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Melissa Dawn Johnson

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The LOL Effect: Loving Out Loud

Posted: 05/03/11 08:46 PM ET

Admit it: there are things in your life that you can't live without. My Jack LaLanne Juicer, daily gym time, prayer meditation, Carmex and MacBook Pro are brands and experiences that I run to again and again. I confess, sometimes it feels like a secret obsession.

For you, it may be your innocent addiction to Twitter (wink), those delectable cupcakes from the corner bakery or your favorite NBA team in the playoffs. Isn't it interesting how we all have something in our lives that has captured our affection?

Today, I challenge us to embrace what I call the LOL Effect: loving out loud.

I've heard it said that people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. The essence of the brandtastic life is that we are living on purpose and making our own authentic mark every day. Your brand is a promise of your authentic value. One important way to deliver on your promise is through sharing the LOL Effect.

When we reach a level of devotion, the feelings are so strong that we can't help but tell someone about it. It goes viral. The impact of a viral message is that it becomes a movement, and suddenly people who never met, who don't share the same experiences, are speaking in one common language.

Now, the one place where most people get the LOL Effect right is at a funeral. We know how to "love out loud" when our loved ones are gone. We mail cards, share flowers, send email blasts and make phone calls that we didn't seem to have the time to do when the person was alive.

Why is it easier to love out loud for products, things and places than it is for genuine relationships with people we value?

Is it because we assume they already know? Do we get too busy in our own life affairs to take the time to share? Or maybe, we never got the memo. No one shared the LOL Effect with us, so in turn we didn't pass along the message.

I am an advocate for turning the LOL Effect into a movement. The other day on Twitter I told my followers a simple tip for the day: "Lift someone up when you are feeling down... it is the best medicine."

Today's challenge is to find someone with whom to share the LOL Effect. The good news is that it is free, easy and can make a major difference in the world. This allows us the time to show our appreciation for those who have helped us along the way. Haven't they won our devotion? Didn't they sacrifice to be there in a time of crisis? Didn't they earn your trust?

Here are a few ways you can get in on the LOL Effect this week:

  1. Substitute kindness: Make a commitment to give a word of encouragement even when you may want to criticize. On the job or in your relationship, find ways to share what you appreciated this week from a co-worker, spouse or family member. Sometimes it may be difficult, but the more you practice, the stronger you will become.
  2. Just because: Sometimes we feel that we need a reason to reach out to those in our network. A client recently told me that her husband takes 15 minutes during his commute to call three to five people in his phone each day just to share the LOL Effect and not ask for anything. By the end of the year he will have reached hundreds of people in his network. Watch how the LOL Effect always comes back to you.
  3. Random acts of love: Find unexpected ways to pass the LOL Effect to people you may meet in the elevator or taxi, or even to your waitress. This is the greatest way to show appreciation, with a simple smile, thank you or compliment on how well they are doing their job. These unexpected opportunities are great ways to create a new habit.

Simply sharing the LOL Effect with someone whom you appreciate, admire and respect can make all the difference. It can be as simple as sending a tweet, posting a Facebook message, leaving a voicemail, sharing over dinner or sending a handwritten note. The amazing thing about the LOL Effect is that it doesn't cost anything and can make an invaluable impact in someone's life while making your mark every single day. Make this week brandtastic!

 
 
 

Follow Melissa Dawn Johnson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/brandmelive