Archive | August, 2011

What Does it Mean to Have a Power Network?

30 Aug

The following is an excerpt from a new book by Melissa Giovagnoli and David R. Stover called “How to Grow a Great Business and Power Network.”

A power network is that set of relationships inside and outside a company that increases your overall level of success.

Having a power network has become an even more critical aspect of business success as we enter the 2nd decade of the 21st century.  The proliferation of new startups and businesses (driven by technology proliferation as well as by service innovation) in the past two decades created such an overwhelming supply of products and services that building and maintaining excellent business relationships with employees, investors, alliance partners, suppliers, and customers became one of the few differentiating characteristics of businesses who’ve sustained themselves through the current lower demand market.  As we move further into these chaotic (but exciting) 21st century days, the interdependency of your power network and your value proposition in the marketplace has increased even more.

Want to read more? Visit to download the free e-book!

Chicago’s Social Media Week

30 Aug

Just wanted to remind you of Social Media Week - that I shared has all kinds of free
stuff. I would love for you to come especially to my event listed as
“The New Rules of Publishing.” It’s on Monday the 19th.

Also, I don’t know if you read Kindle books but if you do I would love
for you to read my latest -

For all #Kindle lovers – I would love your input on this $2.99
book’m sure your are one! Please
share this with others!

Hope to see you there!


The New Entrepreneur

18 Aug

The following is an excerpt from How to Grow A Great Business and Power Network, a new book by Melissa Giovagnoli and David R. Stover.

We used to think of the entrepreneur as the small business runner. Someone

with an idea, or a skill, or a unique set of connections who decides to grow

that idea from acorn to oak on their own; striking out across new territory

to organically create and run their own enterprise.


But then came the last two decades, when entrepreneurs began leaking

out from all walks of life: academia, government, large corporations, etc.

No longer was he or she the stereotypical home business owner or tired

corporate executive going to seek their fame and future on their own. Now

entrepreneurs are younger, highly connected to sources of capital, big ideas,

new technologies, new products, new markets, and new profitable business

models. Entrepreneurs launch everything from business-to-business

exchanges and business-to-consumer communities to global alliances and

corporate spin-offs, captive centers to leverage global labor pools, and new

brands which have swept the world in ways no one could have (well, just a

few) dreamed of a decade ago.


The new entrepreneur isn’t just operating a design shop out of their

basement, but is rubbing shoulders with private equity fund managers,

angel investors, investment bankers, and patent attorneys. All of a sudden

it isn’t enough to have a good idea, a small line of credit from the local

bank, and a couple of employees. Entrepreneurship has reached into every

home, every office, and every industry. For a few years, if you weren’t

writing business plans on the weekend, or joining investment clubs, or

moonlighting as a marketing or technology executive somewhere outside

of your normal job, then you had already made the jump to a startup and

were enjoying the 80 hour weeks, cold pizza, and sterile warehouse space

of the new economy.

Interested? Continue reading at

4 Ways that Singing Will Kick Start Your Brain

16 Aug

As researches continue to learn more and more about how human brains function, it has become an amazing journey to find out just how powerful the human mind is. However, as we age, we tend to get stuck in patterns or ruts. This isn’t because of any fault of our brains, rather it is our personal comfort zone that we like to stay in. So how can we jump start our brain again and get out of the rut? One way is to sing. The following four elements of singing will explain how singing can help us.

Language Development

The first thing that singing does is it helps our language development. Educators have known for many years that when young children sing, it provides an enormous boost to their cognitive abilities in all other classrooms. As much as we hate sometimes to sit through our children’s school programs, it is critical for their success in to have music classes in which they sing.

The great thing about singing is that is continues to help us throughout our life in language. For example, one thing that I have tried to do is to learn Spanish. English is my native language, and learning another language has been a challenge. My motivations are not just to be able to speak another language, but also because I want my brain to stay out of the rut as I get older. My teacher gave us some Spanish music that we were required to sing. There has been nothing so beneficial to learning Spanish as to sing it.


Many centuries ago, the Native American people understood that certain rhythms could alter the human body. As reported by Walsh in a 1996 research study of Native American healers, he reported that “Rhythmic auditory stimulation has long been known to induce altered states of consciousness, whether the means is chanting, singing, drumming, or shaking a rattle.” Native Americans understood the power of rhythm in their dance and music. Unfortunately, this can also have negative effects if rhythm is embraced improperly. In a recent news report, doctors saw a huge spike in emergency room visits whenever there was a Rave party. They attributed it to a combination of things, but in all cases, the common theme was high intensity music and lights.

Our brains react to rhythmic sounds because they are organized and consistent. This is not just an emotional reaction, but a mental reaction as well. Singing a song forces your mind to align in a set pattern or rhythm, regardless of how simple or complex it may be.


Another thing that singing does is help us keep a better memory. As we age, we have a tendency to lose our ability to remember things. I’m not talking about dementia or any other debilitating disease, just normal forgetfulness. When you sing, you alter your brains ability to communicate in such a way that we organize our thoughts differently than before. This is somewhat related to the rhythm section above. For example, if I gave you a number to remember such as 8002321443, it would be extremely unlikely that most people would be able to remember it. However, if I make a pattern of the number, such as 800-232-1443, then our brain immediately recognizes that it is phone number and the likelihood that we would be able to remember it is much higher. Again, our brains do much better with patterns that are consistent and organized. When we sing, we train our brains because of the patterns in the music.

Ability to Listen

Our relationships, whether it is a spouse or significant other, we know that communication is one of the most critical elements of that relationship. If communication breaks down, then the relationship will suffer. What we often do not rot recognize is that the most important skill is to listen effectively. If we don’t listen, then we can’t communication. Period.

This is where singing helps with our ability to listen. When we sing, our vocal chords produce sound, and our brain reacts to the sound by adjusting certain aspects of the sound. We can change pitch, loudness, and other aspects of the sound. However, this process cannot occur if we are not listening. Singing trains our brain to listen, and that carries into our ability listen in general.

Singing is a not just a beautiful way to express our thoughts and feelings, but it has the amazing ability to benefit our ability to think, to speak, and to remember. For other tips on singing, visit

The Success of Social Media

3 Aug

Billy Dec, the CEO and Founder of Rocket Ranch Productions, interview on the success social media has brought to his company and fortune.

Rocket Ranch Productions is a restaurant and entertainment development company in Chicago that owns and operates Rocket Bar and Grill, Sunda Restaurant, and The Underground.

JenChicago and Billy Dec at SMC (Social Media Chicag0) Event in April.


Top Tweeters Chicago

2 Aug

Who are the Twitaholics of the Chicagoland area?

Check out

1. Oprah Winfrey (Oprah) Chicago, IL 6808720 33 932 31 months ago
2. Threadless (threadless) Chicago, IL 1626654 520127 4314 52 months ago
3. ColonelTribune (ColonelTribune) Chicago… 825648 23500 15529 41 months ago
4. CMEGroup (CMEGroup) Chicago 778694 5668 13817 36 months ago
5. CBOE (CBOE) Chicago 766380 2414 3600 34 months ago
6. COMMON (common) Chicago, IL 604177 123 2643 33 months ago
7. Roger Ebert (ebertchicago) Chicago 508174 236 21939 22 months ago
8. Darren Williger (williger) Chicago 231843 185531 25080 38 months ago
9. United Airlines (UnitedAirlines) Chicago, IL 175416 1377 2388
10. Ars Technica (arstechnica) Chicago, IL 168725 20 30141 55 months ago