Monday, December 10, 2012

Walmart, Nick Cannon, Jordin Sparks, and other Writers

What a wonderful weekend! I hope yours was as nice as mine. It all started on Friday when I went to meet with two other authors from my new church family.

First off, we were meeting at a house 5 minutes walk from mine! How cool is that? The whole time I was in Charlotte I wanted to be part of a writing group, but it never worked out. There were large groups in the southern part of town, but they always met on Sunday. You probably remember how busy my Sundays were, so that wasn't an option.

After one meeting I can tell this is going to be great. Other than you guys online, I've not met someone else so obsessed with writing as myself. It's good to know I'm normal, you're normal, well, at least we aren't alone. :)

Once Christmas is over, I'll introduce you to these ladies a bit better. In fact, I want to do a vlog interview of Alicia Rivoli and tell you about her book Mere Enchantment, but I need to read it first. ;)

Then on Saturday morning I woke at the un-earthly hour of 5:30AM to get ready and go to my first Saturday morning meeting with my hubby. In case I didn't mention it, he's moved from the Bank to Walmart job wise (thus our move from NC to AR).

Let me tell you, this was an eye opener to me! 6 1/2 years at the bank and I was never invited to any event my husband attended. Never. Not even a team Christmas party.

The work environment at Walmart is completely the opposite. Families are invited to these monthly meetings and they have family events regularly (ex. employees left work at 2 pm on Halloween to go home and get their children for a huge trick or treat party at the home office).

It may sound weird, but it was really cool. I learned a lot about marketing and I want to share some of it with you (really quick I promise!). I may use these for my next week over at UB and expand on my thoughts and how they relate specifically to writing.

1. "We are all merchants." Sam Walton. As writers we are merchants. We need to learn how to sell ourselves as well as our novels if we want to experience success--whatever it is you consider that to be.
2. You need to be excited about the product. By this I'm talking about energy. You're voice, your face, your body need to show that passion.
3. Include/invite everyone to participate. No one likes to be left out and sometimes just knowing you are invited is enough to make you feel good. The Bank was good to us, but now I'mconverted to Walmart because they  made me feel like I'm part of something amazing.
4. Make it fun. OMGoodness! Each exec that got up to report on what's been going on the last month and what they're setting into motion were a hoot. They joked and teased each other in a very natural way. It really felt like a fun family planning activity (they do happen!) Associates got up to perform as a kick-off to a Walmart's Got Talent search. And they were great!

Nick Cannon came to MC the Talent search segment, and at the end of the meeting Jordin Sparks came and sang some songs. It was really cool! They were both such normal, relaxed, and fun people to listen to.

Quick note: Jordin was concerned that her voice was acting up that day so she sang A Capella instead of with music. She apologized, but let me tell you, I wish my voice sounded that good when at 100%. I loved that she sang without music because she was amazing!