Why I’m Sad about Augusta National

Why is it so threatening for men to have permission to have a place of their own?

“Because they are hoarding and protecting power and not letting us play with their toys” say the (female) many.

Some say it’s about power, not gender. But here’s a newsflash ladies – the individual members of Augusta National Golf Club had power before they got invited to join (their power is likely what got them the invitation in the first place), and they would have power whether or not they belonged to the club.

Augusta only has the collective club power if we give it to them. And my take is that the impact of that specific type of power – the kind held by old white dudes and measured by position and money – is slowly changing and weakening.

Where is power today? Power today is increasingly more measured as one’s social capital, one’s network, one’s communication skills, and in earned personal attributes (vs. “anointed” power you get just by having a certain title, family, or membership).

And here’s another news flash – the two women admitted to the club are power brokers of the old-line, traditional variety. They represent big government and big corporations – not exactly a revolution I would say. This is not breaking down a wall. So nothing of substance has really changed at Augusta.

Nor should it. It’s a private, exclusive club with a rich old tradition. One of very few left in a society where we cry for everything to be open, “fair,” and “equal” – even though those are false constructs. How about we stop whining about not being allowed to play in their sandbox and spend time enriching our own? Power is moving and changing – stop focusing on the old ways and create your own place in the world.

Barnsley Gardens Resort

I’m almost hesitant to blog about this great find because I don’t want spoil its “undiscovered” quality, but considering I have about 3 people in my blog audience and the majority of those live waaaay far away, I think I’m safe.

I was so pleasantly surprised by Barnsley Gardens Resort during our stay there this week. It was a quick one-night visit, but I can’t wait to go back. Here’s the deets:

Amazing suite for a price that I’d expect to pay for a normal (small) room. Barnsley is like a little village made up of cottages. Our cottage had two suites. Our suite had a big living room area with sofa, chair, TV, table and wet bar, and then a separate bedroom and bathroom. Tons of space – it was like our own little house. So comfortable, decorated in that upscale-cottage-rustic look I love, amazing bed, big bathroom with shower and clawfoot tub AND a separate powder-room bath so there was plenty of room for his-and-hers primping. Here are some pics of our suite.

Gorgeous salt-water pool. Awesome chairs and a handy bar with adorable, sweet girls serving up yummy margaritas.

Pool at Barnsley Gardens Resort

Historical stuff. The resort is built around the ruins of an Italianate mansion from the mid-1800s complete with romantic love story and ghosts.

Crazy good food. There are two restaurants on the resort property. We went to the same one – Woodlands Grill – for both dinner and breakfast, and it was delicious. I downed an 8 ounce filet mignon (a cut which I usually don’t love) in record time and enjoyed every bite. No problem meeting protein goals that day.

Lots of activities if you’re so inclined. We rode horses and our hunky renaissance-man guide Scott made the experience with good conversation and helpful instruction. Props to our horses Luke and April for cooperating fully.

Just general peace and quiet. I’m ready to go back.

Twitter How-Tos for EWGAtlanta Members

Haven’t caught the twitter train yet? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. If you’ve thought about Twitter (or have been wondering what the heck a tweet is) but have been hesitant to join in, maybe I can help shine some light on why and how Twitter can help expand your knowledge and your community.

Why Would I want to Sign Up to Twitter?

Close to 300 million people are a part of the Twitter community and Twitter has become an important tool for business and personal use, for research, learning and communication – it’s not just about what you had for breakfast anymore.

The LPGA has even started adding player Twitter handles to caddy bibs to improve player accessibility to fans.

How Do I Sign Up for Twitter?

Go to www.twitter.com and click “New to Twitter? Sign Up”. Choose a handle – preferably your full name (i.e., @janesmith). You’ll have the option to complete your profile and description, upload your photo and choose a decorative theme for your new Twitter page. Your personal Twitter URL will be http://www.twitter.com/janesmith. Now you can tweet away!

Make It Easy

With free online tools for following, organizing, creating and viewing tweets, there’s no reason to get stressed over the logistics of using Twitter. Here are a few we recommend:

  • TweetChat (www.tweetchat.com) enables you to follow chat streams real-time, and automatically adds the chat’s hashtag to any tweets you add to the conversation.
  • Twubs (www.twubs.com) builds groups on twitter around specific hashtags. You can create your own Twubs for events or a wide variety of topics and interests.
  • Hootsuite’s (www.hootsuite.com) tabbed format allows you to keep your eye on multiple social media streams at once, and to easily set up tweets (even schedule them in advance), shrink links appropriately, and follow topics.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Hashtag Use

Hashtags (like #golf) help Tweeters organize and index tweets based on topic. When using hashtags:

  • Keep them short. #IlovetheweekendandcantwaituntilIamoffofwork will be much less effective than #weekendlove.
  • Watch (or search) for Tweetchats, or communities tweeting on specific topics and using a common hashtag. 
  • Do not add spaces or punctuation to your Twitter hashtag. If you want to discuss world famous actor Will Smith, using hashtag ‘#Will Smith’ will only index your tweet as referencing “will”, similarly to how using hashtag ‘#gov‘t’, will index that tweet as referencing “gov”. #willsmith and #govt should be used respectively.

Here’s a list of suggested folks to follow to get you started:

Questions? Comment here. 

The “I Don’t Have Time” Excuse

I’m completely obsessed this week with Laura Vanderkam. After reading her eBook “What the Most Successful People  Do Before Breakfast” last week after coming across a blog post on the same theme, I immediately downloaded her book “168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think.” The theme of these writings is optimizing your time based on your values and priorities, and spending time more like you (should?) spend money – consciously, as a choice, not by default.

These ideas have changed the way I approach my day, at least this week. Every minute, every hour is a choice that I make, and my ability or inability to get things done and have the life I want is not anyone else’s fault or problem. It is my own. I’ve stopped reacting to things all day long and started being strategic and decisive in my activities. And it’s made a difference. I’ve exercised more, worked more productively, and watched no TV. And I’m feeling really good about that.

I hear people say (and I say it myself) “I just don’t have time for x” with “x” usually being things they didn’t want to do anyway. Popular choices include reading actual books, cooking, exercising, and socializing (agh, introvert!).

The bottom line is – if you want to do something, you’ll make time for it. If you are NOT making time for the things, people, activities that you value, then take responsibility for your 168 hours and fit it in. 

Vanderkam’s eBook is $2.99 on Amazon. I recommend it highly along with “168 Hours”. Or follow #beforebreakfast on Twitter.

Cursing – Yes or No?

From time to time, I resolve to clean up my language. I enjoy creative cursing and appreciate the cursing of others like the fine art it is, but sometimes it strikes me that others may perceive it as tacky or trashy. But no matter how strong my initial resolve, I inevitably lapse back into dropping the F and other bombs in conversation. I think of it like seasoning – food is bland without salt, and a good story is made all that much better with strategically placed cuss words.

Dollarshaveclub.com has used the F word to create a memorable marketing campaign and they are getting tons of press for it. A women’s weight lifting site I love, Stumptuous, also freely celebrates rough language, offering an eBook from the site eloquently called “F— Calories.” 

Cursing can help you seem authentic as a leader. From a May 24 WSJ article entitled “A Curse Upon Your Career”: “Companies increasingly prefer authentic leaders,” says Jeffrey Cohn, a CEO succession-planning expert. “Using colorful language can play to your advantage—as long as you also demonstrate empathy and good business judgment.” However, the article also cautions against cursing out of context, or in front of an inappropriate audience. 

And, of course, a double standard exists. Women are discouraged from cursing – it’s unladylike and skanky – while men are almost expected to curse as part of being macho and authoritative. Harumph. 

I’m going to keep cursing. I think it helps people take me seriously. Plus it’s so fun. What the F do you think?

Facebook and EWGA – Why the Changes?

Just as you’re getting used to the status quo – it’s time for a change to the EWGA Facebook presence!

Currently, EWGA Atlanta has two identities on Facebook:

  • A “Group” with 39 members. “Groups” are for small groups with a common interest, like fans of a TV show who want to get together to talk about it – more like a forum, really.
  • A “Profile” (personal page) with 2 subscribers and 73 friends. “Profiles” are like this – my personal page on Facebook

After extensive marketing research performed by myself and the lovely Peggy McCormick, we have decided to migrate these TWO identities into a NEW page altogether.

The new page will be a “Fan” page, like those used for other groups or businesses. You may be familiar with, say, the PGA Tour. They have a Fan page, as do most organizations and corporations. Instead of “friending” EWGA Atlanta, or joining the group, you will instead become a “Fan” and “Like” us.

So why do we need a “Fan” page instead of what we have now? Glad you asked.

  • Having a Profile for an organization is against Facebook terms and they could delete it.
  • Fan Pages are SEO searchable, so they are easier to find on Google.
  • Fan Pages can have unlimited likes. Profiles are limited to 5,000 friends (yes, we are aiming high).
  • When someone “likes” a Fan page, it shows up on their Wall, thus exposing us to more peeps.
  • Fan pages can post messages to their fan’s news streams. Profiles just post messages to their Inbox.
  • Fan pages are customizable using Applications. So we can look cool.
  • Fan pages allow us to get “Page Insights” with demographic info about Fans and traffic. So we can understand what our Fans like and don’t like, and do more of the good stuff.
  • Fan pages enable a “vanity URL” that’s easy to remember.
  • Fan pages enable us to set multiple administrators so poor Peggy and Sue don’t have to do everything.

We expect to have both pages up and running by May 31, so be watching your email and Facebook for info about when it’s time to make the switch.

And don’t hesitate to ask us if you have questions. You can contact me by leaving a comment on this blog, by email at aliciakay3086@yahoo.com, or by phone at 404.323.2127.

Review – Aveda Institute

So I got my haircut. No big deal, right? But when you only get a haircut twice a year, it IS kind of a big deal. And, no offense to the lovely Viola at Salon Colour, but I was tired of driving to Dunwoody for a haircut.

On the recommendation of Courtney from Drybar, I made an appointment at the Aveda Institute. Courtney works at the Institute as an Instructor, and assured me that, even though it is a teaching salon where the students do the work, the services are carefully monitored by professional instructors and it’s a terrific bargain. When I combine all that with the fact that the salon is about one mile from my house, my fate was sealed.

My appointment last Thursday went fine. There were two Alicias in the waiting area and the wrong Alicia (or should I say, the “other” Alicia) got my stylist at first, but once that tiny error was cleared up, I was paired with the adorable Jillian as my stylist.

Jillian did great work and there were virtually no differences between the service I received from her and that of a regular salon. Instructors verified the plan before she started cutting, and checked me out when she was finished. The shampoo was relaxing and luxurious. The salon was hip-looking and energetic – it was so fun to watch some of the students working on mannequin heads instead of real people!

Jillian is wonderful. Friendly, personable, very skilled. There was no hard sell for products, but she did let me know what goodies she used on me. We talked about color, and I’m going back in two weeks for highlights.

So needless to say, I highly recommend the Aveda Institute. When I got my bill – ahem, $15 – I knew for sure I was in the right place.

Wanna see? Here’s me before with a crazy, rats’ nest of split ends and blah-ness.

Before with scary hair.

 

Here’s me after.

Better.