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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Occupy My Street

At first I wrote it off as a silly protest by a bunch of hippies and unemployed folks that have nothing better to do than ask for ridiculous demands from multi-national companies and our government.

I on the other hand have gone to work every day for the past two weeks, working my ass off to make sure I do a great job. I get paid a decent salary – far less than what says I should be making but hey – it’s a job and I’m one of the few people that actually enjoy what I do for a living and like the people I work with.

My salary is exactly the same as my older sister when she graduated college – 17 years ago… But I have 8 years of industry experience under my belt and 17 years ago the rent on my sisters apartment was half of what I am currently paying.

But whatever, I’m 27 years old, and I have a full-time job with vacation time, benefits, health and dental insurance. I’ll be done with my MBA in a couple months and I’m wondering what other degree I should go back for once I finish because lets face it – I know I don’t make enough to pay back my student loans.

Just last week we emptied out our pantry and returned as much as we could to Shoprite and A&P because we desperately needed money. Every week it’s a struggle between our bills that continue to pile up. “Okay, well AT&T is generally okay with letting you set up a date to pay later without charging you a late fee but oh Sallie Mae wants money NOW and you can’t get to school or work without your car insurance bill getting paid.” Next week we will revisit AT&T vs Comcast vs PSEG.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is I get it now… I’m working, paying taxes, continuing my education, doing everything I should be doing yet I can’t afford to live. Now let’s get 1 thing straight – I live in a crappy 1 bedroom apartment with my boyfriend and 1 adopted cat. There’s no lavish lifestyle I’m trying to uphold but I’m 27 and I’d like to have a family and children one day but right now – I sold off half my pantry just so I could get toilet paper, garbage bags, cat food, eggs, and dish soap. So having children and buying a house seems like its just impossible.

We don’t go out and spend endless amounts of money; our credit card bill is pretty low compared to most our age and it’s not about living beyond our means. We don’t shop for brand name clothes – we get what we need and we try to get as much as we can that is from thrift stores or exchanging things with our friends so even though it’s not new – it’s new to us. Yes, I am tired. I am frustrated and I do want to see a fundamental change in how things work.

But just like most others – I have no idea how to start or what to specifically ask for. I certainly am not asking for a lot – I’m one of the lucky ones. But seriously – the only reason I’m scared to graduate with my MBA is because I know that on my current salary there is NO WAY I can afford to pay back my student loans. Is it too much to ask for education to be free or at least reasonably priced? Do textbooks every semester seriously need to add up to be over $800?

But whose fault is it? The big evil companies that come out with products I love and use all the time? NO. Is it the government? Maybe but what do I want them to do about it and how could they do something in a way that benefits our country as a whole? I know it’s not just about me and other people in my situation…

I don’t know all the answers and I don’t even know all the questions to ask. But I do know this – I realized now that I am part of the 99%... And I’m not some lazy, uneducated kid with nothing better to do with my time. I’m a soon-to-be MBA grad with 8 years of experience and an empty pantry.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Secret Social Media Marketing

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I've been trying to get an answer to this for a while and I've come to a conclusion...

The question: When you have a blog, facebook, twitter, linked in and you're using these sites - how do you get people to be engaged when you're trying to get your message out there?

The answer: We are all looking at it the wrong way... It's not about getting our messages out there and getting people to talk about us. It's all about them - how to get information on them to make our products or services work better for them.