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Are we a Social Networking or Media Addict or Just Social?

I am a social person.  Media you mean?  Yes but we could be both.

I started using YouTube back in 2008 (at least that's my earliest uploads) and using Facebook about 2008 and creating a page for my work and connecting counselor - back aboard USS Nimitz using Facebook in 2010.

Up to now.

It's been a roller coaster of travel bragging and multiple check-ins on Facebook, oversharing of places and food on Instagram and most recently my weekly meetups with fellow entrepreneurs around Coastal Virginia (aka. Tidewater or Hampton Roads - I am a proponent to change it to Coastal Virginia but that is another "social" topic).

July 29 Networking by Maggie Portraits
Social media can be use to reinforce our face to face social activity by being yourself and not being too overly critical on "how should I approach her for a selfie?", "will it invade his privacy?", "am I too conceited to take a selfie with anyone?"

Of course, for ethical reason and courtesy - we need to use all our senses and catch the perfect time to take an Instagram or a FB Live.  Do you do it on church while on worship?  Do you wave your phone around all those people you don't know?
Selfie with fellow entrepreneurs

Those questions always come everytime you turn on your camera on a social event.  Just remember to be observant and don't use the camera or social media for our own self gain but for encouraging and connecting and inspiring other people.  We cannot please every GenX nor millennials or baby boomers but I will try to do what is pleasing to me and specially complimenting to my neighbors. If it's embarrassing myself could be pleasing and inspiring to others, why not (or the other way around - which is mostly the case).

That is how I social.  Am I social addict?  Well if it is a compliment, I can take it.

Here is a playlist of some "Real" Social Networking events I have attended and captured to share and connect with others.  Are they all pleased?  maybe.  Do we all look like normal people - using different senses to connect and reconnect with each other?  I would like to think so and I hope it helps our community.

You can click the Social Page menu bar on your left to connect and social with Mvoss Creation or myself.

Lets Go! Back to the Community but Be Aware. My quick random thoughts on the Pokemon Go Fad

Unless I have tried something I would not comment anything about it. But before that let me describe this game in two sentences.

Pokemon Go is a smartphone game application that uses the camera, GPS and data (or WiFi) to track hundreds of Pokemon Characters embedded visually in your camera (like the photo here, that I shot last night).  You then swipe the red & white ball that you collected from sponsored establishments within the area and when you hit those Pokemon characters you gain certain scores and levels.

For the first time, I actually tried it last night and reach level 4 of Pokemon Go and played along with dozens of local people in my community in downtown Virginia Beach last night and here are my Pro-Con thoughts as a business owner, father and community member.

In Defense:

1. It’s an amazing way to get back to the community and start talking. We met diverse group of strangers (mostly teens and some open minded adults) and simply asking where did you see Picachu started a conversation that could have led to being normal human being again: talking with people.

2. It was a good half a mile walk seeing different site from my community again. Not only did I have a chance to walk after a big heavy meal at PF Chang but able to entertain myself losing some calories.

3. I was able to bond with my 12-year-old son searching for Squirtle and got excited calling me that he found Picachu (that could catapult me to level 5) in the corner of Virginia Beach Blvd.

4. It’s good for the economy and business by boosting visitation on establishments to gain more Pokemon balls (weapons to hit or catch a Pokemon).

5. It’s a free mobile game except for data usage and unless you purchase certain levels to advance. It cost me $500 when I first got the Wii Console then several games and where is it now? This activity has little investment.


1. It is dangerous when kids get into it and forget their surroundings on predators and those with bad malice to do harm on kids or teens.

2. Safety hazard for drivers and commuters for obvious reason.

3. Lost touch from actual use of telephone: to communicate. This includes rapid loss of battery or data. Also data usage for those who have limited services.

4. Time spent on running around catching Pokemon could be time well spent on reading, quiet time for spiritual renewal and other more productive activities.

5. Haters from those highly opinionated folks - who are against it and “kill joys”.  This creates division from those who can afford to play and those who have no time to play.

Are you for or against it?  I know most people will say moderation is always good but where is the fun of it when you become passionate about it?  I would say Go! for it, try it (it's good for Nintendo stockholders now up by $70 Billion and economy) and then you have the right to say something about it.

Photos were taken last night at Virginia Beach Town Center (downtown) after I first tried Pokemon Go! and our Fair Winds and Farewell Dinner for a friend visiting us from the Philippines in beautiful Virginia Beach.

Unlearning my Military Traits (Skills I Learned Part 2)

There is no doubt that my 23 years in the military have contributed satisfaction and success in my current business, career and family life.  But I continue to learn and unlearn as I move on to meet the daily challenges of my advancement as entrepreneur and human relationship.

I believe these hawkish traits I learned in the Navy continues to block some of those potentials I could have as an entrepreneur but it also (borderline) helping me succeed in some areas of my life.

1.  Being myself versus Being uni-form.  Being open and not worrying about what other people or boss/subordinates (chain of command) thinks of me are two edges sword.  It delays my growth when I constantly watching what I say or do.  For over 20 years, I have to follow certain rules then hold some of my emotions to conform to my team (or squadron).

2.  Structured Life versus Open Life.  I have to rely on certain orders and follow the back and white orders of things.  Military must follow written instructions with certain levels of repercussions if not followed.  That "fear" continues to flow in my "vein" to structure my daily grind.

3.  Hierarchy of Things versus Out of the Box.  Enlisted personnel have to follow the Chiefs (non-commissioned officers) dictates and Chiefs have to obey the direction of their officers.  In the business world, we still have to follow our boss but millennials and recent decade’s business trends illustrates the equal power of all levels of chain of command that is always open to new ideas without having to go through various red tapes.

4.  Risk Taking versus Unorthodox Practices.  I remember in many occasions I have to follow exact checklist on how to fix things in ships or else you are gundecking or not following procedures.  We were not even allowed to do a bungee jump on certain port visits or try the untested.  Every time I have to climb my roof or walls at home, there is that voice of my chief or commander that tells me I am not following safety procedures after over dozens of safety briefs I have attended.

5.  Positional Authority versus Leadership Respect.  Most cases in my business or on my last 2 years as civilian, I can conclude that true leadership is earned by deeds alone rather than title or rank.  While in the Navy, most are considered a leader by default if you wear a uniform that shows the higher rank or with the most ribbons.  In the military, you are seen inferior or superior based solely (in many cases) in how many stars or crows or bars or how squared away your uniforms are or how shiny your boots are.

6. Clear Cut versus Fair Trade.  As a Navy chief (non-commissioned officer or E7 and have earned the title for life) I know exactly what my benefits and privileges are.  I get paid exactly the same amount if I just do my job and follow the rules.  Also, everything that we do in the military are clear-cut out for us (see cartoon) in most cases - elementary level.  In the world of business, I have to earn every minute and hour to get a fair trade in negotiation or business deals.  I did not work as hard now compared to while I was in the military career BUT I enjoyed every minute I spend in my business and trade that I chose to make a living.  That spoon feeding mentality I learned in the military will not work in the world of entrepreneur.  

I still believe that the behaviors I learned in the military outweighs the negative as I continue to balance these "individual traits" as needed depending on situations.

As veterans, we should be open to learning from both the lower and higher ranks.  In most cases, as civilian now, I learn a lot from the success of those who typically stayed less in the military (6 years or less) than those who stayed over 22 years - who continues to withhold into job security (rather than take risk and grow) and felt more comfortable into the above traits I mentioned.

The worst thing a veteran like myself can do is continue to hold into that 20 years of military experience or clutch into that prestigious rank and privilege we “earned” even though that uniform has been hanged already but continues to be trapped and flaunt our eagles, stars or anchors and try to  influence others using the gleams of our collared devices.

20 Entrepreneurial and Leadership Skills I Learned in the Military for 23 Years (Part 1)

I could've entitled this 23 skills I learned from my actual 23 years but 20 is from me and I would like to hear the 3 from you. What have you learned in your previous career (not necessarily military) that you have learned or unlearned from those past life that you will continue to do or never do it again?  Here are 5 of the 20 enterprising skills and leadership abilities I learned and use now as owner of a growing small business company.

1. Resilience - As a 23 year Navy veteran, I was structured to do all my duties and finish them in short notice and be able to recover quickly even if there is a personal issue going on such as when I have to leave my 3 month old son with my wife who happens to care for my mom's fragile health as well. Although there is a limited family support group the military can provide, there is no excuse in accomplishing a mission - I have to recover quickly from difficulties.
In my two years as entrepreneur - toughness and difficulties dealing with deadline and customers is important in order to meet our return of investment.

2. Multi-Tasking. This is a double edged sword because I can be unfocused on one task from another but when things go south, we have to be ready to do more than one task. Apart from my main duty in the Navy as career counselor for squadrons from ships onboard USS Lincoln and USS Nimitz and Military Sealift Command I was also given a major task as supervisor for administration personnel, compartment and spaces of Air Wing spaces for 2,000 personnel, Equal Opportunity Manager, training and educational officer and even Drug and Alcohol and Sexual Assault programs.
I learned to managed my time wisely and seeking the help of my fellow Chiefs (these are my Navy colleagues on almost equal rank who passionately look out for each other) in order to move on and prioritize what is important and what needs to be done right away.

In business, it is important to be knowledgeable in many areas, for example, in case something happens in my website I will be able to tweak or monitor small errors or find the best one who can do the job. Also, I can still run multiple Facebook and Instagram pages while I am sending email to my clients or waiting for clients a coffee shop. I am also an independent certified Career Counselor that needs timely response.

3. Courage. Many have said that public speaking is the major fear (than snakes) because we don't know what is going to happen during those talk. But I believe it is the "going" into the unknown is the number one fear of everyone. In the Navy, we are all given a task to conduct training once a month on average - whatever your job is. Speaking to public, doing a task that I have no experience, being volunteered to go to a rescue mission in Indonesia, shooting an M-16 or Mortars, leaving your love ones - are just some of the fearful things I did that I learned to embrace while I was a First Class at VAW 116 and twice at the Seabee battalion Five and Forty.

As owner of Mvoss Creation LLC and multiple social media sites, I courageously (some would awkwardly say stupid) conduct public speaking, create untried marketing strategy and post a video of me lip-singing Seven Years on our Instagram page. These moments that I think outside the box or go against the "rule" gets me business and big contract deals in a month.

4. Bootstrapping. Cash is not just the lifeblood of every business but everybody. Loans or investment are critical in business but during the beginning of my business we use the most of what we have instead buying or borrowing. Lately, the Navy learned how to recycle but during deployment out to sea where access to all the convenience are very limited, we learn to use a dirty blanket to sweep the floor, use coffee filter to wipe sensitive equipment, use the smallest space into something very useful and other hacks or DIY (Do It Yourself).

When Mvoss Creation LLC (a small promotional branding company me and Myla created) just started with our first trade show, we have a very limited budget, we were able to use my son's flat screen TV, some thrift store picture frames to put our flat promotional products and dollar tree items like clips. We pulled it and had a sophisticated booth and gained few followers and new clients.

5. Lifetime Learning. All Navy personnel are required to have a monthly training on their field besides the six or ten annual General Military Training. I have completed some of my college and post-graduate studies using tuition assistance as well. These training not only keeps the Navy updated but helps us Sailors get promoted, minimize our job error but also transition well later in our career.
As an entrepreneur, risk is inevitable but it can be minimize by educating ourselves. I am still a student (completing my PhD in Human Services) and continuously taking courses through Linda (an online course through LinkedIn, it is free for the first 12 months for veterans), Udemy, Coursera and other opportunities learning HTML, graphic design and public speaking through Toastmasters and Dale Carnegie or even informal workshops in our local community or DIY social media sites.
Never stop learning and never stop sharing what you have learned.

I could keep all these five items as my trade secret for the past two years as a business owner but I chose to share it because I know that it will bring me back support and comments that I can learn too. I am sure there is more than twenty (depending on how open minded you are or your willingness to learn) that I have absorbed from the military and so on my next 15 skills, I would like to get your input and share your story on it as I talk my next 15 on my next blog. Here is a preview on the rest of the 15 enterprising and leadership skills I learned from the Navy:

6. Stay and Look Healthy or you're out
7. Be a Team Player but Lead
8. Copy and Paste but personalized it (Apple, Microsoft, Toyota - they all did)
9. Sponsor and Mentor someone
10. Don't Shortcut (or in the Navy, it's called Gundecking)
11. You are Late when You come in on Time (always be in your appointment 15 minutes early)
12. Wake up Early or Else (in the Navy ship, you miss the shower time, the donut, and the omelet)
13. Meeting is not always in a Boardroom (we do it in passageway every Monday)
14. Attention to Detail (From haircut to creases in your uniform)
15. Always respect your Boss and everyone else (Never disrespect your customers)
16. Use your power to Influence (Ranking has privileges to do good)
17. Don’t break the structure but always improvise
18. Use your leverage (hookup and mafia mentality)
19. Be patient to change and wait (change is constant on deployments and lots of waiting)
20. It’s an Adventure (enjoy your port calls while you’re in it)

On the other side, there are also habits and traits I gained from the military that I would never continue to do wherein I will be drafting next could be contentious or may touch some nerves of those who practice these not-so-recommended traits for more than 20 or worst 30 years in the military that does not work in the civilian and millennial community of where some of us continues to struggle, survive or succeed.  I will show you the preview in a photo below - not necessarily true but just for laughs.

Remember whether you are a veteran or not, everything you did  - fail or succeed in doing from mopping to leading becomes a value of you, learn from it and move on like Liam Neeson here:

How To Win Friends and Influence People (Presentation to Trusted Compass Business Network)

I was honored to be asked last week to present a 20 minute presentation on a 12 week course on Dale Carnegie's Human Relationship principles held at Cypress Point Country Club in Virginia Beach last Friday.  Here are 30 principles written word by word from How To Win Friends and Influence People.  I will do another brief on the 28th April at Peking International Restaurant in Hampton Virginia at noon via Trusted Compass - a Christian Business Network publisher of Shepherd's Guide.
  1. Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager need or want.
  4. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  5. Smile.
  6. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  8. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  9. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
  10. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  11. Show respect for other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
  12. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  13. Begin in a friendly way.
  14. Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
  15. Let the other person do a a great deal of the talking.
  16. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
  17. Try honestly to see things from the other persons point of view.
  18. By synthetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
  19. Appeal to the other nobler motives.
  20. Dramatize your ideas.
  21. Throw down a challenge.
  22. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  23. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
  24. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
  25. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  26. Let the other person save face.
  27. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your appreciation and lavish in your praise.”
  28. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
  29. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
  30. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

    To get the real essence and use these principles with more accountability, click this Dale Carnegie principles to get more information on how to have the 12 Week Dale Carnegie training course

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