Is busy a marker of importance?

I used to be busy. All the time.

I used to think that busy meant important.

I couldn’t bear to look at the signs – telling me that I had taken the wrong turn and that I was too busy.

There was only one option to me, and that was that I had to be important so I could be busier. I had to have more clients.

But busy isn’t a marker of importance.

Busy is a marker of stress. It’s a marker of thinking too much about things that doesn’t matter that much when everything comes together. The only thing important? The only things that matter when everything comes together is you, your health and your family.

 

rock on

What do you want to be when you grow up?

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a veterinarian. So badly, that I worked for a veterinarian for a week and then found out that I wasn’t going to be a veterinarian because I passed out a couple of times.

Then I wanted to be a rockstar. My vision of an ideal, was to be sitting on a couch and talk about rockn’roll.  And I became an alternative kind of rockstar, because of henrietteweber.com. A business rockn’roll chick/ avantgardist who rocks brands and preaches rockbandism. And who is a brand in her own way.

Sometimes things change when we grow up a bit more. These days all I want is a  for smile from the rockstar in the mirror and a firm believe that “I rock”.

But what else do I dream about being in my lifetime? We grow up a little every day right ? So how do I want every day to feel?  To me it’s very much the same with brands. Branding happens by the minute. It happens from a core of dreams, whether they are business, style, idea or entrepreneurial dreams. Growing up can be a statement.  a silent revolution against what’s going on in the world.

But me… I try to dress myself to match some of this:

colorblocking

Act like this:

thou shall not take shit

Be brave like this:

 

Malala Yousafzai

Feeling so happy being in a world where creativity can amount to this (and you can purchase it!):

kate spade clutch

And when I become more grown up – I will be rocking this:

florence claridge

How about you? Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?

Write to maintain the frequency of your writing

frequency fosters creativity and productivity

One of the coolest things, I have done over the past couple of months is to take my writing and my art much more seriously and look at my frequency of putting pen to paper.  It was much needed.

I could find myself sitting around and waiting for the writing motivation to come to me. Just becoming inspired and start writing. It just didn’t happen that much. So I decided to change a part of the game and leave motivation out and simply write for the sake of writing. Giving myself permission to write for the sake of writing and not because it would turn into a book someday, which the goal of my writing has been before.
In that process, I stumbled across the 99u book “manage your day to day” and in there, there was a short article by Gretchen Rubin about how frequency fosters creativity and productivity.

It just makes so much sense to me that instead of focusing on writing because you’re motivated, then you write to maintain the frequency of your writing. Which need to be as high as possible.

Same same but different right? Made a world of difference to me. Hope it makes a world of difference for you too.

 

Using a notebook as first step in idea mapping

notebook-for-idea-mapping

The inspiration for this blog post came last night where I was attending a short seminar on kickstarting 2015 with Mark Anthony. It was a great night (Mark is one of the finest motivational speakers in Denmark).  Kickstarting 2015 is one of the first things I am doing to put myself first. However – as I suspected I left with more questions than I came with.

Luckily I always carry a notebook around with me.  It has always been one of my favorite things to find (and maybe even purchase?) everywhere I went. My attraction to notebooks comes from the same place as attraction to blogs: creative potential to do anything really.  Lately, my notebooks have transformed from having doodles inside of them that I never look at, to being first step in my idea mapping process.

When I get home from an event like yesterday – the first thing is to file things from my notebooks in my filing system. I use Evernote for all my digital scribbling. But there are in particular three files in Evernote I use these days. They are all spark files – idea mapping tools that I use to make ideas bigger.

One is my business spark file for my work where all my inspiration and what becomes to-do’s end up (you can read more about have a spark file here)

I have my big writing spark file – where every big question that needs answers reigns. Also, this is where all my stuff from yesterday’s workshop is going to end up, and written about in the next week.

The third file is my woo-woo spark file – where I stock things on my health, spirituality and self-development.

And in those files I write about the ideas I get and let them linger and put them somewhere where I can take action on them – when time is due.

By the way, if you want to read more about the spark file – a “system” developed by Stephen Johnson you should go here.

And there’s even a video shot of “where good ideas come from” that’s also worth a view or ten:

Power to the world! – spice up your traffic to old blog posts

spice up your traffic to old blogposts

You know that scene in the movie Spinal Tap. The one where the guitarist says that he’s the person in the world that can play the loudest guitar, because Spinal Tap’s amplifiers goes up to 11? “One louder, you know when you need that extra push over the cliff “?

If you haven’t seen it, it is right here.

I thought “Hey I would love to amp up to 11 for my old blog posts”.  Or if you’re a mid-90s spice girl fan, giving more power to the world to make your old stuff more accessible and searchable. There lies a huge project ahead for me, spicing up my 658 blog posts here on henrietteweber.com and using them more in the future. It’s in particularly relevant now, since everybody is talking about content marketing being the new big thing. I can’t figure out how content  “marketing” hasn’t been the big thing since… 2003.. cough..sarcasm… cough)

Where am I now and where do I want to be as a brand?

How do my blog posts emphasize on this? When you’ve been having a blog since 2005 things change. I am not the same I was ten years ago, and some of my first blog posts are absolutely cringeworthy for me.

But, here’s some parts of my plan to spice up my traffic to old blogposts

SEO:

So far I have been using the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress in order to make the blog posts more searchable online. For me, it’s the easiest way to see if the blog posts are SEO friendly. Two other plugins that were recommended to me is the SEO smart links plugin and the insights plugin.

Links:

– Doing different content series (where you make each blog post around a subject a part of an even bigger subject) are something that I have used and consulted around frequently in my work.  Roundups, where you gather great inspiration from around the blogosphere (remember to share the link love though rockers!) and including old blogposts of your own, are super cool too.

I love ps. advice that was written about over on the nectar collective, because it makes so much sense to me to go against automatization and actually remember what you have written about this yourself before.

–  Another great idea is to sum up your categories and tags in “best of” blog posts (or pages even?).  That will also get you cleaning up some of your blog – because whoever checks out tags and categories on their site? Not. me.

– Using old blog posts  for newsletters content. “maybe even have an “oldie but a goodie” column as a part of your semi-weekly newsletter?

– Submit guest blog posts on the subject to different blogs.

Visuals:

Replace old images with new ones and make them pinteresting and make them more shareable. Images are huge these days – so are videos.

Social media:

You could also define what ratio you want old posts vs. new posts on your social media profiles. I try to get a new blog post up on henrietteweber.com every weekday. And my estimate is that an old blog post or two a day wouldn’t hurt on my Facebook page, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn.

Other places, which are hipper, more underground and startup-like, would be Quora or Somewhere.

Pay for it:

Another option is that you can pay for it. Yes, it’s boring, mainstream and sometimes but it is doable remember to define your call-to-action clearly though, which I always end up setting as a newsletter subscription. You can categorize your blog posts as series around given subjects  and do an Adwords or Facebook campaign around those series.

rock on

 

Things I’ve missed dearly: Hittail and long tail keywords

When you get ill, and you’re on government funds, you’re forced to shut commercial things down, such as a blog as well as your long tail keyword tool. Back in the end of April 2014 when I decided that I couldn’t run this blog while being sick, I unsubscribed to a lot of services that I have been using throughout the years running henrietteweber.com. One of the services that I lingered the longest unsubscribing to was hittail.

A lot of bloggers obsess over their Google Analytics/ stats. Since I subscribed to hittail a couple of years back, it has been a daily stat obsession. I am eager to see what keywords henrietteweber.com has lead to henrietteweber.com, and enhancing the link building and page rank by adding more content around those keywords.

So here I was again today, signing up to hittail -looking forward to seeing what those mighty Google keywords brought in. I had to set hittail up in Google Webmaster Tools again, but then I was ready to roll.

I love the idea of being able to see what words brings you the most traffic, in an easy digestible format. I know a lot of people simply use google analytics for this, but being able to see the search keywords/traffic coming in, in real time, thrills me.

So –  what’s my approach to using hittail as inspiration for content?

I only use it once every week or so to amp up my page rank on a given search – normally I will map this out strategically with one search term every second week. But I also need to make sure that my key values in business and all of my creative concepts + books are being found via search terms on Google.

How many times do you need to use a given search term in your blog post in order for it to show up on Google or hittail?

Honestly I don’t know. I went to the creative brand design site of online marketing a long time ago. However, I found that the Yoast Seo plugin works wonders in order to get your articles found on Google. I wouldn’t even qualify as an SEO novice, but I find that Yoast and Hittail in combination actually take care of most of it, without me using too much time on it. I’m sure SEO could be much more useful for me. But, I simply don’t have the resources to use more time on it, or even have a dedicated person looking at it a couple of hours a week.

So – I’m super happy with managing my long tail keywords through hittail and I am sure that most small business owners and other bloggers would be as well.

My pain and gain from a life threatening illness

You see that bit in the tagline on the blogheader where it says “odes to life?” I want to tell you about my pain and gain. A brand new aspect of me that I have been in doubt about sharing with you all. I need to though.  A new layer to me, one might say that I have developed in 2014 – which has been my worst/most evolving year ever.

I have been really sick. I wrote a bit about it in my “meet Henriette” section of the blog. I don’t want my illness to define me more than it already has – and the reason for that is that it has meant life-altering changes in my life. Before the illness, I had a tendency to over-analyze people and turn my worklife into a living hell, because I was so insecure about myself. Ok and I didn’t like myself at all. The mental drag I was keeping in my head around people, clients not signing on anyway, clients pushing prices incredibly low etc. was so hard on me.

So I decided not to deal with it anymore, because it was a huge stress factor on me. I would lie awake in the middle of the night trying to figure out what to do. I wasn’t happy. I was miserable.

When the illness came into my life I was forced to look at everything that didn’t work and decide if it was something I would keep, or something I would change for the better so it would fit the “new” me. The one that’s here now. I changed everything from business, friends, stuff in the house, who I saw, how I spend my time, how much I read and paint and write – important stuff. And I found something in all of these changes. I found a woman in my mirror that I adored. That wasn’t scared of dying, because she had done the best she could and she was pretty bad-ass.

At that point when I started to change things around and looked at them differently, that was when the ultimate low hit me. Even though I was convinced I was going to get through this, the doctors at the first hospital started to doubt it. They didn’t say it directly to me, but after half a year on really heavy drugs – nothing had changed – my lungs wheren’t getting better and everyday was a challenge. Picture yourself not being able to walk up a flight of stairs without being completely out of breath. Picture yourself not being able to do any kind of activities and actually making a cup of coffee for yourself would be the victory of the day. That was me around 8 months ago.

Right after they (didn’t) tell me that they didn’t know how to deal with this decide I had a weekend from hell. Where I started to say goodbye to everything. Where I actually looked at my husband and daugther and thought “I think you will be ok, but I will miss you so dearly”. I looked at all the stuff I loved in my life and started to align myself with the thought that I might not get through this. That was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. If I should choose the darkest hour of my darkest year of the soul, it would be me sitting on a chair in the summer sun seeing my husband working in the garden and thinking “I love you – and I am going to miss you SO much – and take care of everything when I am gone”.

A couple of days later, I started as a specialist patient at Denmarks leading doctor in his field – which included this incredibly rare lung thingy that had decided to recide in me for the time being. He started to give me some other drugs and I slowly got better. Things started to change. One of the things that I visioned the most at this time was to be able to bike again. a couple of weeks later I biked again. I got life, but with a changed core. Mostly because everything had been up for review. It was like I took my whole life, the people in it, how it was set-up, where I was living, how I was spending my time – the works – wrote about all the things I loved and hated about it all and decided whether or not it was going to stay with me or I needed to toss it. But at the bottom of all of this pain and change was a thing that I told my rockin spiritual advisor Mariakaisa Bruun at the beginning of this when she asked me how I was feeling about it all. I told her that I knew I was going to get through this. Because a part of me just knew. I call it faith. I didn’t give up or gave in and I just took one day at the time.

Now? Life is a complete joy to me. I do stuff I care about. I do stuff I love. like writing and connecting with people. Creative things.

I am so looking forward to go skydiving for my 100th birthday. And the party I will have when I am off the drugs. And the books I will write. And the startups and brands I will advice on brand design and PR. And being a style icon always. All is good and well and I am so happy just to be here. When that is the output of everything – life changes. It’s not so complicated and you don’t fuzz around people or unimportant stuff.

Keep on rockin in a free world rockers !

rock on henriette weber

 

 

Is purpose the best currency ?

 

brand activism before purpose before profitWe do like cold hard facts right in business right? More than branding. More than purpose. it’s so interesting that we, have this urge to collect a lot of data to find security in that our actions are the right ones. Then when the data is collected – we forget about it, or write a strategy around it and put that strategy in a drawer.

I am very passionate about the environment and sustainability. Mostly I’ve previously expressed this passion by giving 20% of my time to be one of the editors of the amazing-now-no-longer-live “green girls global” blog.  In my writing and speaking gigs this passion came as an outcry for people to try and put purpose before profit (and if that was completely not doable, they should at least level purpose and profit).

Back in November a report came out from CDP where they had tracked 500 companies throughout 3 years and the results where remarkable: Companies planning for climate change are more profitable, have higher returns and are more stabile.

You can read the full report here. Via Co.EXIST

From a branding perspective, a report like this can move mountains for the individual company. Purpose before profit is really actions defining who you are as a brand. Even though it hasn’t been updated for a couple of years, I was a huge fan of Greenpeace’s guide to greener electronics. I thought it was so important work, especially mapping out what action electronics companies where doing to become greener – and giving consumers a clearer view on how green their electronics are.

Purpose before profit works – my awesome business rockers! So get those awesome world-changing projects going, no matter what field or company you’re working for. The universe will be all woo-woo like and reward you for your efforts to do good!

rock on henriette weber

 

Make space for serendipity

serendipity

Serendipity is when you find something you didn’t know you where looking for. In my previous life as a digital guru, I always told my clients that the most powerful viral effects came from showing/telling/inform people about things they didn’t know they wanted to know.  The “telling people about things they didn’t know they wanted to know” has surprise elements in it that I adore and that makes the concept so much more creative.

I only recently found out that the word “serendipity” was somewhat like it. And yesterday, by chance, I got to explore serendipity a bit more.  I rocked out with my awesome family at my grandmothers birthday party and I saw how  my daughter at one point closed down all her opportunities for “in real life serendipity” because she was playing around with an iPad. When we got home we talked about a story my uncle had told at the party that she couldn’t remember, because she hadn’t been mentally present when he told it.

My mother had found an old article in an old newspaper (from 1985) when my uncle played handball and became “dansk mester” together with the rest of the Helsingør team. There was a picture attached to the article where my uncle looked completely 80s stunning (too small shorts and all). She also missed the awesome story about how my grandmother had met the whole team when they where going home from partying in the city early in the morning – or that some of the fathers of some of her favorite handball players today was in that picture.

Sometimes we miss out on things because we aren’t alert or present. Sometimes we see new things in old patterns. Sometimes we are not world explorers enough or allow enough room for serendipity, online or offline. Sometimes we read the same blogs or newspapers or follow the same people on social media,  not exploring enough. For serendipity to grow we have to make room for it, so we can become inspired from unknown sources that could become real treasures and even sometimes change our entire world perspective!

 

 

 

 

 

New beginnings.

First article in here since may 2014 – how I’ve missed it. I’ve missed the wordpress backend. I’ve missed connecting with you.  Those of you who don’t know it (yet) I have been ill for almost a year, and I haven’t been able to write anything anywhere with a commercial scope because it could mean business. However there’s a lot of pictures of my lovely dog on instagram that I have filled my time with.

Enough about that. I don’t want to talk about the lung thingy/ the illness. It’s still really close to me. The good thing is I am still here and I am working again. I have scrapped the previous blog layout and I am starting over with a new design and a new scope.

new web design

Another really big thing is that I’ve decided to sell Toothless Tiger and get a job as a thought leader – nothing conclusive on that yet – but people have been so kind and I have gotten some pretty kickass offers from cool agencies who wants a curly haired brainy tornado in their office. Geek Girl Magazine stays for now. New constellation coming up there though – which I am totally excited by.

I hope to keep henrietteweber.com just as relevant and radical to you rockers! But I have learned so much in the past year that I want to share as well. Hence the new tagline.

Some people talk about the dark night of the soul. This has been the dark year of my soul and body. I have a whole list of take-aways lingering in my notebooks that are going to be analyzed and written about for your pleasure soon.

So how am I feeling /where am I ?

When everything comes to everything – I am grateful. So grateful. I live in constant amazement over life. I know I can do anything because the universe has got my back. And I am not just saying that to be completely woo-woo (much more on that word later – which I love=) but because… I am alive. I don’t know if this will wear off eventually. I don’t know if it can. But I know that I have to make things count. I know every breath is important.  I get it now.

A lot of you have watched me grow from a” beginning of my 20s”- girl with bad english into a brand (still with a bit of bad grammar/ english) – A guru some would even say. But I feel more grown up after my year of illness. As I am turning 35 (on monday) I feel.. whole. Like myself. And I can’t wait to get started again. There’s so many times I’ve thought “oh that would be great for Henrietteweber.com”, and not be able to share it. Now is the time. Here’s to new beginnings.

Love to you all and keep rockin’ in your free world.

rock on henriette weber

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