We Are All Connected!

James Cameron, in an interview with Oprah, explained the meaning of the Na’vi greeting, “I see you,” from the movie Avatar.  He explained that the greeting means “I understand who you are.”

I think this is a common human desire, but sorely lacking in most business interactions.

In an effort to practice the Na’vi greeting,  I tried an experiment.  A few days prior to a recent networking event, I searched LinkedIn for the names of everyone who had responded with an RSVP and sent each one a note and request to be added to my network.  In a way, it was my way of saying to each one, “I see you,” or “I understand who you are.”  I read each one’s summary, and saw the friends we had in common.  I found it to be a much more beneficial event as a result.

So, the next time you go to a networking event to “see and be seen,”  think of the Na’vi greeting.  It should be, and can be, much more than an exchange of business cards!

I would love to know more about YOUR story!  How can I help you?

My name is Tom Burns, and I sell things essential to life as we know it!  We can connect at http://www.kimtag.com/nashvillesmart


Flip the Switch!

Dear readers,

I need your help!  If you could simply “flip the switch” and change something in your kitchen, what would it be?

Have you taken any actions toward that goal?  Share what steps you’ve taken in the comments.  Are you searching for ideas on sites like http://www.houzz.com or http://pinterest.com?

Have you invited an interior designer, architect, or kitchen appliance specialist into your home to ask for advice?  Have you visited any showrooms in search of ideas?  What was that experience like?

If you have questions about appliances and live in the greater Nashville area, I would love to hear from you.  Getting things right in the kitchen is a collaborative effort, and I would love to be a part of your team.

Please contact me if you would like to chat.  I’ve heard many people say, “I’m so confused I don’t even know what questions to ask.”  Actually that’s a great place to start!  Let me ask you some questions to help you get focused.  This discovery stage can be quite interesting and fun.

If you would like to know more about me, here are some places to visit:  I’ve been part of the professional sales team at A-1 Appliance for 16 years.  We are at http://www.a1appliance.com and our blog is full of ideas at http://www.a1applianceideas.com.  To learn more about me, I have consolidated everything at http://www.kimtag.com/nashvillesmart.

To set up an appointment, please call me at 615-352-5174 and let’s get started!

My name is Tom Burns, and I sell things essential to life as we know it!


Why Tipping is Important–Six Stories That Will Amaze You!

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, The Invisibles”, I want to share some thoughts on the practice of tipping.  The many people we come into contact with daily–those who make our meals enjoyable, the ones who make our travel pleasant, and the ones who we never see that clean our rooms to make our hotel stay amazing—these people deserve our gratitude and our tips!

I want to highlight the May 2013 issue of Conde Nast Traveler magazine, and the article titled “The Naked Truth–From Guides, Waiters, Maids, Flight Attendants, and More.”

Travel Confidential

Condé Nast Traveler editors worked the jobs of the people in the travel industry who make our trips possible (or at least enjoyable) and learned what it really takes to keep us happy.

What an amazing article!  After reading this article, you will never view these hard-working people in the same way ever again!

The next time someone serves you, say “Thank-You” and really mean it!

Thoughts on daily life by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….  Connect with me at http://www.kimtag.com/nashvillesmart


The Invisibles

Everyone is in such a rush….hurry through the check-out lane, keep talking while the waiter serves your food, did you notice the cashier?  How about the teller at the bank or the valet at the restaurant?  Could it be that these people we hardly notice have important stories to tell?  Could they enrich our lives if we only knew them?  One of my friends is a photographer.  He makes a very special effort to meet people throughout the day and talk with them about their lives.  You can see some of his work here:  http://www.kerrywoophotography.com/goodpeople  I believe his life has been made richer by the people he has met!

I would like to propose an experiment.  Tomorrow is the start of a new week….a perfect time to try something new.  I propose that we make an effort to acknowledge everyone who serves us throughout the day.  Use this experiment as the basis of the conversation starter if you like.  Most service people wear name tags.  You might start by simply saying, “Hello” and using the person’s name….and then introduce yourself.   See where the conversation goes.  It might seem very awkward at first, but if you make this a habit, it will become easier.

Here are two examples:

I was standing in line a few days ago to get the oil changed in my car.  I’ve been to this place before and know they do a great job with advertising.  I had been to a conference recently and met the author of a book on marketing.  I had just bought his book because his ideas were remarkable.  When my turn came I thanked him for the amazing service I had received in the past, and told him I was aware of his hard work in marketing his business.  I mentioned the book and he was really interested.  He wrote down the title after I mentioned that  the book dealt with “word of mouth” marketing.  It was obviously important to him and he thanked me sincerely for the recommendation.  I really felt good about that conversation, and the experience of getting my oil changed was  much more pleasant than the normal cashier/customer experience.  Try it…you’ll see and agree!

The second example comes from a visit to McDonalds.  That day I had my name tag on and the cashier acknowledged me!….that’s a switch!  He said, “I drive by your store every day, but I’ve never been in.  My parents bought all of their appliances from your store.”  We had a nice, although brief, conversation.  I gave him my card and told him to say “hello” from me to his parents, and invited him to stop in sometime.  Again, the cashier/customer experience is usually nothing more than a financial transaction followed by a “thank-you.”  I was instead very impressed by his customer service, and at the same time was able to  represent my company and thank his parents indirectly for their business.

Will you try this experiment tomorrow?  I would love to hear about your experience!  You just never know who you will meet and what might happen as a result!  It might be your life that is enriched!

I’m Tom Burns.  I like meeting new people!  I sell things essential to life as we know it….  You can connect with me at http://www.kimtag.com/nashvillesmarttom


Change by Choice or Change by Necessity?

I hope you have participated in some way today in celebration of Earth Day.  Our challenges are global and difficult, but not impossible to solve.

So many thoughts are screaming to be voiced today, but I want to suggest one thing to ponder…. Do you want to change by choice or change by necessity?

The first option is exciting, innovative, and proactive.  The second choice is purely reactive, and will most certainly be unpleasant.  I have to say that we are already experiencing some of the unpleasant!

The question begs to be asked on many levels… not just concerning the environment.  Change is happening rapidly in all aspects of our lives!  Do you want to be part of the excitement, the innovation, and the proactive creativity?  Or do you want to experience the unpleasant—- the uncertainty, failure, and slow recovery of reacting to the inevitable?

I know what my choice will be!  I’m Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….  You can find me at http://www.kimtag.com/nashvillesmarttom

Life in a Fishbowl

In anticipation of Earth Day tomorrow I wanted to share a brief thought with you on the subject,  in the hope that a mental image will convey the importance of keeping our fragile planet clean.

Picture in  your mind a goldfish bowl.  It has been neglected and the water has become polluted.  Debris is floating on the surface, along with a dead fish.  Algae has grown on the glass, making it hard to see through the water.  The smell is bad, and there is nothing to do but throw it out.

The image is powerful and poignant.  It is a microscopic version of our planet.  We fail to see the tragedy in the fish bowl before it is too late, just as we are failing to see the tragedy unfolding all over the earth.

Most of you reading this live in areas that are clear enough that there is no sense of imminent danger.  The sky is blue on a sunny day, the air smells fresh, and a gentle wind blows.  But occasionally, and unfortunately too often, there is an air quality alert.  “Stay indoors if you have certain health conditions.”  Some of you reading this may live in industrial areas or large metropolitan areas where smog has become a frequent problem.  For other parts of the world, particularly China and India, the pollution is overwhelming and people are dying, just like the fish in the goldfish bowl.

We are trapped in our own filth and we refuse to see the consequences of our own actions!

It is my hope that the intense focus of the media on global warming, and the celebration  (if you can call it a celebration) of Earth Day, will not be ignored.  Open your eyes, if you can bear the sting, and see the building danger.  It won’t be corrected by governments around the world or the decisions of major corporations, it will be corrected one person at a time.  The decisions you make today concerning water and energy conservation will have far-reaching consequences.  If you believe “someone else” will take care of it, you are sadly mistaken!

Every day I try to make a difference, one home at a time.  I sell Energy Star appliances, using far less energy that before, along with washing machines and dishwashers that use a fraction of the water used in previous years.  I drive a smart car that is far more fuel efficient than my previous SUV, and the vast majority of the parts it is made of are recyclable.  But there is more that each one of us can do, step by step, to reduce the pollution of our world.

Will you start today?  Come and see me at A-1 Appliance where I can show you some great solutions for your home.  I’m anxious to help!NachoA-1_2

Thought for the day, by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it…. You can connect with me at http://www.kimtag.com/nashvillesmart

All in Favor of Free Range Children, Say Bok!

I liked this post so much I wanted to share it with my audience! Give it a read….it really makes sense!

Conversation Education

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them. ~ Dalai Lama

Last year my sister ordered 16 baby chicks in the mail so that she could have her own eggs and know exactly where they came from.  Her goal: to raise happy, healthy free range chickens fed the top of the line organic food.  No antibiotics or cheap genetically modified corn products for these chickens au natural!

She loves her chickens.  When they first graduated from the warmly lit crate in the house to the coop she would go daily for “play time”, sit with them and hold them and even talk to them.  Her thinking… happy, loved chickens will eventually produce happy healthy eggs.  Can you say “crazy chicken lady?”  But truly what she was doing really made so much sense!!  Crazy or not!

There are…

View original post 926 more words

What’s the BIG IDEA? Post YOUR ideas here!

Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that things have definitely changed!  For example, we used to do business with companies that had been established many years ago.  Very old companies  meant trust, reliability, and the belief that they had the products we needed and wanted.  Now one wonders if being an old, established company is a benefit or a liability!

Here’s what I mean…. Doing business “the way it’s always been done” is a good way to go OUT OF BUSINESS!  Change, innovation, creativity, ease of use, the latest invention, the newest trend….companies and individuals that understand this change will be the success stories of today and tomorrow.  Recent history is proof.  Great examples of failure to innovate fast enough can be seen in  publishing and the music industry.

Today a new product or service can be launched 24/7 worldwide by anyone with a computer, and even that has changed in just the last year!  This is the year of the smartphone and tablet.  We are all equipped, around the clock and around the world, to seek out new information, new products, and share new ideas. 

It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time!  Creativity is rewarded and yesterday’s products are boring!  Consumers are asking, “what have you released today?”

So I’m asking today, “What’s the BIG IDEA?”  I think it would be really exciting if everyone reading this blog would share a link in the comments below to the latest big ideas.  What have you discovered today that you would like to share?  What have you created that everyone will be talking about tomorrow?

The opportunities just ahead are incredible!  Can you see them?  Share your comments below, or connect with me at http://www.kimtag.com/nashvillesmart  Today’s thoughts by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….

Searching for Kitchen Ideas

Where do you go for ideas to create the perfect kitchen?  Do you find Pinterest helpful?  How about Houzz?  Do you search specific brand websites, or do you search for local dealers where you can see and touch the products?  Do you ask your friends or find ideas in magazines?

Once you have the perfect kitchen in mind, how do you proceed to create it?  Do you hire an interior designer or an architect.  Do you want to work with a general contractor or do you search for a local remodeling company?

What advice do you value the most?  Do you search Consumer Reports or go shopping and hope for good advice from local dealers?

How do you put it all together?  Does a tabbed binder help?  So many decisions…..wall color, flooring, window treatments, countertop material and color, cabinet styles and hardware, lighting, backsplash, appliances and plumbing, an island with seating or a prep area, ventilation, and on and on….

Has designing your kitchen been a great experience or a total disaster?  What advice can you share that might help others design the perfect kitchen?

My name is Tom Burns, Sales Professional at A-1 Appliance in Nashville, TN.tom  I work with one critical component of the kitchen design process….the appliances.  Someone called me today and asked when they should order the appliances and should they be installed before the countertops or after….I could sense that they were paralyzed by the logistics of it all.  To simplify it, my answer was that the appliances are the first decision and the last installation.

Everything hinges on the appliance selection!  The architect can’t draw the kitchen without this decision.  The cabinets can’t be designed and built until dimensions are determined.  Will the range be the focal point of the kitchen, or is it important to integrate the appliances into the cabinetry to make everything look like furniture?  When everything is complete….the painting is finished, the cabinets and countertops have been installed, and the plumber and electrician have finished their work, it’s time for the final touch….the appliance installation!

Your masterpiece is almost complete.  But have you selected a dealer with an expert delivery and installation team?  Can they install everything without damaging your new floor?

Yes!  It can be done!  When you think of appliances in the Greater Nashville area, think of A-1 Appliance.a1logo(1)  A great starting point in your research should be our website, www.a1appliance.com.  You can also find a huge database of ideas on our blog, www.a1applianceideas.com.  And when you are ready to see the appliances in person, we invite you to visit our showroom. phone1 (1)A-1 Appliance offers products in all price ranges, styles, and colors.  Come on in and let me help  you sort through all of the choices!


The Search for Answers….

I blog every day.  The subject usually presents itself from an experience during the day, or perhaps as a result of a news story or event.  Each time something surfaces as the dominant thought of the day, I do a little research on the subject. I usually start with google or google scholar,  but that can take me in many different directions.  I often find myself following a variety of links and digging deeper into the given subject on wikipedia.    I may look at twitter or facebook to see if the subject is trending, and those sites can often lead me in still more directions.  I often end up on MSNBC or CNN.  The tragic event in Boston on Monday has certainly given me a lot of opportunity to search for answers.

I love the subject of anthropology.  I think it is human nature to want to know WHY

But the search for answers goes deeper today.  Our lives have become all about “immediacy.”  We have become so used to faster and faster service that anything  less is considered reason for complaint.  We are connected to the internet 24/7 by our smartphones and tablets, and soon our glasses will even give us all the information we need to navigate our daily lives!  But I would ask the question, “Are more answers necessarily good answers?”  Is the source reliable or is it opinion.  Going back to the horrible bombing event Monday, the major news channels have repeatedly released incorrect information, just to be corrected shortly by the FBI.  But as soon as these incorrect “facts” are released, everyone tweets them into the cloud, making it more and more difficult to discern fact from fiction.

Answers, whether fact or fiction, have a huge impact on our lives!  The economic opinions reported as “news” can have global impact the next day.  We pretend to be rational in our decision-making processes, but we act quite irrationally in reality.  The stock market is a perfect example!

What answers are you searching for today?

My name is Tom Burns.  I search for answers every day, both here on my blog, and at work.  I am a sales professional at A-1 Appliance, where I help people search for ways to make their home more comfortable with new kitchen appliances.  The answers are not always perfectly clear.  The result is based on the constraints of need, want, availability, cost, and available space.  Quite often the opinions of the home builder, general contractor, interior designer, or realtor enter into the equation.  It can get quite confusing…..but I love to help!

You can find lots of appliance answers at A-1 Appliance……and you can find me at www.kimtag.com/nashvillesmartphone1 (1)tom