Monthly Archives

January 2017

Treadmills, and Yoga and Slides…Oh My!

By | Be Honest, Have Fun, Invoke Passion, Motivate Others

Chyla is our new Social Media Marketing Intern. While I’m out here at SampleCon debating the future of sample, someone decided it would be a good idea to leave her in charge of the blog. The experiment paid off, and Chyla came up with a timely and insightful blog post about what millennials really want in the workplace. (Hint: it’s not just STUFF.)

Millennials & Workplace Culture

Everyone seems to be obsessed with creating a standout company culture these days. From treadmill desks, to unlimited vacation days, to gourmet cafes, there are lists and tips all over the internet trying to teach companies how to be more like the Googles and Zappos-es of the world by incorporating this stuff into their organizations. There’s also a multitude of articles about Millennials and what we really want. According to these articles, I want a lot of stuff.

The truth is, most of us just want an opportunity to carve out our own paths. Not that long ago, another SoapBoxSample Millennial, Sullivan, wrote a guest blog about his transition out of college and into the workforce. Like him, I’ve been learning a lot. We have been labeled as the generation of “entitlement”, but I (and most of the other Millennials I know) just want to work hard and grow like my parents did. So what does that mean for workplace culture?

1. We don’t need a yoga room… We need to not be overworked. I would rather get my work done and leave the office than spend part of my workday doing downward dog.

2. We don’t need a slide… We need to enjoy the work we’re doing. Sure, even adults like to have fun—so why shouldn’t the actual job be enjoyable?

3. We don’t need a game room… See number 2.

4. We don’t necessarily need treadmill desks, but it would be nice to not be glued to a regular desk all day. Here at SBS we even have a plank challenge throughout the day to get the blood flowing. It’s that simple.

5. We don’t need themed or quirky collaborative spaces, we need functional collaborative spaces. Don’t get me wrong, teams are awesome! But wouldn’t it be weird working on the set of “Up” after a while?

It’s not so much about the stuff. We don’t need it. I honestly don’t care if my job prepares gourmet food for me or supports my fitness goals. I can go to Chipotle or join a gym for that. What I care about is the opportunity for growth and the emotional intelligence of my leaders. I care about doing work that matters. SoapBoxSample doesn’t have a giant slide in the office or yoga breaks in the middle of the day. What it does have is an awesome group of people who are kind, open, and passionate about the work they’re doing. The opportunity to learn and grow from a company like that is way better than any treadmill desk could possibly be. Sure, the stuff is nice, but it’s the intangibles that really matter.

When Life Kicks You in the Ass

By | Be Genuine, Be Honest, Be Reasonable

Five Things I’ve Learned

We have all gotten our butts kicked at one time or another by life. It is inevitable. Things just simply don’t always go as planned. Sometimes, even tragedy strikes. Today marks the two-year Anniversary since my life-changing automobile accident. I won’t go into the all the gory details, but there have been countless obstacles and challenges over these past two years. None of this was planned. Even after it happened, I had no way to predict the latent effects.

I have learned a lot. I have had to learn patience, acceptance of the unknown, I have had to learn things don’t go as planned or as I want them. I have also had to learn that things don’t move in Jacqueline time. They don’t even move at ½ Jacqueline speed.

People ask me all the time how I do it. I am not really sure I have much choice. I get a lot of comments on how I am inspirational or strong. Truthfully, it is hard for me to see any of that as I feel like I am a mess all time and am having to constantly to adapt to my health limitations.

Some would say it is not in my DNA to give up. That may be true, but it doesn’t mean that some days I don’t feel like giving up. I have had to be super open to learning, and using some new life tools in order to not to be in an eternal state of losing my mind.

Even when I’m scared, I can show up for life

I am scared all the time. Scared of the unknown, scared things won’t go my way, scared that I won’t get better. I am human. But I have learned to show up in the face of fear. Maybe things won’t go away, maybe I have to leave early, maybe I say or do something dumb, maybe I hear bad news, maybe things will never be the “same” again. Doesn’t matter. Feeling scared doesn’t have to have impact my actions. It is human nature to go into avoidance mode, when faced with fear. Unfortunately, avoidance rarely solves the problem.

It’s OK to say no

I have had to say no to everything from business meetings, to trips to friend’s birthday parties and everything in between. I have missed out on a lot. I probably have avoided just as much as I have missed. It was so, so hard for me to do this at first – it still is. I want to say yes. The simple truth is, that right now, I am just not able to. Some people have been disappointed – None more disappointed than myself. That’s OK. My ego has been hurt. That’s OK. I struggle with it daily. That’s OK.

Self-care is not selfish

I have to take care of myself. I can’t take care of my family or my business if I don’t. This is so hard for to me to justify to myself. Every single time I ignore self-care, I end up in a worse place than I would have been if I just took care of myself. This may mean sleeping in, missing an event, exercising, meditating, a quiet lunch with a girlfriend, a hobby, a good cry in my bed – whatever it is, I have to do it. For me, it is mainly rest and restore. I have to shut down – it is tough when I feel like I am already missing out on so much due to health issues. I sometimes believe that “being sick and injured” counts as me time – IT DOES NOT.

Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness

What? Now you are talking crazy. I should be able to handle it all; run a company (or two), grow a company at warp speed, run a family, be a good Mom, wife, and friend, keep up with my health and exercise, – oh and write a weekly BLOG. It goes on ad infinitum. I was FORCED to ask for help and I hated it (still do). But I have learned that asking for help gives others an opportunity to stand up. Asking for help means I don’t have to go it alone. Asking for help means I am …. human. Asking for help means I am strong.

Even when I don’t know what will happen, I can still just do the next thing

So it turns out my magic eight ball doesn’t work (the toy kind you shake and gives fortunes like “the future is certain” you who were thinking otherwise). I have no idea what is going to happen in the future – nether do you. I do know, that I can show up and do the next thing in front of me. I can tackle on small thing at a time and focus on the action rather than result.


By | Create Value, Invoke Passion, Motivate Others | 254 Comments

Sometimes, as a mentor, you have to repeat yourself.  This #DoubleTakeTuesday, let’s rewind to this time last year when I was talking about mentors, peers, and the 33% rule.

Has anyone ever heard of the 33% rule?

It basically states that 33% of your time should be spent with mentors (people that challenge you), 33% with your peers (those on the same level as you), and 33% with people that you can mentor and guide. The idea was created by Tai Lopez, TED speaker and creator of some famously annoying YouTube videos in which he shows off his incredible wealth. I don’t normally take advice from Lamborghini drivers, but in this case I think Lopez may be on to something.

Market research thought leaders are predicting a sea change for the industry, marked by an increase in research facilitated by new market entrants with the ability to displace some of the more seasoned researchers and techniques.

The marketing department will continue to do more and more research. As DIY platforms become easier to implement and understand – the need for research specialists will decline.Gregg Archibald, Managing Partner, Gen2 Advisors

Rather than bemoan the destruction of research as we know it, we should look at this trend as an opportunity. A glut of newcomers means a larger market. Our industry is growing. Professional researchers are not being replaced but rather have the opportunity to be the mentor, or the learner regardless of how many years of industry experience they may have.

Everyone will get involved in market research and insight development, so we as experts need to ensure we lead the advance and do not get left behind in all the interest and enthusiasm.Denyse Drummond-Dunn, President and Customer Centricity Catalyst, C3Centricity

Technology changes everything. Like many industries, the world of research is constantly being shaken up by developments that continue to lower the barriers to entry. As someone who has grown an online research company from scratch, I can tell you that the most effective forms of entrepreneurship forge a new path while borrowing from the lessons of the past.

Perhaps one of the best “live action” examples of the rule of thirds in MR, happens every year at SampleCon. Last year at SampleCon 2015 I asked a room full of conference attendees how many had not been in the industry 3 years ago, or worked for a company that did not exist 3 years ago. Hands went up, and not just a couple. This year, there are even more new faces sitting alongside some of the most seasoned veterans in our space. Everyone gets a seat at the table.*

The 33% rule teaches us that seasoned players and new entrants alike have an equally important role to play in the growth and health of all careers, companies, and industries. I feel hopeful looking at the future of the research industry. I see an overall acceptance of the need to ask questions and understand deeply, and a growing trend toward using collaboration as a way to get there.

Originally published January 15, 2016 on the Greenbook Blog

*I’ll be giving the Day Two Keynote this year at SampleCon 2017, where I’ll be explaining how anyone can take risks, experiment, drive change a be a disruptor. Read the full agenda here.

SoapBoxSample Jaxbluedress

Accessories to Make Your Traveling Life Easier — All From the Dollar Store!

By | Be Reasonable, Create Value, Inspire Ideas | 3,286 Comments

My awesome outfit I wore for my Dollar Store Theme Party requiring all attire be purchased from the Dollar Store (yes, even the shoes). And the fly swatter in the background.

Traveling is something on a lot of people’s bucket lists — who wouldn’t want to see the world? It’s so glamorous … until it isn’t. From the crowds, to the boredom, to the extra fees, sometimes it can all be pretty unglamorous. Sometimes it’s actually the worst.

Early in my career I was all pumped up about traveling. Now, I’ll try to get anyone to go in my place. For me, it is part of the job and I have found there are definitely ways to improve your traveling experience. And, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on trendy accessories. Here are my Top Ten favorite travel hacks, all using items that can be found at the Dollar Store. I love the Dollar Store. I even throw a themed party at my house where everyone has to arrive in an outfit made from items at the Dollar Store. It was epically awesome. And you know how I love a good deal…

My Top Ten Travel Hacks To Get You Through The Crazy

  1. Fill a Ziploc bag with anti-bacterial wipes to scrub away all the germs floating around. Airports are crowded and planes have very little personal space. Having these at-hand when you travel by air means you can wipe down the seats, the TV, or your neighbor. Even better, you don’t have to worry about what the person who previously occupied your seat was doing during their 5-hour flight.
  2. Make your own variety snack-pack with a plastic craft supply box. I don’t know about you, but I am always hungry. I have been known to spend $100 on airport snacks because I showed up without my usual arsenal of healthy food to munch on. You can pack a variety of goodies in these craft supply boxes. Even better – the small compartment sizes keep portions under control.
  3. Store your flat iron in an oven mitt. Packing in a rush? Instead of waiting for your hair appliance to cool down, just pop it in an oven mitt. Your clothes remain unburned and your lipstick unmelted. And you might just make your flight on time.
  4. Pack your necklace inside of a straw so it doesn’t get tangled up. You carefully picked out your jewelry to go with your outfits. Don’t spend the first 40 minutes of your trip in your hotel room untangling your favorite chain. Just slide the smaller end of the necklace into the top of a straw and leave the bangle poking out of the top.
  5. Keep track of your earrings with a button. I love this tip because it looks cute and makes me smile. Not sure why, but it does. It also prevents you from digging around in your bag to find that missing earring or accidentally leaving a pair of earrings behind on the bedside table. If you see a button laying around in your room, you know you have a pair of earrings to look for.
  6. Buy socks at the Dollar Store to store stuff in. Keep your hairbrush, bottle of ibuprofen (for the headache you will probably get), or shaving gel in Dollar Store socks and then pack them inside of your shoes for space saving. Or those chocolates you brought back from Europe – what? At least I stored them in clean socks before I put them in my shoes.
  7. Keep your headphones and USB cords tangle-free with tiny hair clips. I try to visit the gym regularly on every business trip, so having headphones is a must. (Check out my blog about staying fit when traveling for work.) Tangled-up headphones are just annoying. And don’t rely on the cheap headphones they provide you with in hotel gyms, usually only one of the ear buds actually works. Better to bring your own, and keep them ready-to-use by coiling the cord around your hand and clipping it in place with a small hair clip.
  8. Wrap your shoes in shower caps to separate them from your clothes. The best part about this tip is that if you forget to pack shower caps from the Dollar Store, you can get from from the hotel for free. If you travel with many pairs of shoes (like me, and every other woman in America), you can sometimes score a bunch of free shower caps in the hotel spa.
  9. Store your tablet in a beanie for scratch-free quick access. Your devices stay protected, and you can keep your head warm if the weather is cooler than you expected. Plus, I just look cute in a beanie.
  10. Keep your rolled clothes together with hair-ties or rubber bands. This tip has a dual purpose. 1. The clothes are squeezed together tightly, which gives you more room in your suitcase. (For shoes, obviously) 2. You can color coordinate your rubber bands to organize your outfits. It’s the trifecta of expert traveling — time-saving, space-saving and inexpensive!

Traveling doesn’t have to be a nightmare. A little planning and a quick trip to the Dollar Store can save a lot of time and trouble. If you have any tips of your own to share, tweet me @jax_rosales

And the Winner is … Not Me!

By | Have Fun, Inspire Ideas, Invoke Passion, Motivate Others | 285 Comments

It’s Not a Popularity Contest (But if it Were, These 10 Blogs Would Be the Mean Girls)

Around this time of year, it’s hard to avoid the ubiquitous Top Ten list — Top Ten Best Movies of the Year, Top Ten Worst Celebrity Breakups of 2016, Top Ten Most Hilarious Internet Videos Involving Squirrels… maybe not that last one, but there are a lot. But don’t think we are jumping on the bandwagon or anything. Top Ten lists are kind of my thing. This is the Telltale Ten, after all.

The Telltale Ten Top Ten Most Popular Blog Posts of 2016

Millennials — They Don’t Suck

Don’t Let Business Get Personal — I Disagree

You Have 30 Seconds to Sell Me This Pen

Be Reasonable

Mean What You Say and Say What You Mean — or Don’t 

What Do Embarrassment, Fun and Ridiculous Have in Common?

Stop the Insanity — 8 Ways to End Meeting Madness

I Ran Out of Gas. Literally. True Story.

So You Want to Be the Boss

4 Survival Tips — Staying Sane with an Insane Boss

Looking at this list, I think of two things. 1. I can’t believe I actually blogged every week for an entire year. 2. There seems to be a theme here — people seem to like the posts with real, genuine and practical advice. You Have 30 Seconds to Sell Me This Pen is about how to ask interesting and revealing interview questions, Stop the Insanity — 8 Ways to End Meeting Madness is about how to hold meetings that are actually productive and Mean What You Say and Say What You Mean — or Don’t is a handy guide to interpreting what your boss, employee, or co-worker really means when they say X. (Example: When an employee says, “Just as an FYI…,” they mean, “I’m now asking for your forgiveness, because I neglected to ask permission.”) Have an idea for another practical advice topic I didn’t cover last year? Tweet me, @jax_rosales

Side note: Yes, the number one post of 2016 was actually not written by me. It was written by a real, live millennial named Sullivan. Maybe we need to have more millennial guest bloggers, starting with a Top Ten list — Top Ten Millennials Who Blog About Top Ten Lists. Or something like that.