Friday, February 6, 2015

NAAAKED - n A a A k e d information - n A A A k e d....

#naked

To be honest, as a mass media expert I am truly sadden by the events.

#BrianWilliams

Can't even guess what or whose pressure led to this situation.
In my heart I believe that Brian Williams is a great guy and a good reporter.

Then again, I have seen saying it forever:

#Naked #Information - that's what we want and what we need.
The fact that the world appears to be spinning faster does not change anything about that.

That's why I publish #naked books and will continue to do so.

Gisela

Errors, Lies, and Values

#error #lying 

In September of 2006, I found myself sitting in the waiting room of my local Volvo shop, (im)patiently waiting for my car to be fixed. The repair job was supposed to take only about an hour, so I had decided to wait right there.

Scanning through the magazines, I had found out that all of them were sports magazines, presenting articles about football, basketball, and golf. I don’t follow any of these sports (unfortunately, none of these magazines features articles about boxing, soccer, or alpine skiing).

Luckily, a gentleman, who seemed to be equally discontent with waiting, put down the magazine he had been reading and went outside to make a cell phone call. I checked out his magazine. It was one of the glorious magazines that focus mainly on the latest and/or soon to be available gizmos. One of the articles elaborated about new types of cell phones.

I got to read that a company named Research in Motion (RIMM) was going to come out with a totally new cell phone called Blackberry. It was going to be the ‘phone of the future’. The article also featured a picture. The phone looked very, very sleek. I lifted my head and looked at the gentleman outside. He was still talking on his cell phone. In fact, he seemed to get more animated by the minute. A saying popped up in my brain, “Guys love their gizmos.” My brain went into overdrive.

Twenty minutes later, my car was fixed. I quickly drove home, and checked out RIMM. The company’s stock was listed at around $32. I called my broker.

“Wilma,” I said, “I want you to buy 30 stocks of these RIMMs.”

“Gisela, I would not recommend that,” said Wilma. “This is not a sound investment; it is probably a fad at best.”

“Wilma,” I said. “All of us love cell phones.”

“Gisela, I have other suggestions… Why don’t you come to my office and we’ll talk about it.”

“Wilma, this is my account. I want you to buy 30 RIMMs!”

About a year later, in October 2007, I sold my 30 stocks at more than $110 a piece. Even when I asked Wilma to sell, she never made the slightest reference to our debate before I bought these stocks. That was fine with me. Looking back, I felt lucky that I had to wait at this car shop.

Towards the end of the year 2007, I sensed something strange happening. Working in the construction industry, I could see that things just weren't going right. My company was laying off people, good people. The trend did not look good… I was wondering when my turn would come. I began to read job ads.

Eventually, I spotted an ad looking for a broker's assistant at – Wilma’s company. I put my resume together and called Wilma. Could I use her for a reference? After all, we had known each other for three years.

“Gisela,” Wilma exclaimed enthusiastically, “that job opening is at my office.”
I did not know that. The ad had simply stated ‘looking for… xyz… in New Hanover County, NC.’
“Of course, you can list me as a reference. I’ll keep an eye on your application.”
That sounded terrific. I felt relieved.

One month later, I called Wilma. Were there any news regarding the job opening?
“Nothing yet,” she said. “But, don’t worry, this process always takes time.”
She sounded confident and I felt more confident. Obviously, Wilma really kept an eye on my application.

The day after my phone rang. It was Wilma.

“Wilma, how wonderful that you call me… Did I get an interview?”

“No, dear, that’s not why I was calling you. I wanted to invite you to an event on short notice…”

The timing of this event did not really fit into my calendar but considering that Wilma was kind enough to keep an eye on my application, I decided to make time. I attended, wearing an elegant suit, looking like the perfect broker's assistant. And, there was Wilma – introducing her new assistant – the day after she had told me that there were ‘no news yet’ regarding the job opening.

I said nothing and began to slowly withdraw my money.

Was I going to have my money with an account manager who was a liar? Certainly not!
All of us have values. I had not been peeved that Wilma did not recognize the opportunity with RIMM. Surely, she was trying to give me the best advice she could when she advised me not to buy stock from a company whose major product was a gizmo. Yes, she had been wrong and I had been right with my guess. But, all of us make mistakes, and it could have been the other way around.

However, when it comes to values, we cannot look away. There was absolutely no way that Wilma did not know that either she or her company had hired somebody else for the position I had applied. There had to have been interviews, background checks, a drug test, all of which takes time… In other words, Wilma had to have known and she lied. It was that simple.

The funny thing was she could have wiggled herself out of this situation. She could have said, “Gisela, unfortunately, the company preferred somebody else.” But people who lie (maybe even lie notoriously) don’t think about these options. They are so used to lying that it is their first reaction, without thinking. They are so settled in their ways they won’t even contemplate what they have to do to not get caught.

Errors are errors; most often they are forgivable.

Little white lies can be good sometimes. (It would not do any good if I told my ninety-year old grandmother that the ring my grandfather bought her fifty years ago is no longer fashionable.)

Above all – values are values, which may include telling my grandmother that grandpa’s ring looks even better than it was fifty years ago.

However, blatant and unethical lies are inexcusable. The greater the lie, the more damage it will cause, like Watergate, Lincoln Savings & Loan, Enron and too many others.

(Names have been changed to protect the privacy of characters.)


~*~

Why Is the Word ‘Naked’ So Powerful?

#truth #empowerment

Sometimes people are surprised that my life skills book Naked Determination, 41 Stories About Overcoming Fear has garnered 85 reviews in 24 months. It is a high number. In comparison:

Barbara Bush: 50 (A Memoir) 
Laura Bush:   281 (Spoken from the Heart) 
Nancy Reagan: 18 (My Turn: The Memoirs of Nancy Reagan)

Obviously, all these books have been published longer than my own book and thus could have received many more reviews.  

When people do articulate surprise, I tell them, “that’s because ‘naked’ is the most powerful quality of the 21st century.”

Why do we perceive reading ‘naked truths’ as empowering?

Because – WE ARE LIED TO OR MISLED, EVERY DAY.  And, we know it; we are just too busy to chase down every little detail.

Sometimes, we may not be lied to, but the information we receive is certainly not ‘naked’, ‘obvious’, or ‘easy to perceive’.




Take for instance this bill. As it so happened, I paid one of my utility bills late, by a day or two. I had overlooked it, while being busy with a million things. When I saw the next month’s bill, I was wondering what these ‘One-Time Charges’ were supposed to be. 

Note that little sentence at the top ‘details on following pages’. It blends in so nicely, I did not even see it at first glance, or even at second glance...

The ‘One-Time Charges’ are the Late-Fee.

Why is it listed ‘on the following pages’?

The word ‘Late-Fee’ is shorter than the below listed words ‘Current Charges Due By 12/27/13’ thus there would have been enough space to print the word ‘Late-Fee'.
It is a clear-cut case of NOT showing naked information.

Obviously, the company cannot lie about what they are charging me. And, it is true, I did pay late. The issue is the amount this company is charging: 25%. That is a steep fee. By putting the detailed description on another page, there is at least a chance that the busy customer (I) will not look at it.

This bill is not ‘naked’.

The same goes for articles and blogs, which just state something, don't give answers, and just create hype. The same is also true for TV-reports, sales pitches, and so on. Typically, details can be found in the fine print or on the ‘following pages’.

Quite simply: Most information we receive is NOT ‘naked’.

It is therefore that reading ‘naked’ truths makes us happy, truly happy. As examples, the titles to the reviews of my life skill book tell how readers feel about NAKED essences:

•        Mesmerizing and compelling
•        Lessons you take with you for REAL!
•        An Inspiring and Empowering Collection
•        Refreshing & Honest!
•        Core truths in plain English

In other words, people perceive ‘naked’ stories (ideally backed up with not-photo shopped pictures) as mesmerizing, inspiring, refreshing.

‘Naked’ is the most empowering word of the 21st century.

~*~


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Yes, I have analyzed 100,000+ emails. Now I am revealing now "Naked Words: The Effective 157-Words Email"

#email #business #communication #DirectSales

It is my pleasure to present my new book "Naked Words: The Effective 157-Words Email" 
It will be featured in SUCCESS Magazine's May Edition (available on newsstands mid April)
Until then on Pre-Launch #Sale at US$ 1.49


WHY IS THIS BOOK TITLED ‘NAKED WORDS’?

This book’s mission is to help you write better or best emails.

It presents facts, examples, and the unspoken rules.

It also includes 27 emails, whose writers never thought about what the recipients would think when receiving these meaningless, silly, or even outright stupid messages; but that is what matters. We write emails to help the recipients, to give them information, or to make them happy.

This book is purposely short so readers can save it to their smartphones 
as a reference book to be used at the office.

US:

CA:

UK:

DE:

FR:

MX:

AU:

IN:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

“Make it up,” she said, “dramatic stuff sells!” - Ugly advice from a former best friend

#books #story #stories #happinessn#liar #tribes 


The phone rang.

“Hi, this is Susan Hart*, a woman said, “I hope you remember me. We met at your book reading.” She described herself and I immediately remembered the pretty brunette.  “I did not buy your book at the event,” she continued, “but you gave me your card. Yesterday night I looked up the sample of your book and began reading, and, oh my God, your book is so moving, you even had me crying by the third story.”

OUCH… what happened?... My book is not a sad book, quite the opposite; it is a motivational book…  

“The story about your brother…” Susan continued, appearing to choke up a little bit, “I had to laugh so hard when I read how you defended him when you were children… and, I cried when he died because my brother died - too.” Then, words just bubbled out of her, “I loved it when you beat up that big bully to save your brother because that’s exactly what I had to do for my brother… on more than one occasion.” She paused briefly, “I am just calling because I bought your book at Barnes and Noble and I wanted to know if you have another event where I can get it signed. This means a lot to me. Your story is like my story.”

Naturally, I was floored. Susan wasn’t sad, she was happy; reading my story had allowed her to relive her own story with her own brother.

This wasn’t the first time that this happened. On another occasion, a bookstore owner, who had bought my book, had called me just to say, how important it was to her to read how I learned to overcome my depression after my husband’s untimely death. It’s not a big story, it’s only a few paragraphs long, yet it helped her. Her mother had died recently. A lady named Robin had emailed me how empowering my “chainsaw-story” was; like my husband hers too thought that she should not use a chainsaw. Therefore, she was pleased to read my similar experiences; she thought that it was exciting to know another woman’s feelings about using power tools.

Like every author I like to tell these stories because they are beautiful. Unfortunately, there are also ugly stories. Here is one I have never told.

A few decades ago, still living in Austria, I had one best friend, who eventually became an author. By the time that happened, I had left Austria and moved to the United States, and also, we weren’t best friends anymore. Our friendship had broken apart relatively abruptly. Her mother, jealous of our close friendship, had spread lies about me; the daughter had believed her mother even though what she claimed made really no sense.   

The decades passed and suddenly, there we were, meeting again on a social media platform. In the meantime my former friend’s relationship with her mother had suffered from other things the mother had done. She apologized for being “so silly” decades ago. I welcomed her with open arms. Our old friendship began anew as if nothing ever happened. Regularly we chatted on skype and life seemed good until I was about to publish my book “Naked Determination”. Since she had penned a few books, I sent her a few stories. I thought we would have an interesting discussion.

“Gisela,” she came back, “You need to write more about your husband’s death. You need drama.” I had only written that he died falling from a balcony in the middle of the night.

“There isn’t any more to say,” I replied, “I wasn’t there, there were no witnesses, and nobody knew anything.” Her demanding tone irritated me but still friendly I continued. “Remember, this happened in Austria while I was in Florida. I was more than 5,000 miles away. “

“Doesn’t matter,” she said, “You need something scandalous, that’s what people want. If you don’t know anything, take what you have and build on it. Create emotional drama; that’s what sells.”

I could hardly believe what I heard.

“Are you kidding? Why would I invent something about my own or my late husband’s life? I loved him. Plus, may I remind you that we have two children? Do you really think I am going to invent some story and my children have to live with this lie?”

“Let ‘em deal with it,” she spoke with conviction, “they are adults. You need to write a dramatic story, so your book will sell. Believe me; I am giving you the best advice. I work in the industry. Nobody cares about your childhood stories, your job and travel stories, and all other stories; you need big emotional drama.”

I was so in shock that I hung up. “What a heartless, mean creature!” She also did not call back.

My first thought was that she had gone crazy, but then I was wondering.  Was she right? What kind of stories do people want to read?

Eventually I stumbled over C.S. Lewis’ quote.  
C.S. Lewis said, “We read to know we are not alone.”

I think he was right. Susan Hart called me to tell me that she shared a bond with me because she too had beaten up bullies to defend her brother, who like my brother died too soon. She was happy that she could relive her memories reading my story, even if it involved shedding a few tears.  The bookstore owner had called to tell me that she was happy to read how I learned to overcome my depression, and, how she needed to read that. And, Robin was excited to know that other women too liked to work with a chainsaw.

In his TED-Talk American thought leader Seth Godin explained that people like to form “tribes”, to be with other people, who share their own ideas and values.

Readers care a lot about their childhood stories, their job stories and all their other stories; they want to belong to the tribe, who has common stories.

It is amazing how many of us have even unusual stories in common. In his review, Amazon top book reviewer Dennis Littrell wrote, “…Finally I was amused by Hausmann's story about "the Casablanca Principle" in which she assuages herself as she breaks up with a boyfriend by using this famous line from the Humphrey Bogart-Ingrid Bergman film: "We'll always have Paris." The idea of emphasizing the good times together is typical of Hausmann's attitude toward life. I was amused because after I broke up with a girlfriend with whom I had travelled a bit in the U.S., she liked to say with a smile, recalling the Bogart line, “We’ll always have Colby, Kansas" (where we stayed one night)….”

Needless to say, I never imagined that somebody shared my “Casablanca Principle” story, but Dennis Littrell does (and who knows how many others).

As for my former friend… She turned out to be like her mother, who was a liar too. The apple did not fall far from the tree. Her tribe must be the tribe of liars.

And my book? It won Gold at the International Readers Favorite Awards 2014. While it may never become a #1 Amazon bestseller it makes readers happy.  

~*~

Gisela Hausmann is the author of fifteen books including multi award winning ‘NakedDetermination, 41 Stories About Overcoming Fear’. She lives with her two cats Artemis and Yin-Yang in Greenville, SC.

* Names have been changed to protect others' privacy.

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© 2014 by Gisela Hausmann, All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Thrill of Finding Much More Than We Expected...

So very often we get disappointed when we believe in others. As we go through life we find out that many, who pretend to be lions (on facebook or elsewhere) are really  just playful kittens, who don't care about much else other than their own fun.

As a motivational author (a multi award-winning, good one) I always believe that the best will be brought out in people - sooner or later. 

Then again, too often we invest and give, only to find out that the recipients of our efforts take our support for granted. Others stay stagnant, never moving on to bigger or better goals even though we believe they could achieve more. 

However, on rare occasions we notice people or organizations that keep growing and getting better every day. We treasure these experiences, which reassure our beliefs in humanity and a forward thinking society. Indeed, I had such an experience during my recent visit in Miami and I would love to share it with everybody. 

When in 2011/12 I penned my motivational book 'Naked Determination, 41 Stories About Overcoming Fear' I included a story about the fear of natural disasters or events we cannot control. I experienced this type of fear in 1998 when Tropical Storm Mitch cut a disastrous path through my backyard. This relatively small tropical storm created more damage in Key Largo, FL than any other hurricane that had passed by in recent years. Not even mighty hurricane Andrew's outer bands had caused that much damage.

After the storm passed Red Cross volunteers showed up to bring food and offer help. The impact of their actions felt huge. It is an amazing experience to find out that people who we do not know care about us! This positive feeling makes up for so many prior disappointments because we feel that we received help when it mattered. I never forgot it and I will never forget. 

A decade later, when I penned my book I decided  to donate 5% of my book's earnings to this great organization. Not only did I want to tell the story, I wanted to give back, so more people could be helped. In the months that followed I occasionally communicated with the Red Cross via phone or email, and I sent them checks. 

Then, last September, an amazing thing happened; my book 'Naked Determination' won 1st Place; Gold, at the Readers' Favorite Awards 2014 (Non-Fiction - Motivational). The award ceremony would take place in Miami, FL. Even better, the Red Cross' office was only ten minutes from the hotel where authors stayed and all events took place. Clearly it was fate. This was my opportunity to meet my heroes in person. 

Indeed, on November 22 I met with Alfred Sanchez, Executive Director of  The American Red Cross of Greater Miami & the Keys. Again I learned about amazing massive action and effort. In this day and age too many people think, that just "liking" something on social media, creates a positive result.

The Red Cross is NOT resting on their laurels. This great organization that has received the most Nobel prizes in history (Henry Dunant received the First Nobel Peace Prize 1901 and The International Red Cross received Nobel Peace Prizes 1917, 1944, and 1963) is moving forward every day. 

While South Florida got a breather (no major hurricane has struck in a last few years) the Red Cross focuses on a new campaign against, what at first glance, appears to be a nuisance enemy and a lot less scary than hurricanes or wars - house fires. 

However, every day house fires kill 7 people and injure 36; additionally, in the United States house fires cause $7 billion of damage per year. The Red Cross aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25% in five years, with its Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.

For this campaign S-FL Red Cross volunteers canvass their neighborhoods to inspect fire alarms, change batteries, and even provide new fire alarms. The Red Cross is making their communities safer, house by house.  



Alfred Sanchez and Gisela Hausmann

Just because there are no hurricanes or other natural disasters in South Florida the Red Cross is not sitting on their hands, they work to prevent future catastrophes.

Additionally they manifest themselves as an organization that not only saves lives, but also strengthens communities. The Red Cross' volunteers are ambassadors who spread the contagious feeling that communities matter. 

When I decided to tell my story ("A Warm Meal..") I never guessed that the Red Cross could and would impress me even more. Like many people over the age of forty I occasionally wondered whether communities hadn't been tighter before the days of smart phones and social media. Meeting Alfred Sanchez and his dedicated team showed me how an 151 year organization not only stays relevant but becomes a player in influencing the future. I am in awe. Thank you, Alfred. 

The American Red Cross
  • provides disaster relief
  • supports America’s Military Families
  • is the largest single supplier of blood and blood products in the U.S.
  • provides Health and Safety Services
  • and its International Services are part of the world’s largest humanitarian network, 13 million volunteers in 187 countries reach an average of more than 100 million people across the globe
It is an amazing experience to find out that people who we do not know care about us!

If you want to learn more 

~*~

Gisela Hausmann is the author of 15 books, including multi award-winning 'Naked Determination, 41 Stories About Overcoming Fear'. Born in Vienna Austria, she graduated with a masters degree in Arts of Film and Mass Media from the University of Vienna.

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If you enjoyed reading this blog please share using the links at the very bottom of this blog. Thank-you!  ~~ * ~~ © 2014 by Gisela Hausmann, All rights reserved. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Is it really a good idea to keep 'producing content... content... content'?


#blogs, #new, #content, #excitement 


These days we hear much too often, "Produce content, content, content...", "Blog often...". "Share content on social media - often", and that is what most people do. Inevitably, many blogs sound similar. All of us will read blogs and wonder, "Didn't I read something similar last week?"

If we catch the same blog author repeatedly blogging similar content as the next blogger, we begin to believe that one of them may have read another blogger's findings. After 'getting inspired' the blogger could have blogged his/her own wisdom, which may be very similar to the original blogger's findings. That's when we start ignoring a blogger, who we feel does not add anything new to the topic. 

Additionally, if a business owner blogs too much, we have to wonder, how  s/he finds the time to write these blogs. Does this person have a ghost writer? Whose ideas are we reading?  Lastly, in the days of e-publishing anybody can publish an ebook. Why would anybody spread his or her best knowledge for free, non stop? 

Printing money causes inflation. Sharing too much content devalues words or minimizes their effect.

When, on June 6, the CIA posted its first 'official' tweet 300K people shared it. Even the CIA's thank-you-tweet was retweeted by 15K. In the month of September the CIA tweeted about once per day and about 300 people retweeted each tweet. 

People seek the rare and special. We get excited about new ideas and concepts we have not heard yet. 
~*~

Gisela Hausmann is an award-winning author of inspirational story books including "Blogs are Like Chewing Gum - There's Got to Be Something to Chew on" She graduated with a masters degree in Arts of Mass Media from the University of Vienna, Austria.

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If you enjoyed reading this blog please share right below. Thank-you!
© 2014 by Gisela Hausmann, All rights reserved.