Is the college process like planning a wedding? ABSOLUTELY! The groom is your student and the parents (more like the mom) is the Bride. For most weddings the bride typically takes one year to plan the perfect wedding, well it takes 1 year to plan the college process.
You are your child’s Mouthpiece when it comes to the college process and they need you, this is a family process and they cannot not do it  alone. I remember looking at the election day results and being worried about my daughter when I heard things from Rand Paul (r,KY) who would like to abolish the Department of Education so kids don’t have to learn about “two mommies”. This type of homophobia should not be tolerated and this speaks to his character.I am concerned with funding and will kids from middle class families have an opportunity to get an education without graduating with hefty debt. Will our kids be able to afford the American Dream? I was speaking with a friend this week and she indicated that she took out student loans and her child will do the same. The difference between that time and today are so many factors, the tuition was lower, the interest on the loan was lower, there were more jobs for college kids who graduated with a BA and cost of living was lower. Today our kids are faced with so many challenges and I am scared for them, 80% of college graduates last year moved back home because they did not have a job, cost of living was too expensive and many students have overwhelming debt. This debt will be with them for years, they are excited to start their life but reality has hit them and the realization of their debt has hit them like a stack of bricks. So what is the alternative? Well I am doing some things that are different with my daughter, I am not sure how successful we will be, but I feel confident that if my daughter listens to me she will not have a tremendous amount of debt and we will not need to alter our lifestyle alot to pay for college. The fact is no one cares where you received your BA, in our competitive country a Masters is imperative in many fields, so why go a school where the tuition is $50,000 per year if you do not have these funds to spend? That being said as a family you need to have a plan from the very beginning and communication is imperative to this process.
I have decided to share our experiences with you in different steps, too much information in 1 blog could be very overwhelming….

Step 1:

  1. Get a box for all of the college information your child will receive, you take control of that information.  If you just hand that information to your child they will open only some and the rest will never see the light of day.
  2. Go through the information together, implement a weekly Family meeting and last approximately 1 hour, any longer and it will become ineffective. During this family meeting, you should start to discuss your child’s interest, do they want to go to college, what are their interests, grades, etc….. I would suggest that you make an agenda and everyone understands what will be discussed. I will elaborate in Step 2:The Family meeting and how you can make this work for your student. Our Family meetings have proven to be very successful for my family with our daughter’s college process.
  3. Have your child use your email when filling out profiles. This will keep you in the loop and you can weed out the information. Your student will become very frustrated with the massive emails that they will receive and sooner or later will stop looking at those emails. If you the parent get the initial emails, you will be able to weed through these emails and forward the ones to your child that you know will be of interest to them. Please keep in mind that sometimes they do not know what they want, I researched the college and if they offered the program that my daughter was seeking I requested information from that institution. Once the information was sent to us we reviewed it together and often times visited that school to see if it was a good fit. Of the 9 schools that Danielle applied to, only 5 of the schools were her choice the other 4 were suggestions that I made.
  4. Develop a relationship with the guidance counselor, this is really something that is imperative, remember it is the guidance counselor that writes a letter of recommendation for your child, you want to make sure that this person knows your child.
  5. Start building your child’s resume, believe me if you do not start in 9th grade you will forget things and this will cause your child to miss out on potential scholarship funding.

Till next time, turn to Hamptons MouthPiece, we will do the talking for you….Please feel free to send me subject ideas for me to talk about.

au revoir!

Even Mr. Softy Needs a MouthPiece!..One of my fondest memories of my childhood was being so excited when I heard the sound of Mr. Softy the Ice Cream man coming down the block. It was ice cream time and in a child’s life, a moment of pure happiness. All the children would go running after the truck. Yesterday while I was at a meeting, one of my fellow board members who owns a Ice cream truck began to tell a story about a neighborhood that chased Mr. Softy out of the area. Hmmm! Were they overweight and was upset that Mr. Softy was about to force them off of their diet? Were they health conscience people or maybe lactose intolerant, what the heck!!!! Who chases Mr. Softy away? Maybe it was Mr. Softy’s look, was he not creamy enough looking with sprinkles on top. What child does not welcome the Ice Cream truck?  I said to him clearly you need someone “to do the talking for you” you need a “MouthPiece”.
This leads me to the topic: Even Mr. Softy needs a MouthPiece. I know the area that chased the Ice Cream Man out and unless these homeowners know you, they are seriously protective of their children and who could blame them. The ice cream man needs to find the MouthPiece in that neighborhood and speak to them to spread the word; I carry lo-cal ice cream, my truck has been awarded the Cleanest Ice Cream Truck Award and I am safe for your children. Everyone needs a Mouthpiece even the Mouthpiece needs someone to talk for him or her.
We elect a Board of Education to be the Mouthpiece for our children; the PTA is a mouthpiece for the parents. Businesses hire salespeople, Public relations, marketing people to be a Mouthpiece for their company. Many individuals are not equipped to speak on their own behalf and therefore they need people with the gift of gab to promote them to… “Do the talking for them”.
Even Mr. Softy needs a Mouthpiece
When I first came to the Hamptons, I would attend events where I was the only minority at the event, a newcomer and I could have stayed in my seat and waited for people to come talk to me, but I did not. I needed to make opportunities happen for myself so I needed to network the room. It does take a special personality, commitment, drive, tenacity and complete confidence to be able to walk up to a complete stranger and start a conversation. Not everyone feels comfortable doing this; this is why you NEED to have people on your team who can do this for you.
So back to the topic “Even Mr. Softy Needs a Mouthpiece” if he wants to do sales in that area which is potentially very lucrative for his business, than yes he needs a Mouthpiece to open the doors for him.
All my adult life I have always enjoyed networking, help bridge relationships with a simple introduction. As my dear friend calls it I am a relationship broker.  When you are in need of a MouthPiece you can call on me, and… I’ll Do The Talking For You.

The Phoenix Rises…Yes my friends the Phoenix has Risen! Ahhhh today is the 1st day of the new chapter in my life and that thought is both exhilarating and nerve wrecking. My entire working life has always revolved around working for other people and being in a controlled situation. I have decided that I am going to be in charge of my own destiny and try to make it on my own. There is nothing to fear but fear itself. Sometimes you need that kick in the ass to get the motor going and that is what I needed. I have made a lot of money for a lot of people over the last 20 years, now is that time to put forth that energy and invest in myself.

There are so many different things I want to do and so many ideas that I look forward to bringing to life, but I will take the same road that I have implemented for my daughter Danielle with her college process. Our strategy is for her to take on one project per week, it is an effective strategy when working with a teenager who feels overwhelmed with the entire college process. So although I am multi facited, in the beginning I will start off with one project and grow from there.

I have been a MouthPiece for many companies for the last decade and they have become successful from me promoting their business, and in the end was it appreciated maybe, but always underestimated. So “We do the talking for you” will be taking our show on the road. What do you want me to talk about? How about a designer that I saw last night in NYC? Sally Wu (Act One), showed her Spring/Summer line to a group of Fashionista’s in NYC last night. The champagne was chilled and flowing and the “Ready-to-Wear” Line was feminine, yet strong. I liked many of the pieces and this is probably a designer whose clothes I would feel comfortable in. Or I could talk about designer “Calvin Tran” this designer who has 3 locations and  is one of the designers on the Bravo hit show “The Fashion Show” which debuted yesterday November 19th. There was plenty of drama and the jury is still out on which show I prefer Project Runway of The Fashion Show. Of the many people that attended Act One Collection fashion show, spotted was celebrity Chef, 15 year old Greg Grossman made a special appearance for the Act One Spring/Summer collection, if you have never had the extreme pleasure of sampling Greg’s dishes then you just don’t know what you are missing, rumor has it that young chef Greg will be helping BHGH behind the scenes on Extreme Makeover Home Edition set. Congratulations Greg! So there it is my soon to be followers, who will I be talking about next week…. As always your comments are always welcomed.

How do you use your cell phone? Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a Social Media Conference and then being part of a Mommy Blogger panel. I don’t really consider myself a “Mommy Blogger” but I do like to utilize my Social Media forum to promote, get advise and converse with other parents.  Representatives from Nokia were one of the speakers for the day and they spoke about reaching consumers through advertising on their cell phones. For me it truly depends on how the advertising is sent to me which will determine how I feel about the advertising. There are so many creative opportunities for companies to reach out to potential customers, why do they need to invade our cell phone space. I definitely would not like pop-up advertising on my cell phone, my cell phone bill is expensive and I would consider it a nuisance. Now if the carriers are willing to off-set the bills for their consumers if they opt-in for mobile advertising I think this could be a win win for both the carrier, and the businesses that want to reach out to cell phone users.

The next speaker then touched on how many people use the internet on their cell phone, which leads to discuss How do you use your cell phone? Now for me I use my cell phone for talk time, to read my emails, send emails and a connection to my Social media world. I would not be as connected to Facebook and Twitter if they were not on my cell phone.  Very rarely do I use my cell phone to connect or search on the internet. I believe this is because the Blackberry is not designed to search the internet like the Iphone. Don’t get me wrong you can search and access the internet on the blackberry, it is just very cumbersome and I like things immediately so for me I would prefer to use my laptop for my internet usage. The I-phone is designed for people who want to be on the internet all the time. I think it is an awesome tool for people who do not have a computer at home or need to research on the computer and not use the company computer to do personal work. It is great for students, people on the go and definitely for Sales People. What features are important to you when buying a cell phone? That is really what you should be considering when buying a cell phone.

The moderator asked Nokia about their place in the cell phone marketplace and where they place. There is the beloved I-Phone, then in second place the Android and in 3rd place the Blackberry. They have a presence outside of the United States but not really in the US, is that i mistake for them probaly. How do you make your decisions on your next phone? Do you go into the stores to preview the newest phones, are you sent an email from your carrier on the newest phones, do you see the commercial or is it word of mouth for you? I just bought the Blackberry Torch, and i found this on my own through AT&T website. I asked the customer representative which one would she recommend the I-phone or the Torch and she asked me if i sent alot of emails i told her I did and she recommended that I might be happy with the Torch. I-phone and Nokia just lost the sale.  When I received the phone I did not know how to use it and I was happy when I saw the commercial on television showing me how to use the phone. If you are like me I only buy a phone when my phone is broke, then I find out that I am eligible for an upgrade, I absolutely refuse to pay full price for a phone and insist on a discount. Did you know that you should be able to get a discount on any phone especially if you have a contract with your carrier.

I predict that cell phone rates are going to decrease tremendously in the next 2-3 years because of technology and Steve Jobs. Currently the newest I-touch can do everything that the I-phone can do in a wireless area. You can text for free, you have talk time, skype, the internet. You will find that soon everywhere you go the area will be wireless, on the trains, buses, libraries, everywhere…… In Sag Harbor the entire Main Street area is wireless, and this is a small town, get the picture. Cell phone carriers will have to decrease the cost of the data plan because of this growing technology.

So back to my original question, “How do you use your cell phone”? I want to know….share your thoughts…..


Why is Social Media vital to your Business? Greetings, when do the creative juices flow, could it be at 4am in the morning when you are laying in bed and your hubby is having a fit because after updating his i-phone to his PC computer and all of his information has been lost and his phone is not working, BOOM no sleep for the tired one. I never thought I would be a person to start a blog, but I realize that I have a lot to share. Topic today: Why is Social Media so vital to the growth of your business? It is important because that is were 80% of your targeted demographic is. According to the Nielsen Company, “Americans spend nearly a quarter of their time online on social networking sites and blogs, up from 15.8 percent just a year ago (43 percent increase). The research revealed that Americans spend a third their online time (36 percent) communicating and networking across social networks, blogs, personal email and instant messaging.”
Social Media is time consuming and many of you do not have the man hours that are required to optimize your business online, so what do you do? Well you can make the time to do this yourself or you can hire someone to do this for you. Investing in optimizing your presence through social media could increase your business by 30% would that spark your interest. Would it be as simple as starting a Facebook or Linkedin page, no it would require more creativity.  Stay tuned…….Next blog….How much is a good Salesperson worth to your business growth?