Crush Your Goals With Daily Metrics

Crush Your Goal With Daily Metrics

You successfully established a goal that will help you achieve the desired outcome, you set a timeline, and you chose the device to measure the activity towards the goal.

Congratulations! Now its time to analyze the results to see how you crushed your goal.

Hit Your Metrics & Crush Your Goal

As a salesperson, you make countless dials a day to hit your sales goal. If you don’t hit your sales goal at the end of the month, do you see a correlation to the amount of sales calls or meetings you held?

As a customer service agent, you answer the call quickly as a part of making the experience effortless for the customer. When there are long hold times, do you notice the customer may be a little less tolerable than preferred?

As a manager, you monitor these numbers to track the success of your team to ultimately improve and support the best customer experience. When the numbers don’t match your ideal goals, do you see impact to the customer experience metric?

Our personal behaviors are just like our business habits. Our daily data will help keep us in line to our long term objective.

Learning Experience

As a healthy individual, you track your steps, calories, heartbeat, and laps in the pool to achieve your desired outcome.

  • Did you meet the goal consistently?

  • What tactics did you find most effective?

  • What areas can you improve for next time?

  • Does the short term goal line up to final objective?

When I successfully burn over 2200 calories a day, I expect it will help with my ultimate objective to have a healthy balance of muscle quality. When you are able to see daily success, it makes the goal seem more achievable vs. setting goal to improve muscle quality.

I now introduce the SKULPT 

Forget about weight and BMI. Focus on quality of your muscle. We are all different. Let’s embrace the differences and work towards our own personal health goals. I have not tried this device yet, but am really excited. I don’t care about what food I eat. I want to eat whatever. I want to be active and healthy. There is a balance.

What daily goal did you set to help with long term objective? I would love to hear from you.

Yours Truly


Choose Your Wearable With This Personal Shopping Guide

Device Personal Shopper: At Your Service

Now that you have set your goal, established a timeline, you are ready to choose the device that will help you effectively hit your goal - balance fitness with fashion and communications.

The wearables market expands to different categories: Apparels & Textiles, Devices (mainly conventional technology), and Allied Subjects (typically carried, not worn). This post will focus specifically on devices that enable you to track your movement through apps and connection to  phone or pc. You may need to use a few devices if the wearable does not have an option for your activity. I suggest choosing one application or wearable to be the source of truth for your data metrics.

My original 6 device comparison expanded to 33… In a previous post, I shared that limiting customer choice increases sales by 600%. The Paradox of Choice. People have a hard time making a choice when there are too many options. The magic number for optimum choice is between 1 and 6.

One of the methods I shared to limit choice is through ‘Personal Service’. I was your Personal Shopper to limit the wearables into categories that makes sense to your lifestyle: Fashion, Fitness, or Both. Hopefully this helps make it easier for you to choose the right device.

My favorites in each category as shown in flowchart:

  • Fashion: Mica Smart Bracelet for Women & Michael Bastian for Ben
  • Swimming w/ Screen Status: Garmin Vivo Active
  • Swimming w/ No Status: Withings Activite
  • Keep it Simple: Mira Bracelet for Women & FitBit Charge for Men
  • Heart Rate: FitBit Surge - *note devices in swimming and communication columns may also monitor heart rate. This column is strictly for devices that do NOT have communication capabilities.
  • iOS and/or Android: Apple iWatch
  • Android Specific: Samsung Gear S

 Which is your favorite? What will you choose to track your goal?

Yours Truly


Next Step: Beat Personal Goals With A Set Time For Your Wearables

Set your Timeline

At work, we use a tool called Halogen to track our quarterly goals. There is a process to enter them, review with your team and manager, and rate them… Personal goals are no different than business goals; however, you are your own boss. You pick the timeline that will make your goal achievable. Set yourself up for success.

Since you may not want to be married to your wearables, it will be okay to stop wearing it, or choose to continue once the time is up and you start your next goal. It is a decision to make at the time you choose.

This is step two of four. Catch up to the series: 

Device Dilemma

I admit, I am not likely to wear a Nike Fuel band or this Fit Bit for the rest of my life. Actually, I only wore the Fit Bit for one week to track my sleep patterns. When it told me I only slept 2 hours with 250+ minutes of being restless and 8 hours in bed, I began to wonder why I sleep so poorly…

Is there something wrong with me? I changed different variables of caffeine, wine, and exercise without ever getting more than 3 and half hours of sleep each night out of consistent 7-8 hours in bed.

Level Set

One night I borrowed my boyfriends newer version of the Fit Bit to sleep one night since his kept saying 6 hours… I admired his ability to have quality sleep. Well, his Fit Bit said I slept 6 hours! I wore my Fit Bit for a only a few more days. Since I started to wear it to see how well I slept, my Fit Bit time was up. The problem is that I still don’t know which one was right… nor did I establish a goal and set timeline BEFORE I started wearing the device.

On a positive Pollyanna note, my challenge with the Nike Fuel Band was keeping it charged - the Fit Bit has nice push notifications on my iPhone and emails to inform me the battery is running low. They have orchestrated their customer journey to help them use the product more effectively.

Take Control

I have successfully established my Key Performance Indicator of burning more than 2200 calories per day. It is an achievable daily goal. If I burn over 2200 calories per day combined with a normal diet as suggested on the food labels, there will be positive results. Of course, it needs to be done consistently for a long enough period of time.

I will commit to use the same wearable to track my goal for 1 month. This series of posts is specific to taking control of your wearables. In the end, eating right and consistent exercise need to be a way of life. Set goals that can remain as habits after your time is up.

I would love to hear your feedback and experience with setting time frames for personal goals. 

Stay tuned for the next post reviews on several wearables and my pick. 

Yours Truly,


My personal goal was to complete the race as it was my first triathlon and second race. My finish time was 7:14:46, ranking 91 out of 125. Next race I will set a new goal.

My personal goal was to complete the race as it was my first triathlon and second race. My finish time was 7:14:46, ranking 91 out of 125. Next race I will set a new goal.

Mixed Up In Wearables? Your First Step To Getting Them Right

Establish Key Performance Indicators

I am prepared to take control of my wearables instead of wasting money and watching them collect dust. The first of four steps is to ‘Establish Your Key Performance Indicator(s)’. You will notice that each of the steps can apply to your personal wearable devices and business initiatives.

Read the intro to this 4 step guidance, Lost In Your Wearables And Devices.

We all know, ‘What Gets Measured Gets Managed’ unless you measure it without a goal and end up just watching some silly numbers with no meaning.

Maintain Your Focus

Establish your KEY initiatives related to your area of focus. Don’t get stuck in the weeds or try to juggle too many at once. If so, you may lose focus or give up entirely. Look at the details when you want to plan tactics to meet the KPI and analyze how and why you are seeing certain results.

Small Rolls Up to Big

Start small and work towards the greater goal. It is easier to stay motivated on a daily basis while you crush your targets. As you achieve your small goals, you will better understand what to target for long term objectives. 

Based on the short time that I wore my Fit Bit, I typically burn about 1800 calories based on my weight, height, and age. It automatically gives me 1259 calories per day, so 10K steps per day and basic activity adds around 500 calories. On a day that I attended two pilates classes (which are not aerobic…), my Fit Bit said 2200 calories. My KPI needs to stretch my “Standard” activity levels so I can continue eating pizza.

Since this post series is about wearables, my KPI is to ‘Burn over 2200 calories per day’.

Create The Tactics

In order to meet your target KPI, you need to come up with an action plan. What tactics will you use to hit the target?

My tactics to burn over 2200 calories per day:

  • Walk over 10K steps

  • Take the stairs at work (7th floor)

  • Walk one subway station further

  • Physically express my love

  • Exercise

Now that I shared my KPI to improve the effectiveness of my wearables, what is yours? I would love to hear from you.

If you are having a challenge, check out a few sources for goal setting

Stay tuned for the next post with step 2 of 4 to help you take control of your wearables.

Yours Truly,


Lost In Your Wearables And Devices

For a work health program, I released all the personal data about my blood, weight, and fat to support lower healthcare costs. Anything for a free Fit Bit, right? Not exactly, I actually just wanted to know my fat percentage.

I got to add my Fit Bit on the shelf with the other wearables. I could not even get rid of my Nike Fuelband at my stoop sale. My iPhone tracks my steps and a million other activities if I choose. I use RunKeeper to track running, biking, and swimming patterns. This Fit Bit is just another device for me to either forget to charge or lose it all together.

That was it! I stopped using the Nike Fuelband because I forgot to charge it one day so all my metrics were off.  The data was now bad. You can’t use bad data to track an initiative. In all reality, there is no motivation since I am an active person in general and don’t have problems with my ability to take steps.

Fast forward a few months. My boyfriend bought the new version of the Fit Bit so I shared my reasons why I had yet another device collecting dust on the dresser, followed by saying  “I should write a post on why wearables are not good for type A personalities…” Or, the alternative positive spin is "to determine how type A folks can get the best results out of wearables".

Too many devices, which to choose, which to use...  The same problem exists in a business environment. We need to choose the right application or tool to track our defined initiative. Lucky for us, it is normally someone’s job to manage the server so charging is likely not a problem.

I have been slacking in the exercise department since the Half Ironman last August. Since writing something down increases likelihood to achieve goals by 42% and sharing with others by 75%, I will share my own journey of 4 steps to figure out how to best use my wearables. 

Hint: I may need to get a new one to meet my goals. Stay tuned for the post on choosing the device to track your progress. 

Thanks in advance! :) Did I say I was a bit competitive too? I bet if you share your journey along with me, we will both succeed. 

Which wearables and tracking devices do you use? What is your strategy?

Truly Yours,


Motivate Winning Teams Through Perspective Training

In my last post, 'Walk In Their Shoes To Create Better Relationships And Teams', I shared the the power of learning perspective and truly connecting to people. Here is a personal story of the success I had with perspective training.

While managing the service delivery and support teams at Geckotech, I held weekly training sessions on soft skills, positive tone, team building, and such. It was a great way learn how to better service customers, carefully navigate difficult conversations, and truly understand each other as a team.

First comes the struggles

As a team, we were very good at meeting the customer deadline; however, there were times we struggled to keep all members of the team on 'Happy Street'. During those times, there were some heroic efforts of rushing each other to make that target date. If you provide a great customer experience while breaking your back or harming the team, the result is not ideal. I want win/win/win - customers/employees/vendors!

Then the opportunity

I asked what motivates them to drive reward programs that aligned with each person. We are all motivated in different ways because of our own perspectives. When we understand the perspectives of others, we can connect to the ‘root cause’ of the behaviors. My goal was to motivate them to provide the best customer experience AND team experience. 

To learn and improve

After learning the motivation of the team, I created a points program that could be exchanged for gifts (some people prefer gift to money so they don’t feel the need to spend on bills…), credit card (obvious reasons), or time off (for those with kids that often had to take more time off on school holidays, for example). The points were awarded for the 'Ideal' and 'Above and Beyond' behaviors. It was not a replacement for doing normal daily activities.

Working together

One way ‘The Team’ could jointly earn points was after each new customer implementation. The team had a customer install target date along with internal milestones that aligned to the ideal time to complete the work required in each role. The best score for the implementation was awarded when All Dates AND Key Performance Indicators were met. If the team only met the install target date to make the customer happy, it was not enough. They needed to meet the internal dates to make everyone happy. If one date was missed, it added extra pressure to other roles - which is not working together.

To create the ideal win/win/win

At the end, each person completed a survey on ‘THEIR PERSPECTIVE’ of the implementation. We had a review meeting to discuss the results. It was a great exercise for the team to learn the perspectives of each role. In the end, it made the team respect one another more and work better together to provide the best customer experience. 

Yours Truly



Walk In Their Shoes To Create Better Relationships And Teams

Walk In Their Shoes To Create Better Relationships And Teams

If you have seen ‘50 Shades of Grey’, it is a great example of understanding how different events shape our life and behaviors.

Now on to the story. 

I read the book 3 Laws of Performance several years ago. It is a great lesson on situational leadership, connecting to your team, and breaking personal and professional barriers. The stories in the book are eye opening and amazing! While the book has several other key messages that are important, the motivation for this article is understanding perspective and how you can create better relationships and teams through 'Walking In Their Shoes'.

Mastering customer service, among other areas in life, requires understanding the psychology of people. It is truly caring about what drives behavior for your customers, employees, peers, and others. It is not Rocket Science that being authentic and creating a personal relationship is what people desire. It is also learning the subconscious, the unknown, and the events that shape how we live our lives. It is learning and connecting to perspectives.

I continue to use this approach in both professional and personal relationships. On a personal note, I can think of several events that have shaped who I am today. There is not one specific event that sticks out, which is probably true to most of you. It is how you approach the events with yourself and others that can make a difference in performance. 

In the next post, I will share a personal story about how I used perspective training to improve the performance and relationship with my team.

I would love to hear your story. 

  • Have you ever thought of perspective training within your organization?
  • Do you take the time to authentically connect to your team, customers, and friends to relate?
  • Have you had any breakthroughs from asking the right questions to understand the ‘root cause’ of someone’s behavior?

If you have not tried to truly understand the perspective of others before making a judgement, gossiping, or other getting upset, give it a try! I bet you will have a new perspective and a happier moment.

Yours Truly,

The Pukka Panda

5 Tips to Shine... #5 Be A Flip Flopper: Keep Change Constant

Be a Flip Flopper: Mix up your daily routine to keep your brain active

One of my peers at work told me that I have the ability to light up any room. The light comes from the inside and shines through confidence, being genuine and caring, and staying positive with a smile.

We all have heard the phrase - beauty is skin deep, it’s who you are on the inside that truly matters. Here are some tips to save valuable time and money, while you let your inner beauty shine.

Take this for what it is worth… When I say ‘be a flip flopper’, I mean don’t get stuck in the same daily routine.

When we are stuck on ‘auto-pilot’ we are doing things subconsciously. Keep your brain active by practicing methods for sparking creativity.  Know when to kick the bad habits - which can include the daily routines and ‘auto pilot’ monotony that unwittingly stifle creativity - and learn how to pick up new ones that will enhance your well-being and productivity.  If you’re in a negative rut, make the conscious choice to ‘flip flop’ to a positive one.

Here is a story of a friend and vendor who is a partner in crime for an authentic and positive lifestyle - and an inspiration for this tip.

He and I share a love for operations and process so we immediately connected the first time we met. Our minds were always spinning on how we could leverage and optimize our processes. During a visit a few years ago, he was so kind to pick me up at the Cincinnati airport. When I got in the car, I noticed he had a beard, which was not his ‘normal’ look…  

He began to explain that he often changes his daily routine in order to mix up the subconscious.  He first learned this technique that I labeled 'Flip Flopping' during his training as a young Marine, and successfully continues to use them some twenty years later. 

 As he explained it: 

I had this great instructor during my primary occupational training; he was a 25-year Master Gunnery Sergeant (aka ‘Top’), who happened to have a degree in Psychology. I was trained at Landing Force Training Command Pacific (LFTC-PAC), Coronado, CA as a Logistician.

Effective logistics requires stringent adherence to proven SOPs for moving troops and cargo expeditiously, and while utilizing various modes of transportation (air, land and sea) under adverse or frequently changing conditions.

That said, our instructor, ‘Top’, would often admonish: ‘once you are assigned to your duty stations, do NOT become stuck in the rut of “this is the way we always do it”. Instead, remain always flexible to adapting creative approaches when the usual SOP cannot be applied. Be able to change and adapt, or die.’

Top said that in order to stay flexible, we had to both recognize and then make the conscious choice to mix things up when life becomes routine.

What he said next to our class was very intriguing: ‘I want you to try an experiment. The next time you shave and/or brush your teeth, put on your socks and boots, your trousers, etc—I want you to simply use the opposite hand or start on the opposite side.

If you normally put on your right sock first, then start with your left. If you shave from your right side to left, then start on your left side. If you brush your teeth from the left side to right, then switch hands and start on the opposite side. Just pick one habit per day, change it, and then let me know how your day goes from there…’

Well, we followed Top’s direction and the results were interesting. Over the next few days of classes he went around the room to ask about our reactions, and a lot of us reported common experiences: awkwardness, being off-balance, baffled by how much thought went in to (or not) something so basic and, in general, how something as seemingly simple as changing which side of our face we shaved first, somehow affected our perspective on the day ahead. Overall, we agreed that it did have an effect. Top explained this, partly, as the result of invoking and exercising brain hemispheres and states of brainwave (alpha, beta, theta, etc).
— My dear friend

He concluded this history by commenting that he was grateful for the lesson and continues to apply these and other techniques for avoiding the doldrums.   

While developing this article I sent him this link and he replied at once with enthusiasm:  “That’s it- this article explains some of the principles that Top was trying to convey to us so many years ago..!” I appreciate that he helped retell the story from many years ago.

You may think that a few Operations geeks that were so into process would not be fans of change; however, it’s the opposite. We all need to embrace change and creativity to improve how we love, live, and work. When change is constant, it becomes the norm. When we change together, it makes the biggest impact.

 “Your actions determine which direction your life moves in. Therefore, to change the direction in your life, you must change your actions.”

Yours Truly



5 Tips to Shine... #4 Be Active: Exercise your brain and body

Be Active: Exercise your brain and body - with a natural glow

One of my peers at work told me that I have the ability to light up any room. The light comes from the inside and shines through confidence, being genuine and caring, and staying positive with a smile.

We all have heard the phrase - beauty is skin deep, it’s who you are on the inside that truly matters. Here are some tips to save valuable time and money, while you let your inner beauty shine.

Use your extra time from less primping to exercise your brain and body.

If you have a significant other, use your imagination on the best way to glow from the inside out… You may see what ‘look’ is an inspiration for makeup.

Otherwise, a quick workout will do the trick. Don’t over obsess about how much you exercise. Start with a small goal and work towards the larger goal. Even though its tough, you feel a lot better after a good workout. I personally need to get back on this train.

Keep your mind active by reading articles and books on your favorite topics. I love to start my day reviewing my Feedly thread. It is a simple way to keep up on business, technology, and fashion.

Yours Truly



5 Tips to Shine...#3 Be Positive: Show your glow from the inside out

One of my peers at work told me that I have the ability to light up any room. The light comes from the inside and shines through confidence, being genuine and caring, and staying positive with a smile.

We all have heard the phrase - beauty is skin deep, it’s who you are on the inside that truly matters. Here are some tips to save valuable time and money, while you let your inner beauty shine.

Be Positive: Show your glow from the inside out

Start your day with a smile. If you need a kick to get you going, turn on your favorite music. Smiling is contagious so spread the love with others throughout your day. Practice smiling with your eyes, your true smile, "Duchenne smile" or "smizing".

Here is how you Smile With Your Eyes.

Learn the triggers to your authentic smile. 

Smile Trigger Alert: Hilarious Greeting Cards

I have a stack of funny greeting cards in my desk that make me laugh every time I read them! It is amazing how a good laugh can improve your perspective.

The brand is ‘Frank and Funny’

One of my favorites is...

Inside: “Unless you have diarrhea”

Yea, that wasn’t the right joke to pull out in front of kids. On the other hand, try saying the word ‘poop’ when taking pictures of kids. It works really well.

I literally bought almost all of the cards to save for the perfect time and person. You need to be a bit careful on the distribution of them... Check them out and tell me you wouldn't laugh so hard by reading most of them. 

Another way is to simply think of a great moment with friends or family. The mind is pretty powerful for staying positive and healthy. Mind over matter!

Yours Truly


5 Tips To Shine From The Inside Out: #2 Be Confident

One of my peers at work told me that I have the ability to light up any room. The light comes from the inside and shines through confidence, being genuine and caring, and staying positive with a smile.

We all have heard the phrase - beauty is skin deep, it’s who you are on the inside that truly matters. Here are some tips to save valuable time and money, while you let your inner beauty shine.

  • Be Yourself: Embrace the #iwokeuplikethis hashtag (link to 2/23 post)

  • Be Confident: Practice your confident body language and power pose

  • Be Positive: Show your glow from the inside out

  • Be Active: Exercise your brain and body

  • Be a Flip Flopper: Mix up your daily routine to keep your brain active

Be Confident: Practice your confident body language and power pose

Being your authentic self has many benefits including a positive impact to your confidence.

'Self-confidence thrives on authenticity. The more facades you have to keep up, the more lies you need to keep track of, the worse the beating your self-confidence takes.'


Since you gained up to an extra 55 minutes from less primping, use it to practice your confident body language. Be sure to choose a style that is comfortable with a spark of confidence. I personally love to wear the power color red for large presentations. I have a killer dress, pants, and jacket combo I will be sure to share in a future post. I save it for special occasions outside of -5 degrees... 

Check out the powerful presentation delivered by Amy Cuddy:

“Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.”

Yours Truly,


Please take a quick minute to provide some feedback on makeup vs. no makeup.

Introducing Pukka the Panda look #1 - 'It's Business Time with a Smile'

Practice your 'power pose' with 'Pukka' the Panda!

Practice your 'power pose' with 'Pukka' the Panda!

5 Tips To Shine From The Inside Out: #1 Be Yourself

One of my peers and friend at work told me that I have the ability to light up any room. The light comes from the inside and shines through confidence, being genuine and caring, and staying positive with a smile.

We all have heard the phrase - "beauty is skin deep, it’s who you are on the inside that truly matters". Here are 5 tips to let your inner beauty shine while saving valuable time and money. The focus for today is to 'Be Yourself'. Please scroll to the bottom to fill out the survey with your view of natural.

The Stats:

  • 55 minutes: The amount of time the average woman spends primping each day

  • 2 weeks: The amount of time spent per year doing hair and makeup

  • $80 - $150+: The amount of money per visit to the salon for highlights or

  • $15,000: The amount of money women spend on makeup over their lifetime

  • Instantly: The amount of time it takes to be your authentic self

The 5 Tips:

  • Be Yourself: Embrace the #iwokeuplikethis hashtag

  • Be Confident: Practice your confident body language and power pose

  • Be Positive: Show your glow from the inside out

  • Be Active: Exercise your mind and body

  • Be a Flip Flopper: Mix up your daily routine to keep your brain active

Be Yourself: Embrace the #iwokeuplikethis hashtag

I personally prefer no makeup and my natural hair color, which has been my normal routine since I can remember. I prefer to spend the extra time picking out a fun style to match how I feel each day - expect more on this topic.

People become accustomed to seeing us a certain way - either with or without makeup. We each have our own authentic style. If you are more comfortable wearing makeup on a daily basis, perhaps try one day a week without makeup to incorporate as part of your ‘regular style routine’. Next time you need some extra beauty sleep, worry less about how you look since it is part of your regular routine.

I hope the trend of no makeup and un-retouched photos continues to become the norm. See Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, and other models without makeup.

If you don’t believe me: Make up? It's pretty much a waste of time: Natural looks found to be much more important when it comes to how attractive a woman is  

Tell me what you think in this survey or comment below. 

To add some color, I will survey some random strangers in NYC. Stay tuned... 

Yours Truly,


Limit Your Customers Choices To Increase Sales by 600%

Limit your customer choices to increase sales and provide the best customer experience.

In Sheena Iyengar, 'How to Make Choosing Easier' TED Talk,

Over the past decade, we have observed three main negative consequences to offering people more and more choices. They’re more likely to delay choosing — procrastinate even when it goes against their best self-interest. They’re more likely to make worse choices — worse financial choices, medical choices. They’re more likely to choose things that make them less satisfied, even when they do objectively better. The main reason for this is because, we might enjoy gazing at those giant walls of mayonnaises, mustards, vinegars, jams, but we can’t actually do the math of comparing and contrasting and actually picking from that stunning display.
— Sheena Iyengar: TED Talk

Read about her results of 600% sales increase when limiting the jars of jam from 24 to 6. Studies show that the magic number is somewhere between 1 and 6. 

So how do you best limit the options to equal the magic number. Each comes with a different price tag for the business and customer. In fact, we develop new methods and use tools to help us limit the choices so we can make a decision.

4 Methods to Limit Choices

  1. By Product: Business provides a limited amount of product options for customers. They keep it simple for them and the customer.

  2. By Business Design: Business strategy is built around curating the right products for the chosen market. This is often a local boutique approach - whether it is food or clothing, it is applicable.

  3. Technology: Business leverages e-commerce through search results, filters by color, style, etc, big data, or machine learning to limit choices.

  4. Personal Service: Business provides a personal shopping like experience to help in customer choices based on close relationship. Personal shopper or individual stylist.

Working for a technology company with a focus on product and service, I am passionate about the perfect mix based on the customer profile and strategy for a business.

If you are okay with limiting your market or products, the answer could be simple. Once you want to grow the business, a decision must be made on how to help limit the products or services to guide the customer to a purchase. After all, if the business has too many choices, how will it ever achieve market leadership in any them?

While technology options available to enable customer experience span several industries, I am particularly interested in fashion and SaaS businesses.

To stay on a positive note: Which brands are doing it well? How could they leverage technology to improve the customer experience - while they maintain the right balance for their target audience?

Stay tuned for future posts on these options.

Yours Truly



Introducing 'Pukka' - Your Authentic and Positive Panda

Introducing 'Pukka' - Your Authentic and Positive Panda

Thanks to 99designs, the designers, and the great votes from the poll - THEPUKKAPANDA has an official logo and mascot. As the blog expands, the mascot 'Pukka' will make appearances on other pages.

99designs made this experience extremely simple for me. I chose the standard contest time, which took about a week from beginning to end. You have an option to opt-out and receive credit if you don't accept a design. As a product manager, I was curious to see how the designers would translate my requirements. 99designs provided the below simple template to support the requirement process.

Requirements Gathering Process

  1. Name your contest with a title and sub-title
  2. Enter Background: logo name, slogan, a brief description, and industry
    • My description: Lifestyle blog to promote authentic and positive lifestyle. Pukka is synonym for authentic and panda is a nickname of mine. I would like a panda somehow incorporated that could be used across the site of fashion, business, favorites, etc. Perhaps similar to Japanese cartoons... 
  3. Visual Style: Preferred logo types, Values to communicate, Color preferences, and Sample logo
    • Preferred logo types allowed you to choose 3 options from about 10-20. Each had an example of the logo type and description. I chose the three shown below. The mascot choice was my favorite. Who doesn't love a panda? 
    • Values to communicate provided easy sliding bars. The preferences I chose are below. 3 out of 6 were basically neutral. 
    • Color preferences: Black and White with Green and Blue, or just Green and Blue was my response.
      • My favorite color combination is green and blue - The blue sky backdrop with various colors of green trees and grass is the most amazing view. The blue ocean backdrop with green palm trees... 
      • Black and white is a given for the panda! This also gave the designer options with the color combinations. Maybe a green panda would be cute. 
    • Example logos: I didn't provide an example logo. I really had a Japanese anime type character in mind, which I mentioned in the short description.
  4. Deliverables: JPG, PNG, etc. They provided me with 5 files in 4 formats to download after signing a transfer agreement in one click! 

The Contest

  1. The Qualifying Round: Designers enter their initial design for concept and feedback. 
    • This round was about 4-5 days. Initial design entries were slow coming in. A lot waited until the final hours, which was smart as I assume they used my comments on the early designs. 
  2. Select Finalists: Once you select finalists, you commit to pick a winner. It is nice that you choose the designer versus the design since they submit multiple designs.
  3. Final Round: The 6-7 designers chosen have a few days to submit final designs based on feedback and ratings. 
    • The Poll: You have the option to share with friends using a poll and link. They also provide a method to create a presentation if you want to share during client meetings. I used the poll. I did not use the presentation option since this is a new blog. 
  4. Select Winner: They give you 12 days to choose a winner. I made my final selection a day after the final round was complete. Thanks to all your votes! 

The Logo Transfer

After I selected a winner, they asked for special transfer requirements. The files were ready within 12 hours of when I chose the designer. I downloaded the files today and the logo is up on the website. They require you to sign a simple transfer agreement of ownership which releases the award payment to the winner! 

Successful Customer Experience

I am a stickler for a great customer experience - both providing and receiving. The best customer is a repeat customer. A trusted advisor used 99designs, which influenced me to try them out. I would highly recommend their service and use them again. Lack of a logo was one of my blog launch excuses. They made the entire process simple, fun, and interactive!

Do you think they delivered well on the requirements?

Yours Truly,

We All Want It Simple - Is It At Your Expense Or Theirs?

Simple: At Your Expense or Theirs?

Overheard in the airport on my way to California for a business trip.

"Why do you always pick on me?"

"Because it's easy."

As someone people like to tease, the response to this questions was familiar to me. Of course, it is also typical for many situations in life.

If you know me personally, you may be smiling or nodding in agreement.

In the past, teasing sometimes bothered me. Now, I realize it is either a form of flattery or just not about me.

We aim to make it simple for the user in products, business writing, customer experience and many other things. We want it simple for people to read, customers to purchase, manage, and even return. Repeat customers are the easiest to keep. Let’s make it simple for them, even if when it is more difficult for us!

It is often the opposite when choosing your path in life. If it is simple, it doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. It's not always simple to try something new or take the high road. When you choose the simple path, consider the impact to everyone - for both the present and future.

Yours Truly,


To Wearing Many Hats

To Wearing Many Hats

Both at work and for an accessory

In a startup environment, you get to wear many hats. As the first employee at a successful Cloud SaaS provider startup, Geckotech, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn all areas of the business. 

As organizations mature, varied options to actively help across departments and levels of empowerment create boundaries that impact the overall efficiency. In our world of rapid technology changes, constant communication, access to global talent, and information at our fingertips, organizations must be agile.

Holacracy fundamentally changes the way workers organize around work: there is an explicit distinction made between Roles and Souls — a description of the work to be done and the people who do it. An individual worker may hold many Roles. Roles working together on related work are grouped together into teams called Circles. Each Circle has a leader (Holacracy’s analog to a manager) called the Lead Link.

Why limit people when expertise can be leveraged in all areas and adapt with the business? Holacracy streamlines decision making using objections to proposals vs. consensus from everyone. It includes built in checks and balances and gives everyone empowerment as a leader. Not only does this structure allow people flexibility, the organization remains agile with the ability to define minimal roles required to achieve the current initiative.

Known for its employee focus and ‘Wow’ customer service, Zappos publicly announced its Holacracy adoption. Tony Hsieh comments on why they chose Holacracy.

Research shows that every time the size of a city doubles, innovation or productivity per resident increases by 15 percent. But when companies get bigger, innovation or productivity per employee generally goes down. So we’re trying to figure out how to structure Zappos more like a city, and less like a bureaucratic corporation. In a city, people and businesses are self-organizing. We’re trying to do the same thing by switching from a normal hierarchical structure to a system called Holacracy, which enables employees to act more like entrepreneurs and self-direct their work instead of reporting to a manager who tells them what to do.
— Tony Hsieh

In the end, whether an organization chooses to remain in a basic top-down hierarchy, adopt cross functional best practices like ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), or embrace the distributed authority system of Holacracy - roles need to be clearly defined and aligned to the initiatives.

What are your thoughts on Holacracy?

Yours Truly


Website quote references:



Picture from Zappos link 

Being Vulnerable Can Be A Challenge - Embrace The Challenge

Challenge Yourself To Be Yourself

When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make,” “Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience.
— Brene Brown: Daring Greatly

It was a challenge for me to ‘Dare Greatly’ and start this blog. I was afraid of putting myself out there for the world to see. After months of following other blogs and comparing myself, it was even harder to take the leap. I am not as skinny as the other style bloggers; however, that is not the focus and message. The content includes positive inspiration, authentic business, and customer experience - with my personal style on the side. At the same time, it was a learning experience and discovery process that was necessary. Being myself is the only thing I know. Sharing with the world differs from my comfort with vulnerability in business, among friends, or other small groups of people. Looking forward to sharing this challenge with you. Continue to learn, grow, and challenge yourself to be yourself!

Brene Brown’s book ‘Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead’ was a great source to learn about the power of vulnerability. Woohoo! A simple win for me to live, love, and lead. Vulnerability comes natural to me - it makes sense. Perhaps it goes along with the inability to keep a poker face. Or that you are the best at being yourself.

Why not call out your known weaknesses or share an embarrassing story, like the time you walked into a screen door at your own house or your skirt blows up in the middle of a busy NYC street. Connecting at a personal level is critical for trust. Vulnerability and trust among family and friends comes natural to most of us. They have seen us at our best and worst. We have each others shoulders for times we need to cry or need a hug.

Extending that vulnerability into business situations is not always so simple. If this is not natural to you, try it. Take the challenge. Even though you are not likely to cry on their shoulder, you can speak open and honestly about your opinions. Genuinely praise colleagues for work well done or admit to weaknesses so you have the opportunity to learn. When you establish trust with your team and organization, it benefits customers and all areas of the business. Hidden agendas and lack of transparency harms the culture and ultimately hits your bottom line. Embrace vulnerability to truly connect with people.

What are your thoughts on being vulnerable? 

To learn more about shame and vulnerability, read Brene Brown’s book or watch her popular TED Talk.

Yours Truly


Follow @thepukkapanda on Instagram for updates

Improve Your Day Through Interactions With Strangers

Talk To Strangers

I was born and raised in the Midwest, actually the safest small town in Ohio according to Movoto - and at top of most other lists. Needless to say, I didn’t worry about talking to strangers, even at a young age. It wasn't necessary in my circumstances.

My first experience in NYC was December of 2010 for due diligence regarding the acquisition between Geckotech and M5 Networks. (See About Page for LinkedIn Profile). I was not excited about  experience that visit - even though I had an amazing upgrade at the Trump Soho that was bigger than my Chicago apartment. (I had two bathrooms, a few TVs, and an amazing view of the Hudson river.)

Over the next few years, my role change required me to travel between Chicago and NYC weekly. Often, I felt alone in hotels. I didn’t understand why people didn’t actively engage in conversation like I was accustomed to in the Midwest. When strangers did talk to me, they were typically from out of town or the Midwest.

Most of us have heard the ‘view’ of NYC. Not having ever been to NYC, it was all I knew. On the other hand, I also make a conscious decision to refrain from judgement in personal interactions and experiences - so why would I not stick to this perspective for a new city.

Fast forward two years, I moved to NYC to the wonderful community of Hell’s Kitchen. I was fortunate to get the cutest studio across from a community garden thanks to a coworker that was moving - bonus that there was no agent fee! At this time, I had grown a complete different feeling for the city. I understood the people and the city. I learned to love NYC.

My interaction with strangers changed my view of NYC

Once I allowed myself to have an open mind, I realized the stereotype of NYC was incorrect. While most people seem to be in a rush with minimal time to chit-chat like the Midwest or South, it does not make the human instinct to love and care different than any other geographic area. Most of NYC area residents live in small apartments with constant crowds on the train, coffee shops, and pretty much every place else. People need space - but they also need social interaction!

I was now immersed in the city. I walked to work everyday from Hell’s Kitchen to Midtown. Often, on my walk, several strangers complimented me - with a kind sense of authenticity. On those days, I had a strange sense of happiness. There was a great feeling of this genuine interaction.

My Smile Test

Being from the Midwest and hearing frequently of the NYC stereotype. I had an idea - test the stranger smile response. While on my way to the office, I smiled at every person I passed. My goal was to determine the percentage of those that would return the smile.

I call it a success. While I stopped after 9th Ave due to the amount of people, I counted 60%. If all made eye contact, I am confident it would have been at least 80%. 

My Conclusion

People are authentic and genuine when you have an open mind and allow them into your life. Your smile or compliment can make a difference in someone’s day. Try it tomorrow on your subway ride!

Thoughts by Randa related to reference articles

Steffan’s Personality Blog  shows the stereotypes across geographic areas.

My thoughts: Do we conform to the stereotypes that are given to us by society? I suggest we challenge all types of stereotypes - Everyone and every place deserves an authentic interaction - without previous judgement.

How Talking to Strangers Makes us Happier

“Interacting with a stranger ... can provide this unexpected source of boost to our mood,” she said. “People don’t seem to recognize this benefit they get from interacting with a stranger as a result of just being their most-pleasant, cheerful self.”
— Huffington Post

My thoughts: We want to be social. Why do we choose our smartphones vs real engagement with a person?

We’ve been told since our playground days not to talk to strangers, but avoiding those everyday interactions may be slightly hurting us when it comes to our happiness as adults.
— Huffington Post

My thoughts: We tell kids not to talk to strangers. Is it because they are still authentic and vulnerable to desire social interaction with everyone? Of course the real reason is for safety.

Additional References

These Psychologists Think We'd Be Happier If We Talked to Strangers More


Talking to Strangers Makes You Happier

What are your thoughts?

Yours Truly


Pollyanna Promotes The 'Glad Game' - Power of Positive

I remember a time at work when I was told I was the happiest and most positive person, which I accept as a compliment. As this was shared during a team dinner, I told the story of Pollyanna and her use of 'The Glad Game’ to influence an entire community. One of my favorites from childhood, I was shocked that not one person in the group had seen the movie.

Not only had they not seen it, one colleague informed me that being a ‘Pollyanna’ is viewed negatively. What? I was in even more shock! Or perhaps I heard it and did not believe it based on my interpretation of the character.

What is the a desire behind over analyzing a character to find a flaw? Let's encourage people to look for the good. I will have a section of my blog, “Gladly Green” to keep the spirit of the glad game alive. 

Positive perspective and optimism do not require a complete disconnection from reality - as some articles comment. Maintain a positive approach to a project at work while also understanding the details to drive and collaborate the team(s) to success.

In honor of 'Pollyanna', I created my version of the 'Pollyanna Look' today - with a quirky twist.

“Nothing is further from the truth. Turns out, Pollyanna was right! The positive power of gratitude has been overwhelmingly proven by science. People who are consciously grateful are more energetic, more determined, think more clearly, think more methodically, make more progress towards goals, have more resilience during tough times, and are more optimistic, enthusiastic, and joyful. As if that wasn’t enough proof, the grateful are have fewer illnesses, greater immune response, and even exercise more.”
We’re living in a moment of total happiness obsession, in other words, and Pollyanna is our perfect mascot. Her “glad game” goes beyond simple positive thinking. Pollyanna isn’t always cheerful; she cries over disappointments large and small, and initially refuses to play the game when she suffers a major tragedy. It’s not that she’s naturally the world’s greatest optimist; rather, optimism is a tool she uses to make herself happy. Her gladness is Gladwellian: It’s not a state of mind, but rather a skill that becomes stronger with practice. As the freckled little guru herself put it, “When you’re hunting for the glad things, you sort of forget the other kind.” Welcome to the 21st century, Pollyanna. You’ll fit right in.
— The Atlantic

In Seth Godin's post, he compares Cassandra and Pollyanna. I would rather be the Pollyanna. An optimistic view can influence positive interactions and teamwork  - it doesn’t always indicate everything is fine.

To form your own opinion on the 'Pollyanna Principle', watch the movie for yourself. 

What do you think?

Yours Truly


Randa Green - The Real Pukka Panda

ThePukkaPanda Story

Authentic, charismatic, clumsy, driven, energetic, friendly, leader, lovable, positive, and smiling are a few words that describe me - ThePukkaPanda. 

  • Initial Idea:

    Start a fashion blog to complement my hobby, as I love the creative outlet of choosing different looks. One day is preppy, next day edgy, perhaps classic the following day - the choices are endless.
  • The Problem:

    Fashion does not capture the complete picture of me, and there was no clear message or theme. 
  • The Message Discovery:

I am not a poker player - what you see is what you get. I hear this often from friends and colleagues at work. I am proud of my authentic and vulnerable personality. My face tells it all.

I often have a Cheshire Cat Perma-Grin some may also comment. I have a contagious positive outlook to share and promote.

  • The Result:

I strive to be authentic and positive in all areas of my life - family, friends, business, fashion, and with strangers. I will blog about embracing a true authentic and positive lifestyle.

  • The Name:

‘Pukka’ is a synonym for authentic. ‘Panda’ is my nickname - Randa Panda.

  • What to Expect:

Authentic and positive posts about my life: Business, Fashion, Lifestyle, Favorites, and links to articles around the web that support the message.

What is authentic?

I think authentic is being your true self - not being afraid of what others will think.

Here is a link to a good article on 10 habits of highly authentic people

What is your definition of authentic? 

Yours Truly,



I chose the name for this blog back in September of 2014 and made the leap to purchase domain names from on the first of October. Originally, I set a goal to launch on my birthday, December 7th - which I reset to the beginning of 2015 for various excuses. I failed to ship as Winnie describes Your Turn Challenge - until now.

I officially accept the challenge posted by Winnie on Seth Godin’s blog, Getting Unstuck - A One Week Challenge. Honestly, I do not have solid details for the execution; however, am clear of the message: Embrace an Authentic and Positive Lifestyle.

Blogging is something new to me! I would love for you to come on this journey with me.