Marketing Navigation

Are you entirely 100% self-sufficient?

Please pause and think before you respond.

  1. Do you ever call a plumber, architect, gardener, mechanic, cook, or carpet cleaner?
  2. When was the last time you visited a doctor, chiropractor, massage therapist, dentist, or business coach?
  3. Did you build your home, is it fully self sustainable due to your efforts?
  4. Do you get food at grocery stores and farmers markets?
  5. Do you use a dry cleaner, visit a pizza parlor, or make your own ice cream?

If you said yes to any of these and you’re a business, then it’s time to examine hiring the right person for Market Navigation.

Marketing is a crucial part of business life. Here’s a good article on the topic. Hiring the right marketing pro to help you build a business of any sort is a smart move. Just as hiring an architect is the best and usually only legal practice in planning a safe and functional space. If only businesses had to get the sign off of a pro marketer – what a great fantasy!

Hiring the right Marketing pro: The dawn of your success

Hiring the right Marketing pro: The dawn of your success

I don’t say that out of greed – I say it out of relief. Smart businesses, organizations, associations and groups that would have to have proper plans in place. It’d weed out a lot of inept and potentially corrupt folks, bad products and would help self police for professionalism across industry lines and categories. It’d greatly improve the general public’s view of marketing and advertising – though distinctly different, they are related. It’d be liberating to know that pros had been called in to get the businesses set up for best success, both internally and externally.

What a fantasy.

Thing is, this fantasy can be reality for all. Investigate marketers, call friends for recommendations, interview potential marketers and marketing companies to see how they can fit with what your dreams, goals, and practices are. Hire the ones that fit, develop a clear Letter of Agreement, and be totally wide open in your communications.

I guarantee it’d be good for the marketing industry as well. There are really good ones and really poor ones and everything in between. A bit more standardizing would be in order.

Look to a marketing pro for your successful business navigation. Think of them as partners in moving you forward by adding their strengths and skills to yours in a complementary fashion.

Being self-sufficient means knowing when to add a helping mind and set of hands to your pursuits. It’s a sign of strength and a productive way to make progress. Citing lack of money is a cop out and holds no water here. Everyone has money for what they need – and the world needs much better Marketing forethought and navigation.

Onward.

A few recommendations:

Comments »

The Minimum Isn’t Enough

  • What’s your minimum?
  • What’s your maximum?

To properly respond, you’d have to quantify and qualify what the heck we’re measuring. It’s important to know your thresholds. In a given circumstance, what’s the highest you’ll go – is there a limit? What’s the lowest you’ll go, what’s the minimum. And what exactly is enough? Enough of what?

Minimum, by its very definition, means “the lowest number or amount that is possible or allowed.(Miriam-Webster)

The bigger question here, no pun intended, is why would you go low? Why aim high?

We aim high because like the title of this post states, the minimum isn’t enough. Does it beg the question, should I raise the minimum, thereby creating a new minimum and when is that alright? Does it create a vicious cycle?

I don’t think it does. Low doesn’t mean bad. High doesn’t mean unreachable. These are subjective words at best and we pour whatever definition sauce over them that fits our situation.

Regardless of how low or high you wish to go, decide what your minimums are. It’s easier to flex with maximums. Know your deal breakers and deal makers.

And save “low” for the limbo.

Comments »

No Such Thing As A Beer Belly

I’m tired of people blaming beer for their own lack of self-restraint. It’s time to cry foul!

Here’s the deal: How many times have you heard someone remark that the state of their belly is a beery one? How many times do we hear someone comment it was their own self-indulgence, lack of self-control, and simply putting down the fork and glass together?

Never.

I’m appalled that people will both blame the beer yet never themselves and will never include that its them, not the beer. It’s not funny – its pathetic and insulting to the beer. People are good at playing the blame game and it needs to come to a screeching halt. I’ll go first.

Here's what my beer belly looks like.

Here’s what my beer belly looks like.

As a guest at a business focused meeting last week, one of the attendees giving their pitch indicated 2 times that “if you have a beer belly, then we can help…” some such nonsense, per a health practitioners services. WHAT!? It was all I could do to not call bullshit on the spot. I simply was not going to let that bad and incorrect idea fester longer than humanly possible.

What did I do then? When it was my turn, I refuted the myth point-blank. At these types of meeting, no one would dare to call someone who needed mental health therapy “crazy” or someone grossly overweight “fat” or an ineffectual consultant “a quack”. Heavens no – let’s all emulate some sort of decorum, to the perpetuation of not being able to be direct and create change.

YET we unabashedly blame beer for a belly of a person that is clearly not taking care of themselves.

Here’s the gist: Everything we put in our mouths matters. Quantity, quality, frequency and both nutritional and caloric value matter. Equally so, exercise, moving our bodies, improving our habits and taking full responsibility are keys.

Numerous health focused studies have proven that alcoholic drinks in moderate amounts in harmony with an active lifestyle and thoughtful total diet (of which these drinks are a part) add up to a component of good health. Take control, take responsibility, and don’t let others get away with beer murder.

Ever heard someone say they have a “wine belly” or “cocktail pouch”?

Never blame the beer. Look in the mirror first. And when someone blames their belly on beer, call them on it. I’m totally with you.

3 comments

3 comments »

Blast From The Blue Line Past

  • [scene]
  • Dark, early morning, protagonist (me) contemplating getting up and moving for the day.
  • Enter: Radio broadcast, quietly sharing news and stories.

My ears perk up when I hear a voice of someone I knew from the past start talking from a town I once worked in and lived very close to. The topic is the Olympics, Hockey in specific. I move closer and turn up the volume. It’s a woman whom I knew years ago when I lived a million miles away in a whole different lifetime. I smile as I know who she is and who she is talking about.

Our past propels us to our future. Without our past, what have we to build on? In some cases, we wish to move quickly from our past, in some cases people choose to keep the past alive. While the very tense of the word (past) is telling, I have some really good memories of my past. And while I’ve no interest to return or relive that day and age, it’s nice to feel a few good feelings about some of those previous experiences, people, and times.

Onward.

Comments »

Fascination

“I’m fascinated by what I do.” Clark Zimmerman

This is what came out of a smiling mouth at a business meeting I was visiting this week. What a great thing to hear! You could tell he was absolutely authentically in earnest too. A refreshing splash of curiosity and engagement in a world sometimes slogged down by people not doing what they like or want to do.

What do you do? It’s the quintessential American question. You can expect to be asked this many times over the course of a year. I think people do it out of lack of more creative topic as well as out of genuine interest.

IMG_1388It’s always encouraging when talking with someone I’ve just met, asking them what they do and having them be sincerely plugged in. It’s always disconcerting when I am talking with someone new, asking them what they do and have them reply along the lines of “Well, I’ve been doing it for X years.”  This isn’t an endorsement – it’s a death sentence.

If you’re fascinated by what you do, keep doing it. If you’re not get out and move into something else. It’s absolutely astonishing to me that people stick around doing something that is either bland or seriously makes them unhappy.

WHY would you waste life so carelessly? I’m certainly not going to rest on the laurels of it’s-just-okay or I’ve-only-got-X-years-before-I-can-retire….woof! What a waste. PSST: You get one go round.

When I’m in need to inspiration, I look to those who are fascinated with what they do – their enthusiasm and unflagging enthrallment is invigorating.

Be fascinated. Others will find you fascinating.

Comments »

The Power Of Words

Micro. Local. Regional. Organic. Nano. Macro. Small. Big.

What is the power of words when applied to the topic at hand? They have a huge impact in many ways. Words are labels – and if you follow the site, you know I talk about labels with some regularity.

When we fall in love with something it’s usually due to an emotional response. Reasonably so since we’re sensory beings and we tend to lean with our emotions. Because we are also thinking creatures, we should then engage the brain and think things through in conjunction with our emotions.

To be able to totally remove emotion from decisions seems cold and calculating to some, liberating for others. I find a combination is wise and the balance of which one holds more sway depends somewhat on the decision at hand.

Am I interested in going out for pizza? Well, my emotions will most likely take the lead since my senses are the biggest audience to this decision. Did I like where I went last time? Would I rather make it at home? What new place has a friend recommended?

Once these questions are considered, I may ask: what’s the monetary investment? How far or near is the place? Do I want to see lots of people or go to a relatively quiet place? These are more brain focused decisions for me.

Pour your words carefully. Photo by Judy Pavlik.

Pour your words carefully. Photo by Judy Pavlik.

In the greater universe, there are loads of people enjoying beer. All over the world, all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds. Great, I say!

I’d turn then and state unequivocably that there are too many people in the beer world who are judgmental to a fault. They choose to judge a beer on various emotional aspects before they dig into the quality and brain type decisions.

Liking a beer or not liking it is an entirely subjective discussion. Liking, loving, bashing, and hating are all emotional choices. And they’re based on a wide variety of experience, sensory and brain input. I give a toast to those who remove their own personal biases and decide what they like about the beer instead of summarily embracing or dismissing it. Who’s to say something is good or bad unless it’s your own choice. A lemming mentality is dangerous and foolish.

Think for yourself and use your words carefully. Before pronouncing something divine or despicable, be diplomatic, thoughtful and calculating. Then be sure to use words that indicate your intelligence: we can all use more civility and diplomacy. Start with yourself first.

The power of words is truly that – powerful. If you want to go to battle, go elsewhere. Beer is meant to be congregational and should therefore be approached with open-minded consideration and an open palate. Take a nod from the well-regarded food pro Ruth Reichl or seasoned beer pro Lisa Morrison or the astute writer Jay Brooks. Their work and reviews embody thoughtful discourse, honesty, and respect.

Once you do some homework on self improvement, engage, embrace, talk and enjoy.

Comments »

Doctor Appointments and Checking in Online

Recently I’ve seen bus ads that promote the idea to “Wait In your Comfort Zone” by an immediate care business. The assumption here is that a person would rather wait at home or in another location of their choosing than in a holding cell – er – area.

Hmmm….what’s that all about?

Is that like telling your brewpub customers to wait at home until their table is ready? What about if something changes on either side of the relationship – is there an ensuing game of phone tag that takes place? If you’re early or late, how does that affect the circumstances? And how does this all relate to those people who come in with the expectation that they’ll be helped right away? Do they get put aside or placed further down the list?

One on one conversations is still always best

One on one conversation is still always best

This seems to be a curious concept. Perhaps it’s designed by someone who thinks that people are too utterly impatient to wait a few minutes upon arriving at their destination. Perhaps it was developed by someone who realized that waits at the establishment were too long (different issue to address however). Maybe it’s well intended for someone who is sick and cannot or should not wait around until being seen. Whether you wait at home or in the office, if the place is well-managed time wise, in most cases, appointments can be kept on time.

Whatever way, people keep coming up with ways to further separate and delay a real in person interaction. What we need is etiquette lessons, manners classes, civility courses and other proactive and helpful education that encourages positive and productive communication.

Maybe this works for a health related business. It seems weird though that an immediate care facility is asking you to wait until your appointment is ready…what’s the point of immediate care then?? It’s akin to the 911 operator asking you to hold.

It’s time to stop coming up with ways to get around stuff. Start exercising patience, diplomacy and respectful conversation. Oh, and start smiling at more people you don’t know.

A little bit of communication goes a long way.

Comments »

What Do You Do When You’re Drawing A Blank

Said another way, how do you re-inspire yourself to get busy?

Take time, get re-inspired

Take time, get re-inspired

Do you turn on music? Turn off music? Take a walk? Take a break? Have a snack? Surf online? Surf the ocean? Call a friend? Read through notes? Read a book? Check out Facebook? Take a nap? Take a ride? Go for a ride? Walk a dog?

Whatever it is that re-inspires you, do it. I find that if I stall out, the answer to get me re-engaged is somewhat dependent on other factors. There’s no one thing that jogs the blockage free, though that’d be darn handy.

A short nap is really helpful at times, getting fresh air and moving my body with my dogs is always good, and simply looking out the window can do the trick.

I know I don’t make enough time to read for myself. I’m guessing a lot of professionals don’t and we should do a lot more of it. Readers are Leaders.

Do what you gotta do. Simply make sure you allow yourself moments of down time, refreshment, and pondering for pondering sake. Onward.

Comments »

Stolen Women Enjoying Beer Signs

While I’m flattered that someone thinks the magnetic signs we used to sport on our cars are cool, I seriously don’t appreciate stealing.

Over the last three years, we’ve had 3 signs stolen, right off the sides of the cars they were on.

If you see any large magnetic Women Enjoying Beer signs – it’s our logo – big, orange and obvious, please call me 515.450.7757. Better yet, if you encounter take it back and get in touch with me. I’ll gladly pay postage to retrieve it. All three of them are hot, stolen, pinched, kidnapped, poached, ill gotten.

Geez!

We should all expect and get more from people than stealing.

Comments »

Why Gender In Marketing Beer Matters

There’s ongoing conversation about whether or not women should in fact be recognized and actively marketed to for beer. While it may seem like a silly question to some, frustrating for others and “huh?” for yet others, I think it’s important. Here’s why.

At the center of the issue is that any population that has not actively been invited to converse and be involved in a conversation needs to be invited. Women here are the said population, beer is the said conversation.

IMG_1112Recently I was contacted by a respected and sharp colleague about writing a column for Valentine’s Day about women and beer, specifically which beers to suggest for women who currently don’t consume. In the stream were 6 other people I know in the professional beer arena and so ensued a query: Should this instigator write about this topic? Is the writer, who in this case is male, qualified to write such a piece? And if so, then what are our thoughts?

Responses were varied, with common themes, which is common in doing this sort of ad hoc research. I commented right away. He’s precisely the right person to do this. Thoughtful, exercising quality journalistic professionalism….and incidentally a man.

Feminism isn’t about gender. It’s about equality and respect and having everyone participate in progress.

One of the goals here is to make the connection of women and beer so obvious that it’s no longer an eyebrow raising, patronizing facet of our society. At this time it’s still firmly entrenched so change we must actively pursue.

Think it’s already there? Think again. When you’ve got people in breweries marketing Double D Blonde, Tramp Stamp and dozens of others with highly sexualized images to go with them, then yes, Virginia – there’s a massive problem.

  1. Is this beer quality to begin with? If so, then why pander to a hormone raging teenage boy level name and graphic. Totally ridiculous, tired (as another write stated), and completely eliminates not just women. It’s insulting to women (reduced to bodily parts) and men (you’re too sex driven to think of anything else) alike.
  2. Why are the women and men in the companies not completely squashing these ideas? Products that have these labels should not be allowed to do business until they partake of meaningful and lasting gender respect education.
  3. “Small” brewers in America are the worst. So no – small isn’t best. Small is small. And in this case small also means small-minded thinking.
  4. I’d hedge a bet that everyone involved in all these brands has a female in their life they care about. Why are they totally dissing her and not seeing the obvious connection here completely baffles me.

One of the colleagues in the stream pointed out that she’d rather have people say holy shit you know a lot about beer,” instead of gee, you sure know a lot about beer for a girl.” I agree. I find it curious that someone who is tired of hearing about gender in beer calls herself a girl. This is precisely why we need to keep talking it out. It perpetuates permission to call a woman a girl instead, thereby indicating she’s under 18 and infantilizing her person.

Out as in, all women and men need to demand full respect in titles and names – yes they matter. Huge. Girls, chick, broad, bitch, and babe are all damning words and do not connote full respect, are not clever in the world theatre and only help stagnate progress. Correct someone when they use girl instead of woman.

There’s a relatively enthusiastic group in the community that uses Girl in the first of three words in a title. While they may preach that they are about education, the very fact that the first word in the title of the name is denigrating is seriously regressive. I expect to hear from one of them, following the post, as I have little time for someone who tells me “F*** you, we can call ourselves what we want,” “get off your feministic high horse” and so forth (they do that). Undiplomatic, unclassy and most importantly closed and narrow-minded. If you’re going to be belligerent an unseeing of the damage you’re doing, I’ll have no part of it.

It’s both amusing and tragic at the same time that there are those who think disrespectful labels and titles are acceptable and keep using them. No you can’t call yourself what YOU want and not push your own myopic and selfish feelings on the rest of the female population. It’s not about you, it’s about all of us.

Left Hand does it right: Ales 4 FemAles

Left Hand does it right: Ales 4 FemAles

We have to be fully aware that if we all want full dignity and respect, then the titles and labels we use in any public arena must reflect that. You can still exercise cleverness as it fits, like Left Hand Brewing’s Ales 4 FemAles – as long as respect is intact. A4F hits the target, retains integrity and respect, and communicates what the group is about.

It’s a well documented fact that in societies where women are fully respected the culture is healthier, happier, and more successful in many ways than those who do not fully respect women and females. Rather ironic that America, one of the greatest countries in the world and clearly a World Leader, is *still* so far behind on gender equality.

You can respect women, men and beer simultaneously. We all should.

I hope we go somewhere with this idea, collectively as a group, since there will be strength and great varied opinions in this rank. In the meantime the writer has my full support, which he had before.

Stay posted…watch to see what happens.

Comments »

Obsessive Hiring Of Great People

If you’re someones employee, or ever have been an employee, think about what it was like to start working for that entity. Were they open to your solicitation of employment? Did they in fact advertise and you answered the call? Did you waltz into a place on your own, interested in working for them? And if so, why did you go in to inquire?

The best companies and organizations are ones in relentless pursuit of Great People. The ones who say “we’re not hiring” are leaving the best possibilities out in the cold, with no consideration or vision that they can constantly be improving. They’re also the ones dragging along dead weight, lacking the fortitude to release people in the wrong position, and sometimes just the wrong people.

If you hire “only when it hurts” , you’re only hurting the business and the people involved. Being on the lookout and hiring Great People when the opportunity strikes is preventative business practice. Engage and anticipate is always better than wait and panic.

I’ve been there. In fact I was even released from an upper level management position before. I started as a humble cashier, ground level work which I was happy to have. I progressed to sales floor, then full-time sales, then department management, then middle store management. Ahhhh! It was great.

Then the day came when the company “reorganized” and to no apparent fault of my own or my performance in this particular situation the store reorged and cut 2 management team members. Of which I was one. Huge bummer, to say the least.

Swim with the tides

Swim with the tides

It caught me totally off guard and left me stunned. I didn’t lose a job with the company; my options were simply dramatically changed.

After the stun sunk in, I regrouped and stuck with it. After all I was still in love with what I was doing. And I wasn’t affronted when the company still kept talking with Great People. They understood that there’s always room for improvement.

I do belive that it wasn’t me, that it was the company. Whether that’s in fact true or not, I’ll never really know so it’s what I choose to think based on what my boss told me.

The fact that after I left they promoted others in my place does raise a question mark. Yet, perhaps there was something in the vision of the company I was unaware of and not privy to. As a successful company, I had to trust that they had their own plan, even if it didn’t jive with mine. Was it a gut blow? Absolutely. Did I want to carry the blow with me indefinitely? Heck no.

Relentless pursuit of Great People happens in the strong companies all the time. Shift, adjust, hire, release. It’s also reflective of life in general.

So be ready to shift, adjust, work, and search. It’s up to all of us to swim with the tides.

Comments »

Marketing And The Fine Art Of Car Maintenance

Like keeping your vehicles tuned up and running well, you need to give the same attention to your marketing.

Marketing isn’t some vague idea or “we’ll get some when we can afford it” concept. Marketing is bringing your product to market, having a plan as to who your market is and then addressing them successfully.

Marketing plans will make a rough ride smoother

Marketing plans will make a rough ride smoother

No, it’s not “I make a great product my friends rave about so I’ll just open the doors.” That’s a fools errand and bad business. No, it’s not “people tell me I’m good at this so I’ll start a  business.” That’s equally blind.

IF you get those types of comments, put some serious and critical thought into where they’re coming from. Are they simply kind remarks? Do they actually hold some merit and if so, why? What can you do with the input, if it is valid beyond your Aunt or Uncle making you feel good?

Business is not recreational. Yes, it can and should be fun. And it’s a bunch of responsibilities and tasks and a huge amount of energy. If you’re up for it, great! Go for it. Go for it with your eyes wide open and your mind ready to tackle things it’s never had to cogitate before.

Marketing is a foundational aspect of successful operations. No matter the technical business structure. For profit, non-profit, neighborhood organization or government entity, you must know your market. They all must have a plan for marketing.

And keep in mind marketing needs maintenance, just like those vehicles. The vehicles you bought cost real money, right? So you’re going to take care of them, right again? Marketing is even more important: it’s the primary communication and support vehicle that will either carry you to greatness or the lack there of will land you in the pit.

Marketing is support. Without support, failure is imminent. With support, everything is possible. Let’s go for everything, shall we?

Comments »

Pushing the Passion Forward

How do you push your passion forward?

Do you think about it all the time, talk about it with anyone within earshot and blather on about it on as many online formats as you can?

Do you write about it, film it or record it in some way?

And then what else do you do? Meaning, if it’s a burning interest, where do you take it from there?

Who's the right audience for your passion?

Who’s the right audience for your passion?

Sharing your passions with other people involves a great deal of energy and time. It involves knowing when to chat and when to shut up. When to send people information about it and when to withhold.

See, your passion is not automatically assumed to be theirs. And diplomacy, self-discipline and listening are all involved. It’s like Kenny Rogers sang: You’ve got to know when to hold ’em…. Constantly pushing your ideas and interests on others can get tiresome, for both you and the audience you’re hoping to address.

Reading the audience is critical in the proper reception and gauging success. Delivering the right message to the wrong group is pointless.

Vet your audience. Even if you can hardly keep it in, success involves researching your best following. The right supporters will help you paddle the boat. The wrong ones will simply weigh you down.

When you are pushing your passion forward, stop – look – listen and then engage based on what you head (not your heart) tells you. If your head has it right, your heart usually follows.

Comments »

The Great American Question

It’s the Great American Question: What Do You Do?

We encounter it at every turn. In some countries its “where are you from” or “what’s your family name” – in America it’s the preoccupation with what we fill ours lives with, usually in reference to gainful employment.

How do you answer the question? Do you assume the person wants to know your profession? Do you ask why they’re asking? Do you respond with a volunteer or non-paid activity? Do you go farther with the topic than a flat response? And do you return the query?

Do you know how to talk about what you do in a creative and thought-provoking way? Too many people preface it with “just.” As in, “I just stay home with my kids” or ” I just sell insurance.”

Just schmust. By using that word for your work and time you’ve downgraded the importance and value of it. That’s counterproductive and bad for everyone.

When I run into someone who teaches for a living, for example, I may get “Oh – I just sub.” Having taught professionally in the Public Schools I can tell you there ain’t to “just” about it!! Hell, the full timers can’t get by without substitutes. In fact, I subbed for two full years before I had my own classroom. A qualified and adept substitute teacher is worth their weight in beer. Those who get it, know. Those who don’t , deserve to have to fend for themselves with no help.

Be excited about "what you do" - it's contagious

Be excited about “what you do” – it’s contagious

Being of the working class, I often get asked what I do. When I share, I deliver it in an engaging way. It helps that many folks find the combination of women + beer intriguing. I don’t take it for granted though and treat every first time ask as an important one. It matters not if you’re in the car business, a teacher, plumber, or consultant. Speak proudly of your work and others will rise the the occasion.

I’d suggest you get rid of “just” all together unless you’re talking about the law.

I’ve never heard a pro brewer, maltster or hops farmer say ‘I just grow hops/brew beer/make malt.” They’re proud of what they do and rightly so. Consumers need to adopt the idea that their opinions matter remarkably, especially new market share entries like many women.

Time is highly valued and to denigrate what you may choose to do. Using these four letters in this particular order when describing what you do is, well – just too bad.

Comments »

Topics For 2014: Requests Welcome

A very good day to all of you who visit. Thank you is in order.

And the time has come, again, to ask you: What would you like to read about here at Women Enjoying Beer? Requests are welcome year round, and today I want to make a specific shout out. Tell Me What You Want To Read About. Comment on this post or – better yet – send me an email via our Contact page here. FYI – don’t use the forms – they’re getting overhauled

I’m completely comfortable with sticky or hot topics, beginning topics, advanced subject matter and everything in between those various points.

Let ‘er rip – tell me what you want to know about women + beer. After all, it’s about you.

Cheers ~

Ginger

Comments »

New Beers Eve

Welcome to the last day of 2013!

It’s an opportunity to reflect – or not – on what went past our eyes and ears way to fast over the last 364 days. We get 365 more to get into again starting tomorrow.

Be like Pete The Cat - he does what he can, and he can do a lot.

Be like Pete The Cat – he does what he can, and he can do a lot.

Do you create goals for yourself? I do. Business and personal. It helps me quantify what I think I want to “do” in the next 30.4 dozen days ahead. The goals are specific and attainable and dynamic and posted in an obvious place I see everyday.

Here’s what I hope will be a few shared goals for you and I.

1. All around: Be a feminist. Definition = the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.

2. Businesses: Properly and fully recognize the half+ of the global population in females, in all industries and pursuits, beer and all others.

3. Personal: Understand and proactively improve the world around you. No griping unless you have a solution you’re willing to talk about and implement.

These may be simple – and I think they are. It’s the fulfillment of the goals, the whats-it-take-to-get-there, the rolled up sleeves part. Simple can be straight forward and easy, it can be complicated and multi layered. Nonetheless, the ideas are simple ones.

Help us all starting with ourselves to make the world a better place as we struggle forward. It’s not called the ‘human race’ for nothing.

Happy New Year ~

Ginger, Founder, Owner, Women Enjoying Beer

Comments »

Giving Yourself a Permission Slip

Give yourself permission slips this year.

Allow yourself the opportunities to work hard, play when it fits and is good for you, and travel when opportunity strikes.

Read on the couch, front porch, wave at postal carriers, and thank sanitation people.

Follow a green light to thanking people planned and unplanned, writing personal notes and sending them in the mail instead of electronically, and smiling at people you don’t yet know.

Act on the feelings of civility and step in when something is off or seems dangerous in a situation where you don’t know the people, step in and help safety reign, who cares if it’s a mistake and you “look foolish” – you may save a life.

Share what you have in your home, head, and heart.

Acknowledge your own accomplishments with enthusiasm and grace, the accomplishments of others with energy, and encourage everyone else.

Give yourself a permission slip to really step into life. You’ve got one. Use it, maximize it, make it matter.

Comments »

Flooding and Animals

Flooding waters have upheaved animal kind for time immemorial. Recent floods in the US and other countries continue to bring to light that humans can’t ultimately control water.

Yet we keep trying.

I’d ask today: If flooding didn’t affect humans, would we make as big a deal of it? Said another way, if flood waters only affected non humans beings, would we care?

P1110504So much global activity is human driven. All nature of environmental calamities. Abuse of each other and of power.

If the animals and creatures, plants and micro-organisms were the majority rulers instead of us, what would the world be like? Would they try to control everything? or wisely use the innate and instinctual knowledge and intelligence to work with it?

I think it’s ironic that we call countries “developed” and “civilizations” when in fact we’re anything but often times. Being developed to me indicates a diplomacy, equality and order that – while having flexibility of course – also takes care of all of its own. The word civilization has inferences of the above – that we are supposed to be thoughtful, careful, and considerate of all things.

Why am I talking about this today? Because it relates directly to WEB. We’re looking at what the metaphorical floodwaters are (herstorical records, human behavior, patterns, habits, thoughts) as they relate to the change we’re working on (using research and education to improve, correct, and elevate).

Flooding can be devastating and it can be renewing. Perhaps it’s not what any creature asks for, yet if we recognize that there will always be elements of life out of our control and respect all creatures and learn from them, we will all be better equipped to move forward.

I’ve lived through a flood and understand its power. Like the old add stated, it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature. Work with her instead.

Comments »

Shifting Culture With Women And Beer

As you look around your daily life, what do you see?

Do you see good things? Bad things? Things you want to pursue? Things you want to support? Things you want to change?

At Women Enjoying Beer, we’re very thankful that hundreds – ne  thousands – of women have helped us in shifting culture by speaking up about their relationship with beer.

“Relationship with beer?”, you ask? Yes, it’s a relationship. And it goes waaaaay back for some, for others it’s pretty recent. Age has little to do with some facets, and sometimes everything to do with experiences.

We love the research part of our work, which is what in fact drives the whole effort forward. Asking “why” questions like a terrible two year-old (or enlightened genius in the making!) is exactly where examination and progress is made.

So why do we do it? How did I choose this path and what do we actually do? Theses are two very common questions we get.

1. How did I choose this path: I looked around 5 years ago and wondered why more women didn’t enjoy beer. Notice I didn’t say drink. There’s a huge difference in enjoyment and drinking. Enjoyment of beer does not require the drinking of it – it’s about community and opening your mind. Searching for those responses then are the driver ever forward. Why, why, why.

2. What do we do: Lots. It starts with the qualitative research with women. We then utilize that highly valuable insight to shift culture by working with entities of all sorts that know the impact of knowing how to successfully address the worlds largest population: females.

A cross-section of just some of the clients we’ve worked with looks a bit like this (full page and listing coming soon): Universities like CWU; Brands like Lakefront, New Belgium, and Ninkasi; Events like Mt. Angel Oktoberfest, Congreso Cerveza Mexico, TFOB; Institutions like OMSI, SOPTV; Associations like ABL, PEO; Businesses like McQuade, Doll, Maletis; Media like KTVL, Craftbeer.com, NW Travel Magazine.

Why do we do it? Because it’s meaningful work, overdue and fascinating.

Education changes the world for the better. Once we gather the research information, we educate forward. Love and money may come and go, education stays with someone forever.

Women and beer are the two universally existing facets of life in earth. What better way to shift culture than to start with two universally recognizable things.

Gender equitable cultures and societies are more productive, more balanced and better over all for this small planet of ours. We want to be part of that work.

Comments »

Turning Down Mintel And Stanford

If you’re a researcher of any sort, personal or business, then you realize how much time, effort, energy and work is involved.

As qualitative researchers, the data we gather on women and beer is not only singularly unique, it’s highly valuable for entities that want to examine how women make decisions. Knowing how a person makes all the why, how, and when questions is incredibly useful insight that can be immediately and effectively applied.

So when someone comes knocking on our (usually email) door and asks for either free information or with the “offer” to be included in their publications, I say no. Mintel and Stanford are two of those entities.

Here’s why.

1. The folks inquiring for the free information are not offering a return to us (payment) for the product we supply (information). There’s seemingly no consideration to the fact that real multi-year work has gone into the seeking out, gathering, compiling and preparation of this information. Do they get their groceries for free saying they’ll tell everyone where they shop? Doubt it.

2. These people are making a salary. Therefore what they are saying is that they expect us to give our work for free, even though they are being paid. They want our work for free though they get paid. This makes no sense, is arrogant and self serving with no consideration to the supplier.

3. In these cases they’d also use the information we can supply to further increase their revenue, give them more selling points to their clients, and reap increased benefits, while we see no return. They want to use our work to make themselves more money. I’m all for entities making money – they simply need to budget for all costs of services and goods, research included.

4. No it’s not good enough, in fact it’s insulting, to assume that the exchange of saying we were included in their work is acceptable. It’s not nearly what we want and thoughtless to not even ask about compensation. It totally disrespects our work and makes them look like cheapskates, which they are being in this case.

5. Free “work” doesn’t pay the bills. Exposure gives you frostbite or sunburn.

It’s truly astounding to me that people in these companies first of all ask with no expectation of paying for the products. And secondly, they try it explain or hide behind labels that, in this case, really make them look cheap and unprofessional.

For Mintel, the old untrue saw of “we don’t have any money for this” comes out. Baloney, I’ll state nicely. That’s absolutely untrue. Stanford, the same thing. You’re successful profitable institutions and you already pay for staff of all kinds, supplies, space, utilities and the like. Yes, you can afford to pay for this product just as you buy your student or work body computers and air conditioning.

We all have money for what we want to buy. If you’re in any sort of business – education, for profit, non-profit, whatever – you’re in business. You’re there to serve and make money to put back into your efforts. I see no difference in the pure  purpose of operating. And don’t argue with me on this one. Too many entities try to use their structure as a crutch. That simply insults them more, frankly.

When you want a product of high quality that is singular in its content that can help you serve your purpose, expect to pay for it.

Respect those you ask for information by talking about the investment that accompanies the transaction. Information is a product just as widgets, beer, and computers are. People ignore that we all need to make a living to contribute. And when we all respect that value proposition, then we can all give back more.

Comments »