Tag Archives: LinkedIn

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


Reading and Writing

A few days ago I wrote a post about the value of reading.  I just want to add a short follow-up note on a Saturday night to recommend a few books.  The first title is:

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.  It’s a very thought-provoking book!  Every few pages a thought just jumps off the page and totally grabs my full attention!  I don’t want to share any lines here to spoil it for you…so go to your public library as soon as possible and read this book!

Here’s another one I think you will enjoy…and it’s a very easy read!  (Well, I say it’s an easy read….but it will stay with you for a very long time!)  The title is  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, by Mark Haddon.  You may find it a bit strange in the beginning, but trust me, it’s a really well done book.  Don’t stop reading too soon!  And if you can find an audio version, it’s even better!

If you need a few great business books, I highly recommend anything by Seth Godin!  I especially liked Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us and  Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

On social media, I strongly recommend Wayne Breitbarth’s awesome book, The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success: Kick-start Your Business, Brand, and Job search.  I sincerely think it’s a must-read book for anyone in business, from entrepreneur to CEO!  If you are not making full use of the power of LinkedIn, you are making a serious mistake!

My tip for today is to read daily.  Read the newspaper, read from a trusted online news source such as Google News, or CNN, and follow the crumbs for more in-depth understanding of the issues.  Keep a book at work to read at lunch, keep several books in progress at any given time!  If your mind wanders, switch to another book.  Choose fiction, history, biography,  business, psychology, self-help, or one of many categories.

Step two is to write about what you read.  Share the wealth with others as often as possible.

One final thought….read to your children!  Start when they are still babies!  You will benefit as much as they do!  Give your children the gift of learning….the inspiration and pleasure of reading a good book.

Reading and writing can change the world!

By Tom Burns, Reader, Writer, Seller!


Are You Visible Or Invisible?

Can I trust you?  Who are you?  Where are you?  Who do you work for?  Where can I find out more about your product or service?  These are questions we are all asking!

And I’m asking you….”How do you answer these questions?”  How do you establish credibility and verify your identity?   This man is asking those questions:

I choose to be visible!  I believe people have come to expect transparency and visibility.  If you are invisible, then as far as they are concerned, you don’t exist!

Has privacy ceased to exist?  Of course not!  But the reality is that nearly everything we do is tracked, sold, used for marketing, or searched for by consumers.  People want to read our reviews, see what we like, share in what we know and do 24/7.

I’m reading Daniel Pink’s book “To Sell is Human.”   It’s a good read….I highly recommend it:bookcoverjpeg-e1354078407704I agree with his premise that we are all selling something!  And I believe that being a good salesperson means being visible!   So what will you choose?

Visible….or Invisible?  My name is Tom Burns!  You can find me at http://www.kimtag.com/nashvillesmart  I sell things essential to life as we know it….

The Incredible Value of Social Media

Some days a blog topic literally jumps onto the page and demands attention! Today it seems to be social media.  The very first e-mail I received today referred to a post on Linkedin titled 

The 1 Thing Every Business Executive Must Understand About Social Media

Quite an impressive story!  And the most incredible part of the story is how common this action has become!  Are you taking advantage of social media tools like this….both as a sender and a receiver?

As my day started with the first cup of coffee, I read breaking news from around the world to business developments in downtown Nashville.  How amazing that within a few minutes I was able to scan a significant number of stories from global sources, read more details about the topics of interest important to me, share a business post with someone at work, and follow news about the snowstorm in the northeast….in real time!!!

Throughout the day I had occasion to search for information using google, I continued to follow news of the #blizzard, and shared business news with my network.  I used “Twitterfeed” to share a variety of posts from various sources concerning kitchen appliances, and had “virtual conversations” with a variety of people on facebook and through e-mail.  And none of this would have been possible only a few short years ago!  Just think what the near future holds in store for us!

Tonight and tomorrow, many people in the northeast will depend on social media sources like facebook and twitter to search for help and to offer help.  Emergency crews will be notified, and families will be relieved to hear that sons and daughters are ok.  

I am finishing the day after reading an article asking if I am ready for facebook graph search.  The article made an important point…that in the digital age, we are all on display 24/7.  That goes for us as individuals and for our businesses.

So I will end this post with a question:  What message are you sending out today?  

Thoughts by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….

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A Wandering (wondering?) Mind….

English: Infographic on how Social Media are b...

English: Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was driving down Interstate today when I saw an overhead sign that said   “TN LAW-NO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING.”  I started thinking about when texting first started, so I drove home and googled it. I found out that it started a mere 20 years ago!

From that bit of research, I started thinking about the rise of social media.  Did you know that facebook started in 2004 and was released to the general public in September of 2006.  Linkedin started in 2003, followed by YouTube in 2005.  Twitter started in 2006.  It’s amazing to me that services we all use started so recently!

That line of thought led me to an article I found on Wikipedia concerning the impact of social media on business:



Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, exchange and comment contents among themselves in virtual communities and networks.[1] Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.[2] Furthermore, social media employ mobile and web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms via which individuals and communities share, cocreate, discuss, and modify user-generated content. It introduces substantial and pervasive changes to communication between organizations, communities and individuals[3]


  1. ^ Ahlqvist, Toni; Bäck, A., Halonen, M., Heinonen, S (2008). “Social media roadmaps exploring the futures triggered by social media”. VTT Tiedotteita – Valtion Teknillinen Tutkimuskeskus (2454): 13.
  2. ^ Kaplan Andreas M., Haenlein Michael, (2010), Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media, Business Horizons, Vol. 53, Issue 1 (page 61)
  3. a b c d e f g h i j H. Kietzmann, Jan; Kristopher Hermkens (2011). “Social media? Get serious! 
  1. Understanding the functional building blocks of social media”. Business Horizons 54: 241–251

The last line is the key thought….”It introduces substantial and pervasive changes to communication between organizations, communities and indivi
 The key words are “substantial” and “pervasive.”

This all led me think of the saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” This seems to describe social media pretty well.  We tend to use social media to share ideas with people who share our point of view.  This is all well and good, but….

But, there is a downside to this viewpoint.  It made me think about how polarized we are today on subjects such as politics, religion, gun control, education, healthcare, the economy, immigration, and on and on…..  I wonder if the “exchange of user generated content” is helping or hindering the solutions to the problems we all face today.  Is the power to change and control thought in the hands of a few or the many?   And is this power equal across all subject matter?  

What do you think?

By Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….




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Professional Goals 2013

A recent survey by Linkedin found that the #1 goal listed for 2013 was “Professional Development Through Learning New Skills.”  It was closely followed by #2 “Network More/Build More Professional Relationships.”

I think both can be accomplished by joining the right networking group!

For those reading this in the Nashville, TN area, I suggest The Business Referral Network


The general website explains the mission and goals of the organization.  


For a specific example of how a chapter works, please visit one of our facebook pages:


Can we help you accomplish your goals for 2013?  

By Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….


Do You Want To Grow Your Business?

Do you want to grow your business? ….of course you do….dumb question!

The better question is….”HOW will you grow your business?”  Some associated questions come to mind:

What is your product or service and what is your competitive advantage?

How will you tell others about it efficiently and in a cost effective manner?

Can you tell me what your product or service is in such a compelling manner that it makes me want to know more?  Can you do it in 60 seconds???

What have you done lately to improve your sales skills?  Found a mentor?  Read any good books? Discovered any new tools?  Are you stuck in a rut?

I’m convinced that one of the best ways to answer these questions can be found in networking groups.  In a structured setting you can advertise your business, learn about other businesses, develop trust among your peers, practice your selling skills, and earn referrals from people you know and trust.

I urge you to find a networking group today and continue to grow your business….because the work is never done!

My group is The Business Referral Network-Belle Meade.  We would like to help you grow your business.  We meet every Tuesday morning from 7:30-8:30  at LePeep,  5133  Harding Pike, Nashville, TN. 37205.  For more information, contact me at tburns@a1appliance.com or visit our website at http://wwwfreebrn.com/

There are several chapters throughout the greater Nashville area.  We invite you to visit us soon!

Personal Branding

One of my co-workers found this video and shared it in our sales meeting this morning. I laughed all the way through it! And everyone else did too!

Then the fun started…. All day long my co-workers would say “Tom Burns” in a funny voice as they passed me on the sales floor. Some of them have android or iphones, so with “hand in pocket” they would be standing near me and press “play” on the video and I would start hearing my name!

Of course, as soon as the meeting ended I immediately posted the video to twitter, facebook, and linkedin, and e-mailed it to my family!

What a great way to help people remember you! Can you think of ways you might use such a video?