

A campaign using Targeted Advertising to Specific Audiences can be as inexpensive in Ad Cost as $1 a Day.  Spent over the next 12/24/36 months, and with the Free Organic reach you will get when anyone “Likes” or “Shares” your post, you can have your campaign in full force before the election season EVEN STARTS.

You also have the ability to upload your Email list to Facebook and if people have their email attached to their Facebook account you can target them with your ads.

If you do the things Now that people will be talking about in a couple of years you will have the advantage.

“If you see a bandwagon, it’s too late.”
James Goldsmith

Don’t be late……….