Passive Promotion

Geoff Snyder is Intoxicated by Possibility

Geoff Snyder is Intoxicated by Possibility

I hope the following passive promotion below gives you insight into my drive, passion, and desire to find the next adventure. The world is full of haven’t stance and maybe I’m a person that can help you or maybe you are a person that can help me. Let’s see what we can do together for the world.

I’m a guy who once spent 5 years as a recording industry executive (only because of sales under my watch for our market that had increased by a mere %10,300+ percent across 6 months and sustained a 93% retention rate for the 4 years in a market established across 20 years), from the school of Hard Knocks.

I’m a guy who somehow followed a technical ‘passion’ and opened a small, multi-office IT consulting firm (which cost me less than $100 to start) on a tropical island that focused on servicing healthcare, legal, and financial verticals and burned it down to the ground because I grew too big, too fast.

If any of the above is of any interest to you, I might be a guy you’d like to connect with.

With that said, my current professional pivot consists of the following: 9AM-5PM Monday thru Friday, 75% of my eggs are in a Technology Read more

2018 – 52 Books in 52 Weeks

Alright, so it came to my attention that this past December marked my 15th year of not owning a television. When I moved away from Detroit and began a new chapter in my life, I purged a lot of my belongings. TV, stereo equipment, furniture, clothes, a couple of businesses, real estate, 401k, and… a cat to name a few. I wanted to go into the next phase with as little as possible. Of course, I hung onto some childhood items, pictures, most of my books, CDs, and such.

Fast forward about 5-6 years and I’ll tell you what did it for me: the news. I spent some time with friends and their families who would usually have at least one TV on, be it background noise or for a game or something. I began realizing that I was continuously walking around life based on a lot of this background noise. Why? What does the next ‘news report’ really have to do with me? Will/Does it really improve my quality of life? Does all the overzealous commercial propaganda really need to be blasting me with its 30 seconds of magical ‘Buy Me Now’ strongarm? Nope.

During this same time, I myself going through a self-inflicted reinvention phase for about 12-18 months. I worked hard on resetting a lot of what I’ve ‘learned’ from mass media and it’s pop-culture child. Leadership Development and Team Building/Collaboration were on the top of my list for some reason… perhaps because of the current global economic state, political bantering, and some book series idea that I had outlined for a scholarship project I was working on.

While I did not own a TV, please don’t think I was some ultra weirdo and walked around shunning people who watched it. I still got together with friends on the weekends to catch a college football game somewhere or would find myself every now and then find myself catching highlights from the week’s sport’s recap.

So here were are in 2018 and I’ve realized that owning a TV does not obligate me to such noise. I’ve been streaming Netflix, Gaia, Amazon Primm, and such on my laptop for the past 4-5 years; and with so many a la carte streaming apps available now, being able to pay for an abundance of blackout hockey games hasn’t been easier!

52 in 52: To hold myself accountable and to make it as productive as I could think of, I decided that this would be the year I’d go ahead and replace the blank space my 32″ Sony Trinitron 1,815lb CRT TV once had in my life. But before I can, I need to read 52 books during the 52 weeks of this year. This post is a couple of months behind, but I’ve fortunately regained full access to my web domains and servers (that will be an entirely separate post) and decided to document the journey. If you want to check out what I’m reading, you can find this year’s recent reads over on my Instagram account; and I will be posting a review of each as I finish them. Just bear with me as I get caught up on the past 14 books or so!

top 100 customer service twitter huffington

Huffington Post’s Top 100 Customer Service Pros

top 100 customer service twitter huffington

After spending several weeks interviewing over 18,000 Twitter followers, Enterasys Networks Chief Customer Officer, Vala Afshar caught some of the customer service industry by surprise. Vala had put together a list of the Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros On Twitter and reviewed it with our friends at The Huffington Post’s Business Division. When I was first notified about this, it was nice to see some close friends and colleagues mixed within the list. It’s an absolute honor to be involved amongst multiple best-selling authors, industry analysts, keynote speakers, customer support management, service-oriented company executives, community managers, consultants, bloggers, customer experience architects, and media personalities.

Of course, each of us listed below has our own niche and view, the one thing that I’ve discovered while chatting the others within the tweetchat of #custserv, is that we all have one thing in common: values. It seems to me, that while we each go through our own ‘cycles’ of intensity and participation (myself is certainly included), that we can become enthralled within our own personal communities, yet always reconnect and pick up right where we left off.

Again, it’s been an honor to be listed with so many fantastic people and I’m looking forward to seeing what we do next!

I am listing Vala’s list verbatim below for reference.

  1. Shep Hyken, @Hyken
  2. Marsha Collier, @MarshaCollier
  3. Frank Eliason, @FrankEliason
  4. Paul Greenberg, @pgreenbe
  5. Kate Leggett, @kateleggett
  6. Tristan Bishop, @KnowledgeBishop
  7. Roy Atkinson, @RoyAtkinson
  8. Charlie Isaacs, @charlieisaacs
  9. Ray Wang, @rwang0
  10. Barry Dalton, @bsdalton
  11. Michael Fauscette, @mfauscette
  12. Kate Nasser, @KateNasser
  13. Ted Coine, @tedcoine
  14. Mitch Lieberman, @mjayliebs
  15. Brian Vellmure, @BrianVellmure
  16. Jeannie Walters, @jeanniecw
  17. Annette Franz, @annettefranz
  18. Kerry Bodine, @kerrybodine
  19. Natalie Petouhoff, @drnatalie
  20. Justin Flitter, @JustinFlitter
  21. Bruce Temkin, @btemkin
  22. Jeanne Bliss, @JeanneBliss
  23. Wendy S Lea, @WendySLea
  24. Colin Shaw, @ColinShaw_CX
  25. Michael Lytle, @Michael_Lytle
  26. William Band, @waband
  27. Guy Stephens, @guy1067
  28. Scott McKain, @scottmckain
  29. Bob Thompson, @Bob_Thompson
  30. Becky Carroll, @bcarroll7
  31. Ty Sullivan, @ty_sullivan
  32. Ginger Conlon, @customeralchemy
  33. Bryan Person, @BryanPerson
  34. Adrian Swinscoe, @adrianswinscoe
  35. Greg Meyer, @grmeyer
  36. Mila D’Antonio, @miladantonio
  37. Bill Quiseng, @billquiseng
  38. Rob Markey, @rgmarkey
  39. Aimee Lucas, @Aimee_Lucas
  40. Flavio Martins, @flavmartins
  41. Robert Bacal, @rbacal
  42. Rosetta C Lue, @rosettalue
  43. William Goddard, @W_Goddard
  44. Richard R Shapiro, @RichardRShapiro
  45. Christopher Carfi, @ccarfi
  46. Bob E Hayes, @bobehayes
  47. Caty Kobe, @catykobe
  48. Greg Ortbach, @GregOrtbach
  49. Mark Bernhardt, @ImMarkBernhardt
  50. Alan Berkson, @berkson0
  51. Rachel Miller, @rachelloumiller
  52. Michael Ludwig, @Michael_Ludwig
  53. Jason Houck, @MJasonHouck
  54. Bill Gerth, @comcastcares
  55. Mike Wittenstein, @mikewittenstein
  56. Paul Sevcik, @PaulSevcik
  57. Geoff Snyder, @Geoff_Snyder
  58. Kevin Baldacci, @KevinBaldacci
  59. Blake Landau, @BlakeLandau
  60. Al Hopper, @AlHopper_
  61. Dave Tidwell, @dave_t_pilot
  62. Sarah Stealey Reed, @sstealey
  63. Russel Lolacher, @RussLoL
  64. Jeffrey J Kingman, @JeffreyJKingman
  65. Ron Kaufman, @RonKaufman
  66. Mark Orlan, @MarkOrlan
  67. Margerita de Miranda, @MardeMir
  68. Nancy Porte, @nporte
  69. Jonty Pearce, @JontyPearce
  70. Melissa Kovacevic, @MKCallConsult
  71. Jennifer Maldonado, @maldyj
  72. Colin Taylor, @colinsataylor
  73. Graham Frost, @grafrost
  74. Lori Jo Vest, @lorijovest
  75. Steve Curtin, @enthused
  76. Martin Hill-Wilson, @martinhw
  77. Toni Newman, @Toni_Newman
  78. Adam Toporek, @adamtoporek
  79. Nick Kossovan, @Kossovan
  80. Greg Levin, @Greg_Levin
  81. Andrew Maher, @serviceplease20
  82. Barry Peters, @barrypeters
  83. Calie Waterhouse, @CWaterhouse
  84. Peter Lavers, @PeterLavers
  85. Jeremy Watkin, @jtwatkin
  86. Ian Jacobs, @iangjacobs
  87. Diana Oreck, @dianaoreck
  88. Ian Golding, @ijgolding
  89. Stephanie Thum, @stephaniethum
  90. Micah Solomon, @micahsolomon
  91. Myra Golden, @MyraGolden
  92. Yvonne A Jones, @YvonneAJones
  93. Bart de Craene, @bartdecraene
  94. Natasha Bishop @natasha_d_g
  95. Laura Northrup, @lnorthrup
  96. Jason Boies, @JasonBoies
  97. Donna Cutting, @donnacutting
  98. Wes Hayden, @weshayden
  99. Michael Pace, @mpace101
  100. Eric Tamblyn, @etamb

As with any list, there are always different views and many more people to be included. Is there anybody within the Customer Service Community you’d like to share with us? If so, please recognize them in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!

3 Things I’m Doing to Improve My Platform

improved platformToday’s busy social space sometimes creates quite a challenge to filter out a lot of the noise. With so many “new” social media tools and app integrations, it would seem impossible for anybody new to the arena to gain ground.

Very recently, I was asked “Geoff, what are you doing to improve your platform?” This made me stop and think. Here is what I came up with:

Stay Proactive With Inquiries
Nobody like’s talking to a wall. When we reach out to somebody with a question or comment on one’s blog or Facebook page, we usually think others will respond. At the least, the person whose thread we area commenting in. I make it an effort to reply to every e-mail, blog comment, Facebook comment, tweet… etc. I’ve worked hard to position myself within focused marketplaces and still allow for my personal life to have its responsible presence. Because let’s face it… all business really is personal. The friendships accumulated along the journey.

Expanding Mediums
Anything I’ve signed up for in the years past, I’ve looked at closely to see how I can leverage it to help my position/brand. I also wanted to learn how it can help others accomplish what they want. If I can share with others what I’ve learned, and it helps them… my efforts have been worth it.

Maybe it’s because I work in tech that a lot of these things come easy to me. But I cannot express how many times I’ve seen others just start buying domains, hosting, themes, plugins, software, apps… etc, based on… nothing. Earlier this year, I was involved with someone very intelligent who bought up all kinds of stuff for their launch idea and clearly had no idea what they were doing. When it was brought up in conversation, their response was just that, “Well, I don’t know. I don’t know anything about this. I spent a bunch of money on all this. How was I supposed to know?” I was appalled when I heard this coming from someone who strongly advocates “Use Your Resources!” So, take your time and ask people who you know who have been down the road before. Otherwise, you’re just creating unnecessary work for yourself and others involved.

Again… take time to use your resources. You’ll find that the hidden community involved with content management, personal branding and positioning, and social media is filled with all kinds of great people!

Separating Personal and Professional Branding
This is somewhat of a new avenue for me. Several years ago when I decided to create my online presence by jumping from the “I’m a fly” approach, to the “I am the honey” direction, I learned that people wanted to know about me. They wanted to know a little about what makes me get up in the morning, opposed to just what I’ve done and what I’m doing during my day. Professionally. We want to learn about each other. I think this is just human nature. I always enjoy connecting with somebody and then learn what I can about them through their social media streams. And then when it comes time for me to meet them, the level of accuracy (or lack there of) is always rewarding. It helps me realize that my perception and interpretation skills are honed well.

So, creating a personal and professional avenue for both entities helps allow marketability. I believe if it’s done right, they can both help each other and greater results will occur. I’m sure I’ll be following up with this later. So, that’s it for now. I’ll leave this post by asking you this simple question:

What are you currently doing to enhance your online presence and how is it helping you daily?

Write Your Own Prescription For Health And Happiness

prescription for happinessHave you ever said to yourself “I wish THEY made a pill for that?” If so, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re on board with about 95% of the population. But, the fact of the matter is that “the pill” has always been there, right in front of you the entire time.

I am convinced that 95% of all health problems and “need” for medication stem from lack of nutritional upkeep via healthy diet, proper sleeping habits, and exercise. But here is the kicker… each one of these depends on the other. You can eat like the biggest health nut on the planet, but if you’re not getting enough exercise and/or sleep, it’s not going to have the same effect as if it was balanced by the others.

“You are the sum of what you consume. Be careful what you feed yourself with; physically and mentally.”

I’m amazed at the number of people who are convinced that what they hear on the radio and see on their TVs is 100% accurate. I haven’t owned a TV for over 10 years and since I’ve moved to Phoenix, which was almost two years ago, I’ve yet to turn my radio on.

The amount of “noise” is sickening. I think it was Donald Trump who said: “I’d rather not be informed at all than to be misinformed.” Think of all the people you know who base their life on “other’s” lifestyle. Or worse yet, watching them to continuously watch Hollywood fed fairy tales and expect for their friends and family to follow suit. Sure, it’s an industry and a business but it’s not a healthy one. We all have the same amount of time, so consider how much of it you spend reading or watching about “bath salts” and “child abductions” or “political spin doctors.” Consider allotting that time reading a good book about world history, or the amazing wonders of insulin and how our bodies function properly. Or perhaps spend some time at a local community center or church. Better yet, spend the time with the people that you love, whether it’s in person, on the phone, or via video conference.

When you find yourself being unhappy with yourself, that’s the perfect time to love those who mean the most to you even more.

Fail Like A Champion

success through failureHave you ever looked back and laughed at your past struggles?

Last week while sitting in on a podcast with other StorytellersAZ members, the topic of “Failure” was brought to the table. Tyler Hurst led us off and brought up some interesting points regarding the learning curve. Brian LaPan expressed he didn’t believe in failure. Now, I can certainly appreciate both viewpoints and respect each one, I just have to say this:

I’ve been failing for 35 years. Every person who God has brought into my life has been a teacher in one way shape or form. As a result, I work very hard to fail each and every day, better each time. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I realized that I need to embrace failure. Otherwise, if I resist… I cannot succeed. And that will give me results based on fear. Fear of failing and a halt to any progress on any project I’m working on. It could be anything: Professional, Personal, Spiritual, or Financial.

Now, I hope that this post doesn’t come across as negative. It certainly isn’t meant to. Because in the world of “balance”, we need to see both sides of everything. With every failure, through perseverance, is an achievement. And with every achievement, there is a success story. And we all like success stories. So for me (and probably anybody reading this), it’s all about the experience. I wholeheartedly believe that when we put forth an honest effort and keep clear of any outside variables that aren’t “for us”, that anything we want… we get. It is when we allow ourselves to get “murked up” by the world’s noise, that is when things get thrown off course.

I may or may not get into some of my failures later in future posts, but I can say this. With each one, I’ve learned that keeping a sense of humor is key. Be grateful for the experience and move onto the next attempt. If you should find yourself continuing the same mistakes, resulting in familiar failures, you probably want to ask yourself this: “Does my passion suck?” or “Am I just very stubborn?” – either one of these can and will be the demise of your goal(s). Learn to recognize and respond accordingly and fail like a champion!

What markers do you use when failures surface in your life?

Can Storytellers Be Part Of A Domino Project?

domino project azWhen there are people who share a common goal, things happen. Progress happens. Leadership happens. Results happen. Awesome happens.

Each one of us has something different to offer the world. We have the ability to connect with people that share a common goal or dream. When we embrace what is important to us, ideas are shared and stories begin to surface.

The other night, I attended a collaboration event of local writers to the Phoenix area. Inspired by The Domino Project, both Tyler Hurst and Jeff Moriarty organized its focus on writers and storytellers who are looking to do more with their current projects.

There were about 15 of us, each with something to share and discuss with others what we think we need to do, to better ourselves. Most of us seem to be at a stop with our current (projects) because (1) we either feel that our content is lacking or (2) we don’t know how to get to the next step.

After Tyler and Jeff spent a few minutes going over what brought us all together and we answered some questions. We then proceeded to go around, one by one, and describe what each of us could teach others about storytelling, as well as, the things we would you like to learn from it. There was a great mix — from technical writers to creative writers, from screenplay and sketch work writers to humorists and bloggers.

I’ve never considered myself a writer, I probably never will. I’m not sure why but I can say that while growing up and going to school, my least favorite classes and activities were any of those that had a lot of writing. I’m not 100% sure how or why, but I think some of it stems from early communication courses. Both verbal and non-verbal communications are of the essence when it comes to interacting with others. And considering that 15-20% of what we say (in words… by themselves) are effective. While the remaining 80-85% pertains to the tone of voice and body language, I guess I never saw the point in writing.

When it came time to share with others what we were doing and why we were there, I broke my introduction into two parts. The first part was a brief history of how and why I communicate with others while emphasizing on the emotional intelligence and the use of relevant and effective analogies. The second part was a description of my current book series project and the reasoning behind it, which you can find here.

This is how the first part of my introduction was summarized:

Analogies – are seedlings to stories. During some time working in the IT industry, we found that most clients needed to have a good understanding as to what was going on with their network infrastructure, most being medical, legal, or finance professionals – their focus was their industry. Learning about what they did and understanding their lingo, per se, allowed us to use various analogies, which gave us the opportunity to communicate with them effectively and efficiently.

Engagement – connecting with who you communicate. While we experience life as it comes, we learn that through storytelling, we create a connection with our audience. Listeners and readers, leaders and followers, and, speakers and writers; each and not limited to their own way in relating to others. Focusing in on how we connect with others allows for us engage and continues the way we relate.

With the use of analogies, storytellers are able to engage with their audiences. While we are still able to individually recognize and respond to those we are speaking with, we also create something; a bond, a common and distinct connection. Sometimes the fragments of our past, help align us to project our futures. So, by using analogies for the sake of engaging with our audience(s) — keep in mind who you are speaking to and what common objectives are sought.

How do you effectively communicate with others outside your industry?

Take One Step Back, and Two Steps Forward

one step back two steps forwardHave you ever taken a step back to look where you are in your career? Do you have yourself positioned to move forward if you so choose to? Sometimes advancing is easier than you think.

Just the other day, I reconnected with an old friend. Currently working at a Help Desk she expressed an interest in both Project Management and Business Analysis, IT related.

Here is what I told her I saw based on previous experience:

The ITIL (glorified glossary but some staffers love seeing the cert) seems to be gaining more and more weight within the IT industry. When it was first introduced, it was a joke. Nothing more than a test of one’s understanding of terms… no focus on fundamental platforms, understanding of code, or overall logic. But, it now actually contains some good placement. You probably already see the ridiculous amount of certifications that are available. Most are in place to appease employers, but I’ve found experience outweighs any certification I’ve ever obtained, and I stopped counting after 20. It just got out of control past that.

While consulting, I found that both areas (project management and business analysis) of interest that you have can blend together very well. A project manager for IT based rollouts don’t need to be much of a techie, just the ability to have a basic understanding of what is going on and how to efficiently and effectively communicate with the buyer, the vendor(s) and his or her internal workforce. Some of my best paying jobs were when I would oversee and new rollout or system integration. If you’re easy to get along with and can communicate well with others, it’s a piece of cake.

Unfortunately, true “business analysts” are in a tough position right now. Due to the current upswing in the marketplace, companies are not looking at cutting costs (surprisingly) as they are looking at preparing for the next 10 to 15 years of growth and revenue generation. Expect to see a lot more small businesses pop up and loyalty based cultures get put in place amongst them. The ‘big box’ corporate strongarms are going to get gobbled up by larger/merging markets and will flounder as (cough) “standards” – for the masses.

What are you doing now… is it scalable? Is it helping you? Or is it hindering your opportunity for advancement in the workforce?

Using Simplicity To Stimulate Innovation

steve levitt wbf2010Co-author of the bestseller Freakonomics, Steve Levitt, took the stage at the World Business Forum to share stories about tax fraud, passing gas, and prostitution. This was definitely not a typical economics discussion, but a great storytelling experience. He expressed how some of the best ideas in business today are also the simplest ones.

“The best ideas are the simplest ones, and after you hear them they’re totally obvious, yet they evade us for years and years and years. You don’t have to be Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking to have great ideas. You just have to think and keep your eyes open.” ~ Steve Levitt

He said the problem most businesses have is that they don’t make time to step back and think about things like academics within the organizations.

“As an academic, I do nothing,” Steve said. “I am in the classroom 60 hours a year. Other than that I can do whatever I want and can think about ideas. In most workplaces, people have jobs to do and that gets in the way of thinking and creating innovative ideas.” One company that bucks that trend is Google, which encourages employees to spend 20 percent of their time on new ideas. This has led to Google Maps and other tools for the company.

Also, academics dedicate their time working on one question incredibly well. In business, people have hundreds of questions to answer by the end of the week. With that much volume, it’s hard to answer each question well. In some cases, just an answer is sufficient.

Levitt said he is jealous of businesses because they have their own data to work with. “Businesses create their own data,” he said. “As an academic I have to sit back and wait for it.” While businesses have a lot of data, many companies tend to make big decisions without feedback or metrics in place to learn about what they’ve done. He recommends that for every decision, companies should answer the question, “in a month, will I know if that was a good decision or bad decision?” Otherwise the data is just data, not insight.

The most striking difference between academics and business in Levitt’s view is that academics come from a perspective of “I don’t know,” he said. “Meanwhile, the phrase “I don’t know” is the least common phrase in business. It seems that everyone’s job is to pretend they know the answer.

He challenged the audience at Radio City Music Hall to repeat the phrase to themselves at least once a day, and to also encourage employees to do it. Once they say it, it allows them to step back and experiment with new ideas. “If you can never admit you don’t know the answers to questions, you can never get better.”

Something I found interesting and brave (to say the least), was that he left the audience with brief personal story. A story about his meeting with a call girl (for business purposes), and how he advised her to raise her fee with no adverse impact on business. She just needed to take a step back and think about it.

Take a moment to step back and look how you can simplify your innovative passions. How would you do it and how would you help others simplify their goals?

World Business Forum 2010

world business forum 2010Six weeks ago, I received an invitation to be a featured blogger at the 2010 World Business Forum, which is being held October 5th and 6th at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Come to find out, this is an invitation-only opportunity offered to a select group of top business bloggers and establishes a membership amongst the WBF10 Bloggers Hub.

As I read over the invite, I was uncertain if it was actually true. I expressed gratitude for kindly extending the invitation to attend the forum and asked why I was chosen to attend, as for I felt that I had yet to contribute anything of significance to the leadership community. Micheal Singer replied with: “I found your blog on someone else’s blogroll, and I took a brief look and liked what I saw. We’re looking for interesting viewpoints. And while many of our bloggers have institutional ties and recognition, etc., we also want some new voices. This is a great opportunity to stretch your voice and reach some new people if you want the opportunity. It’s that simple.”

Past speakers in the World Business Forum include political figures such as Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, Rudy Giuliani, Tony Blair and Colin Powell, CEOs such as Jack Welch, Richard Branson, Herb Kelleher and John Chambers, financial experts Alan Greenspan and Jeremy Siegel as well as management experts Tom Peters, Peter Drucker and Jim Collins among others. This year’s World Business Forum boasts a dynamic agenda and a dizzying array of speakers, including former U.S. Vice-President/Nobel Prize Recipient Al Gore; Avatar director James Cameron; Blue Ocean Strategy co-author Renée Mauborgne and more than a dozen other exciting thought leaders spanning the spectrum of world business.

After inquiring with the management company responsible for putting together the forum, I found that as a member of the WBF10 Bloggers Hub, I will be spending two days with a bird’s eye view of these thought leaders as they explore the latest trends and changes in global business today. The Hub will also offer me an unparalleled opportunity to share their insights with my audience via blog, twitter, etc… something very important to me, as for its readers just like you that keep me at this.

To see a list of the bloggers who participated last year and to read a sample of their posts, visit the World Business Forum’s Blogger Hub; you can find complete details about WBF10, including all the conference speakers and topics here.