Monday, December 17, 2012

My Prezi from Marketing U

This will make little to no sense without the oratory part.
I still think it's fun to share.

This is the prezi I made for my presentation on Visual Media at the Kalamazoo Chamber of Commerce's Marketing U event.

The rough format was
My past
My Current
My Tips
My Favs
My Thoughts on Social Media
My forget.

Retail employees and the holiday blues..

Once upon a time.
Many, many years ago.
Actually, about 8.
I was spending my Christmas season working retail.
It was a Sam's club in Portage,
before they upgraded buildings.

This was a difficult time for me
Because at the ripe old age of 21,
I felt like I deserved so much more than a cashier gig.

Nearing the end of a particularly long shift
A tall, lone, early 30's man came through the line
with an average size cart of oversized products.

Going through my usual routine
I said "Hey, how are ya"
Not expecting a response
while I started shuffling the items across the belt.

At first he was kind of quiet,
then he began to make semi demanding comments about the pace in which I scanned
It didn't take me very long to realize he was completely kidding
but he kept up his act, almost with a straight face
but with just a hint of a grin.

Pretty soon, As I continued to scan,
 I was nearly doubling over with laughter
Grinning from ear to ear
slowly regaining my faith in humanity and brief social interactions.

What caused this man to try and brighten my day?
He obviously had to go out of his way to make the effort
It was almost as if he had worked similar jobs
that caused him to question his life decisions.

Honestly, he hardly broke character.
Enough that it was clear he was trying to make me laugh
I think, by the end, he did actually break character and
asked me how my night was going.

But I could hardly respond
Because my eyes were watering from laughing so hard
He said "bye"
I said "have a good one".

This is the only interaction I remember with any customer from my entire 6 month career as a cashier at Sam's club.

I often finding myself trying to do for others
what this man was able to do for me that night.
Simply show that I care.
And that, although they may not like their job,
and they may not get paid very well
and they may not even be doing that great of a job from your perspective

They are still a human being - worth paying attention to and worthy of respect.

Even if I'm in a hurry.
Even if the line was long.
Even if I'm not in the mood. 

Above all else - people remember how you make them feel.

This is Bing Crosby on the phone. He has nothing to do with this post. I didn't take this photo and I don't know who did. But I like Bing. and I just watched White Christmas.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving and the Meaning of Life.

Kevin Romeo here.

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in America.
I have much to be thankful for at Rhino Media Productions.

I am thankful that we have such an incredibly talented group of people at Rhino Media.

I am thankful for Dan Martinez and his willing heart, hard work ethic and passion for growing.
I am thankful for Angel Arnold for her sweet disposition, can-do attitude and ability to learn anything.
I am thankful for Jessica Ulman for her commitment to growth, her honesty and her integrity.
I am thankful for Jeremy Angeletti for his sense of humor, willingness to serve and his passion for excellence.
I am thankful for Tori Gebolys for her comic relief, her humble heart and her creative mind.
I am thankful for all of the interns (Collin, Marlee, Aaron, Grant) who share their time and their lives with us at Rhino Media (parking cars, editing videos, gripping on set, taking garbage out, etc :) )

I am thankful for my wife, Anna, because although she doesn't work for me (which she's thankful for), she is very gracious and patient with my insane schedule.

Mostly I'm thankful that I get to do something I love after several years of wandering and trying to understand why God put me on this earth. Ironically, I now understand that even though I am vocationally fulfilled, Rhino Media does not justify my being on this planet. I have Jesus Christ to honor for that.

This means that I know that what I get to do is a gift. I know that I am not the ultimate captain of this ship and this means that I will not be crushed if or when the day comes that Rhino Media is no longer sustainable.

I have worth because I was created. That's it.

I believe that we are not accidents and the things say and do actually have significance. And this greatly changes my view of the world and people in it.

Hopefully our company continues to grow and prosper and provide jobs and all sorts of meaningful things for those involved. But if it doesn't, it is not the end.

Enjoy your turkey (or Tofurkey for you veggies), family and friends today. Love to everyone.

- KR

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

When a problem comes along....

When a problem comes along, you must whip it!

Besides being a sweet song (which you can watch on youtube by clicking HERE) this simple statement is a truth that I hold to as a twenty-something business owner.

Problems can wreck a business if not handled swiftly and correctly.

Truth #1a - Every business will encounter problems and conflicts
Truth #1b - It's how you handle said problems and conflicts that matters.

My personal philosophy on this is take it head on.
Head on does not mean without careful thought and consideration however.
No one lives a perfect life and can perfectly avoid conflict with others. Simply because of human nature - we are bound to bump into other people and have problems.

By the way, conflict is generated by one or more people having unmet expectations. 
Sounds so simple doesn't it?

As my business, Rhino Media, has been growing faster and faster lately, new challenges present themselves - almost daily. More and more often, the old systems of doing projects just don't work anymore. We need to have more frequent and clear communication with our clients throughout the entire video production process. We need to manage workflows faster and more efficiently. We need to have secure backup of all media (which is becoming a ginormous task in itself). Most video projects we take on now entail over 200GB of data. Crazy stuff. And Bill Gates said no one would ever need a gigabyte of data.

Start eating the ugly frog first.

If you're unclear of what an ugly frog is, I like to define it as whatever you're least looking forward to doing that day.

Don't put off problems, they only get worse. You can not avoid them. This is Rhino Media philosophy 101 as I think of it. Rhinos crash ahead fearlessly, they don't run and hide from conflict. They meet it head on and move past.

And, you guessed it, this goes with every other area of our lives as well... when a problem comes along, you must whip it!

If you think I've got a point here, follow me on twitter. I'll make more points.

This is me, deep in thought about how to whip a problem. Or right after eating an ugly frog. Whichever you prefer.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Rhino Media's Core Values

I'm into core values. As long as they are true and living and breathing and evident in everyday functions of a company, I love them.

But if they just live in the organizational documents or on a plaque somewhere collecting dust, then they, of course, lose relevance.

My company, Rhino Media, has developed a set of core values that I feel rock. Let me know what you think.  I'm actually still in the process of tweaking this list, bare with me.

Humility - We do not portray ourselves as cocky or arrogant in house or to our clients.

Hard Work - We don't sit around and talk, we do. 

Competency - We are learners. We expect all Rhino's to know their craft well. BUT - not be afraid to admit they don't know something. 

Personal Accountability - We don't blame others for our mistakes. 

Purpose - We live our lives personally and professionally with a sense of purpose. We are SUPPOSED to be doing this.

Intentionality - A lot like purpose.  Setting my direction every day. 

Respect - We respect each other, respect our clients and their timelines and their communication styles, respect other producers work and creativity.

Honesty - There is absolutely no room for lying of any kind at Rhino Media. 

Greatness - We are not satisfied with mediocracy. We are always striving to become great, as our friend Greg Jennings would say - Every day is a great day to be great. 

That's my working list. 
Let me know yours!

This is me, the bear.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Get a mentor.

Running a business is not a safe option for life. To be honest, sometimes it's dang scary..

Where's my next big client coming from?

Who's going to help figure out these crazy accounting/tax issue?

How do I know how much do I keep for retained earnings?

Where do I get more time? - big one right there.

Sounds cliche, but no one is going to hold your hand. And if they do, chances are you'll get used to that, get dependent on other people walking you through life and you do anything great with your time here.

The solution: Find a mentor!

Jason Bull is my mentor. We talk about business issues, faith issues, advocacy, awesome big ideas, how to use twitter (he still hasn't switched to an iPhone), etc.
One of the great things I've always admire about J is that he is a learner/thinker/analyzer. I realized this on the very first day I ever worked for him several years ago.

5 areas in which I've learned from J Bull.

- Don't waste trials and opportunities for growth. Broaden your perspective
- Remain calm.
- Be incredibly patient with people.
- Personal accountability. 
- Be clear with your communication.

Monday, July 30, 2012

First blog.

The purpose of this blog is to establish a home for my thoughts on starting and growing a business.

Hopefully you find it helpful.