Although I am a strong believer in some things like God and Country, I confess that I am often skeptical.Â I’m wary of slick sales pitches, get-rich quick schemes, and the bold claims of wrinkle creams, just to name a few.Â I was also wary when this whole social media thing came on the scene.Â You may have heard of it:Â Web 2.0.Â
As a business owner, it seemed that every seminar, every book, and everybody I came into contact with was touting blogs and then MySpace and then Facebook and then Twitter as the new modes of client development, business communication, and social interaction.Â Yes, the social media train was leaving the station, and if I didn’t get onboard, my business would be left behind!Â So, with lukewarm enthusiasm, I upgraded my website, started a blog, joined Facebook, and started to tweet (that’s what they call posting a message of 140 characters or less on Twitter).Â
Did my customers and business associates really care what I ate for breakfast, where I was traveling to next, or what I thought of the latest movie on the big screen?Â And, just as importantly, did I want to know all of that about them?Â Months went by, and I continued to follow people as they followed me, updating my status from time to time while wondering if any of this would really translate into a big win for me or my business.Â Well, my friends, I’m here to tell you that I am now a believer because I didn’t just win, I hit the social media jackpot!Â
But first, let me back up that train and introduce you to my conductor, my business coach, Reggie Shropshire.Â He is a part of ActionCOACH, the world’s largest business coaching franchise operating in 26 countries and more than 1,000 offices around the world.Â Reggie was instrumental in getting me up and running with all of those social media forums, and one day he told me: “You should become a fan of Brad Sugars on FaceBook.”Â
Brad Sugars is Reggie’s boss, the CEO of this huge, international coaching organization.Â He’s a big deal in the business world.Â It was as if Reggie had said to me:Â “You know, you should really tell Donald Trump you’re a fan and ask him to be your friend.”Â “Are you kidding?” I replied incredulously.Â “Brad Sugars doesn’t need me as his fan.Â He has thousands of them (5054 at this writing).”Â Nevertheless, I have learned to listen to my business coach even when I don’t want to.Â I became a fan.Â Occasionally, I would see Brad Sugars post new updates on his Facebook page, but to be honest, I didn’t pay them much attention.
Then, right before the holidays, Brad Sugars told all of his fans that he was looking for a holiday nickname.Â Should he be Santa Sugars or Sugars Claus?Â I was amused, but I didn’t really have an opinion, so I didn’t chime in.Â Besides, I had much more important things to do like finding a way to fund a new strategic plan for the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary.Â We had just asked a consulting firm for a quote on helping us develop a new strategic marketing plan, and their $30K proposal was staggering!
As I dealt with the demands of my own growing business, my personal preparations for the holiday season, and my responsibility to help the DAVA, I noticed that Brad’s fans had settled on the name:Â Sugars Claus.Â Next thing I know, the Australian business-savvy version of S.C. makes a very interesting proposal–he is going to grant a Christmas wish to one of his Facebook friends.
Requests start pouring in.Â Brad Sugars certainly has an interesting group of friends and fans.Â They asked for all sorts of things:Â a trip to Italy, a down payment for a house, a new car, a break in the modeling business, airline tickets, a puppy, face-time with Brad, feedback on a sales pitch, a donation for Leukemia Research and this:
“I have wanted boob implants and a tummy tuck for many years now after having my first baby at age 15 and number 5 by 30.Â The cost of this is about $20,000 although I would be very happy with just the boobs at $11,000.”Â I kid you not!Â
It seemed that every time I checked my messages, there were more requests and more posts by Sugars Claus encouraging his fans and friends to make their wishes while there was still time.Â I was on my way to an appointment, when I received another message from Brad S.C.Â It read:Â “Brad Sugars is playing Sugars Clause…what are you asking Santa for this year..I am picking one friend and granting their Christmas wish…Only 4 hours to decide.”
“Why not?”, I thought, quickly texting my Christmas wish into my phone before my appointment began:Â “Dear Santa Sugars:Â I would love to have ActionCOACH services for one year for the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary (non-profit).Â This organization is dedicated to helping disabled veterans and their families.Â We are working on a strategic plan and need lots of help.Â If that isn’t possible, I would like youÂ to be a Gold Sponsor for the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic.”
Of course, you realize by now, that Sugars Clause renewed my faith in Santa and turned me into a Facebook believer.Â Not only did he grant me my wish, he very generously gave to three other people as well:Â Jon got a trailer to feed the homeless, Karen got presents for her kids at Christmas, and Jenny got books for the children’s hospitals in her area.
The only way to describe my excitement was to say that I felt just like a kid at Christmas.Â I am overjoyed that the DAVA, the organization so near and dear to my heart, will benefit from a year of strategic consulting from the world’s foremost business coaching expert.Â Now, it’s my turn to play the role of conductor, asking all of you to get onboard with that Social Media train.Â If you have a Facebook account, please become a fan of Brad Sugars (aka Sugars Claus) and write a little note on his wall telling him how much we appreciate his gift to the DAVA.