6 Reality TV Skills That Will Get You A Promotion

You won’t find this in any Warren Buffett book on how to become a billionaire, but from the Suzanne Boyd file – learning how to be successful at your career is as easy as studying one of the most mind-numbing reality shows.

 

“Big Brother” is the CBS guilty pleasure that puts strangers in a house without TV, internet or any connection to the outside world. They live there for up to 3 months, voting each other out and the last man (or woman) standing gets a $500,000 prize. All you have to do is watch the characters on the show to realize: what wins Big Brother also wins in real life and could land you that promotion you’ve been hoping for.

Make Yourself Valuable

In the Big Brother house, the person who cooks and cleans usually stays longer than the slob who expects everyone to clean up after him. Same at work. Learn how to do as much as you can. There’s nothing a boss wants to hear less than “that’s not my job!”. Be the first one there and the last one to leave. When your boss gives you an opportunity – jump at it.

Create Alliances

This is one of the most important aspects of winning the Big Brother show. Those who create alliances – no matter how strange – go further in the game. That holds true at the office. Find out who can help you at work and create an alliance with them. I have my go-to photographers, assignment editors, producers and managers at CBS 12 – the people who have my back and vice versa. Even the receptionist – who holds the keys to the coffee and the front door – calls me her “sister from another mister” because we’re always looking out for each other.

Fake It Til You Make It

Your boss asks you to do something, but you’re not really sure how. Don’t say you’re clueless! Ask someone. Get it done. You think anyone in the Big Brother house really knows how to “play the game”? They don’t! They figure it out as they go along.

Play the “Social” Game

Be funny. Be nice. Lighten the mood when things get too serious. Listen to someone when they have a problem. Notice people when they aren’t being noticed. Compliment them. These are all social traits that work well when you’re competing on a reality TV show *and* when you’re competing for a promotion at work. Bottom line – bosses want to keep people around who are positive and make the office a happier place.

Don’t Cause Drama

Don’t let your personal issues spill into the workplace. It’s okay if you have a bad day once in a while, but leave the drama at home. Reality show producers love those who create drama because they make good TV, but they don’t make good employees and they rarely win the game or a promotion.

When You Leave, Go Graciously

This is HUGE! You’re probably thinking – I’m leaving, so who cares if I say nasty things? Well, on Big Brother – one housemate who gets kicked out wins $25,000 based on America’s vote. Those who are gracious almost always win that prize.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years – no matter the profession – you will see and deal with some of the same people over and over and over again. NEVER burn a bridge.

Pin It! On Pinterest

If there is a social media site out there, chances are I’m on it. I love to FacebookYouTubeTweet and Tout, but my newest obsession is Pinterest.

When I was growing up, I had a cork board on my wall at home where I would pin pictures I cut out of magazines. It was full of things I loved, things I wanted, inspiration, motivation. Pinterest is a virtual cork board.

Would you ever think of doing a veggie platter like this?

What about deviled eggs in the shape of baby chicks?

Did you know you can braid really short bangs with just two pieces of hair?

Quick Way To Braid Short Bangs

Or store cutting boards on a cabinet door using a magazine rack?

These are all things I found on Pinterest. It’s cheaper than a magazine (free).  And the ideas are endless.  It’s also a great marketing tool for businesses. For instance, my close friend designs housewares products for her family’s company, Architec Housewares in Delray Beach. She pins her products on Pinterest. Someone repins them until pretty soon people all over the country are seeing her cutting boards, cups and colanders.

The one downside to Pinterest is that I find myself shopping more often. You see something you like — you can easily order it. For instance, this green dress I spotted on Pinterest should be arriving in the mail for me any day now.

 

As well as this bathing suit.

 

I would have already ordered this leopard and striped skirt if I could find it. Some people pin without a source, so you have to do a little searching on your own. After some investigating, it appears the skirt is a Dolce and Gabbana from a few seasons ago. So it’s probably not available and definitely not in my price range. But it’s hot, isn’t it?

 

Some social media sites may not make it (think MySpace), but I’m pretty sure Pinterest will always have an audience, mostly female. It’s different from Facebook and Twitter. It’s stylish. It’s useful. I just hope my wallet can withstand it.

Shiloh the Magic Pony and Me

I’m not sure if Shiloh the Magic Pony is a he or a she, but I do know *it* is one good looking pony. Shiloh has a perfect tan, deep blue eyes and a silky blonde mane. We have a lot in common, too. We both love live music, especially the Dave Matthews Band. And we both like to tweet (me: @SuzanneBoyd; Shiloh: @ShilohthePony).

Shiloh on the set with me

Shiloh the Magic Pony is like the Flat Stanley of the music world — traveling around the country in women’s purses and men’s fanny packs to attend concerts, take pictures and then move on. I’ve been begging Shiloh’s owner to send the pony my way ever since I took a picture with him/her this summer at the Dave Matthews Band Caravan shows in Chicago. I think he (Shiloh’s elusive owner) was nervous about sending the pony to a non-music venue.

But finally this week — Shiloh arrived in West Palm Beach from Seattle in a small box. And ever since it got here — I have been showing the pony the time of his/her life. Shiloh has watched me write stories, learned about the weather from our meteorologist, John Matthews and was on set for a few newscasts. Shiloh has stayed at my house, hung with my children, been to Delray Beach – it even went to bikram yoga with me.

I get your skepticism. You say, “Why is a grown woman so excited over a tiny toy pony?” Many of my Facebook friends and Twitter followers who aren’t familiar with Shiloh the Magic Pony are wondering if I’ve gone off the deep end or they say I have too much time on my hands. Neither is the case.

Imagine being Shiloh: strangers allowing you access to their lives, their jobs, their fun. There’s no awkwardness, no threat, no feeling that you’re overstaying your welcome.  Shiloh is very different from me — the pony can pack up and go whenever it wants, wherever it wants. No strings, no job, no children. That intrigues me.

But – as I said – we have a lot in common, too. I don’t take life too seriously. And neither does Shiloh. It’s been fun hanging with a plastic pony for a week. Maybe you should try it.

 

 

I Survived Disney World And You Can Too!

You know those people who love Disney so much — they have the family year-round passes? The ones who make the 2-1/2 trek to Orlando once a month in their SUV filled with children and blankets and Disney DVDs?

I am *not* one of those people.

In fact, the thought of going to Disney gives me such anxiety, I’ve only taken my daughter once – when she was 2. And that was a free trip from my husband’s company. So I was pretty much forced to go.

But being the good mom that I am, I offered to take my daughter to Disney for her 6th birthday. My son also has an August birthday, so I figured it was a two-fer.

So we packed up the SUV with the kids, their blankets and Disney DVDs and made the 2-1/2 hour trek to Orlando. And I’m not sure if it was my super-low expectations or the fact that we made all the right decisions, but it wasn’t bad. Yes. I said it. I actually kind of enjoyed myself.

Good decision #1: We picked the right dates.

We chose to go to Disney when most children were just starting school. Our kids didn’t start until later, so it worked out. And we did not have to deal with the typical summer crowds.

Laine and Minnie

Good decision #2: We stayed at a Disney Resort.

We stayed at the Yacht Club, which has a pool like a water park with beach entry, a big pirate slide and lots of waterfalls. Yes, it is more expensive. But it’s worth it! The kids had more fun there than at the parks.

Trace playing in the Yacht Club Pool

Good decision #3: We did *not* go to Magic Kingdom.

The buses headed to the Magic Kingdom from our hotel had quadruple the amount of people as those headed to the other Disney parks. We did Animal Kingdom one day and Typhoon Lagoon water park the next day. We didn’t wait more than 20 minutes on any ride.

Trace petting goat at Animal Kingdom

Good decision #4: We had “entertaining” meals.

There is nothing about “breakfast with the characters” or a place called the “T-Rex Cafe” that interest me for dining. Except when I’m with a 2-year-old who lasts about 2 minutes at a restaurant. We ate among animatronic wooly mammoths, loud noises and a light show, but it was the best decision we made.

T-Rex Cafe in Downtown Disney

I actually got to eat my entire meal and drink my entire glass of wine without having to pick up salt shakers or knives or whatever else my toddler decided to throw on the floor.

Notice the light show

It was three days of fun. Sanity intact. I haven’t bought a Disney year-round pass, but I may just be talked into packing up the SUV with the kids, the blankets and the Disney DVDs a little more often.

 

 




The Cold Truth About Hot Yoga

The sweat is dripping from my forehead right into my eyes. My shirt and pants are soaked and I feel like I might pass out or throw up or both. Focus on my breath. Focus on my breath. All I can focus on is how damn hot it is in this room. 105 degrees. But it feels much hotter. And it smells. Like body odor.

I can’t just walk out. That’s a big no-no. If you can’t stand the heat, the instructor here says, the last thing you want to do is get out of the kitchen. Stay in the kitchen. Lie down on your back. Hands by your side. Palms up. And breathe. For God’s sake, breathe.

I’m supposed to be thinking: “This is changing my life. This is making me present. This is what I need to calm my mind.”

I’m actually thinking: “Who’s picking up my child from camp? Don’t forget milk at the store. I wish I didn’t finish off that bottle of wine last night.”

But then again, I am new at this. I look at the women in the bikini bottoms with ripped abs and perfect form and think, “I gotta get there.”

But really, Bikram yoga teaches you that you don’t have to get anywhere other than where you are. It’s about *your* practice. It’s about realizing that no matter what’s happening around you, or how hot it is – you can control how you react to it. Breathe.

Today, I left Bikram yoga in a near coma. My mind shut down. I was completely in the moment. I even had to sit in my car for several minutes afterward because I was so relaxed – I couldn’t drive. I’ve never felt anything like it.

Bikram yoga is not pretty when you’re in the throes of it, and you may look like hell afterward – but what it does for your mind and your body is pretty amazing.

As Advertised at Target

Target: I love you, but I’m onto you.

I had a whole laundry list of things I needed at Target when I went last week with my 19-month-old son. And if you’ve ever shopped with a toddler boy, you know, you better make it fast.

One of the things on the list: razor cartridges. They’re expensive. So when I saw the red Target sign “As Advertised” in front of my Gillette Venus razor cartridges, I knew I had to load up. But then I looked at the price. $14.99 for a 4-pack. $14.99? That didn’t sound like much of a deal. That’s $5 per razor replacement.

I’m not running around the store with coupons and I certainly didn’t have time to research razor cartridges before I left the house, but I’ve bought enough of them in my lifetime to know that’s no real savings. So I decided to lift the little “As Advertised” sign to see the regular retail price and I was shocked. Well, not shocked, but certainly disappointed. It said (drum roll please)….. $14.99. Yep. It was the exact same price under that “As Advertised” sign.

Gotcha!

I guess if it was on sale, the sign would have read “sale price”. But that’s how they get you. I was about to stock up on several packs of razors I thought were on sale. Good thing I looked. I really wanted to boycott razor buying at that point, but my legs needed a shave badly. And I can’t boycott Target because I’m addicted.

But I can be a more savvy shopper. Sometimes I’m in such a hurry I don’t question the BOGO (buy one get one free) deals. But I’m sure there have been times when I’ve paid double the retail price on one to make up for the free item I’m getting. Not anymore. Unless, of course, it’s a beauty emergency.

American Cancer Society Orchid City Ball

There aren’t many things that upset me more than seeing a child suffering. Last night, I met two special and very brave children who have been through more in the past few years than most people have to go through in a lifetime. Brianna Curry and Joe Joe Matuella and their mothers, Dawn and Suzanne were special guests at the American Cancer Society’s Orchid City Ball last night at Trump International. The entire room was in tears as Suzanne told the emotional story of her son’s battle with leukemia. He’s fought it twice so far and won. Joe Joe is 12. Brianna is only 8 years old and is fighting brain cancer.

Neil Saffer, Brain cancer survivor Brianna Curry, and Suzanne Boyd

At the end, auctioneer Neil Saffer led the crowd in a “ROCK call” – asking guests for donations to help send kids like Joe Joe and Brianna to a special ROCK (Reaching Out to Cancer Kids) camp. The children spend a week in Eustis, Florida riding horses, playing games, swimming, woodworking and just basically forgetting about their disease for a short time.

Joe Joe and Brianna meeting Donald Trump

It was a generous audience. But St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara put everything into perspective when he stood up and asked guests to imagine what it would be like to have a child with cancer, then asked them to raise their hands and donate if their child did not have the disease. Nearly everyone raised their placard.

Two Flat Tires in One Day

I got two busted tires today. At the same time.

Here’s how it went down. Returning from a trip to Tar-jhay with my 19-month-old. He’s hungry, he’s tired and I’m trying to get home as quickly as possible. I turn around to console him and…. WHAM! Curb. It was a big frickin’ curb, too. You should see the gaping holes in my front *AND* rear passenger-side tires. I think the rims might be damaged, as well.

So I called my husband and said I had good and bad news. The good news, you ask? We have insurance. TGIF.

Wonder Woman

I am obsessed with Wonder Woman.

As a child, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up — I would tell you Wonder Woman. I never missed an episode of the TV series with Linda Carter (I have the entire collection on DVD).   And I used to lasso my younger brother in the back yard with my magic rope while dressed in a leotard, boots and tin foil wrapped around my wrist. Yes, I also had Wonder Woman underoos. But who didn’t?

My Idol

When I was about 7 or 8,  we had a fall festival at my small school and it included a costume contest. Guess what my costume was? It wasn’t very impressive. It was one of those plastic jumpsuit-looking things from Kmart that had the Wonder Woman look painted on the front. But I thought I was Wonder Woman! I was so excited for everyone to see me.

And then it happened. She showed up. I can’t even remember her name, but she was a year younger than me and she looked just like Linda Carter. Long, black hair. Perfect skin. And the costume? Her mom sewed her the exact replica of Wonder Woman’s outfit: the bustier, the starry bloomers, she even had the perfect boots. I couldn’t compete. I was devastated.

 I’ll never forget that day when I realized I wasn’t Wonder Woman.  It ranks up there as one of the most disappointing days of my life. But, as a mom, I realize it’s okay for your children to be disappointed. They need to learn that life doesn’t always turn out the way you want it. Sometimes there’s a better Wonder Woman out there.

But if you work hard and set your mind to it  — you can have it one day. I’ll give you one guess about what’s hanging in my closet right now. The best damn Wonder Woman costume you’ve ever seen.

Honkgate

I don’t have many pet peeves. But unnecessary honking really gets my goad. There are reasons cars were given horns. Someone is backing into you – you honk. Someone is veering into your lane – you honk. Someone is not moving fast enough at a green light – well…. let’s talk about that.

I was stopped at a red light the other day with my 5-year-old daughter in the backseat. We were headed to her ballet class. Next thing I know, the driver behind me is laying on his horn. This was not a gentle tap. This was a full-on honk! I was so startled I jumped in my seat.

The light had *just* turned green. In fact, my brain hadn’t even had time to tell my foot to get off the brake, before this crotchety man decided I needed to get moving. I have no doubt his hand was on his horn ready to honk once he saw the light turn.

Now — there are two extremes to handling a situation like this. You can do the adult thing and move on or you can go all road rage on the guy. I’m embarrased to say, I reacted somewhere in between. I started to feel the anger move up my gut and into my throat. And as if he could hear me, I screamed at the man. Then, threw my hands up and just sat there with my foot on the brake. Real mature, I know.

In my fit of anger, I had forgotten my daughter was in the back seat. And it wasn’t until she said, “Mommy, what’s wrong?” — that I realized how stupid I was being. What was I thinking? Granted, the only weapon this man looked like he was carrying was a cane, but that’s not the point.

The way we react to a difficult situation can be the difference between it ending well and ending very badly. After leaving my foot on the brake for an extra 5 seconds (I really let him have it!), I continued on to my daughter’s ballet class. And he to his early bird special.

FHP campaigns are designed to remind us all to be responsible. I learned my lesson that day. I wonder if he learned his.

Florida Highway Patrol has a campaign for everything these days. There’s “Click it or Ticket” to encourage drivers to wear their seat belts. “Operation Safe Ride” targets aggressive drivers and “Over the Limit. Under Arrest” for drunk driving . But I would like to propose a new campaign for those drivers who think their horn is an extension of their mouth — “Think before you Beep”.