Blog · Life Learner · The Imbedded Mogul

The Perspective from a Back Seat Driver

I’ve had a little practice – at being a backseat driver.  This is because I have a sixteen-year-old that likes driving… a lot.  And, I have a thirteen-year-old who loves sitting in the front seat beside her older sister.  (Yes, that puts me, mom, in the back seat.  I don’t mind.  These moments will soon pass and, now that I can, I’m happy to give up my front seat for a spectator seat once and a while.)

Tonight as I rode in the backseat, instead of directing and redirecting, I was actually able to close my eyes and relax.  Although, this moment only lasted for about twenty-seconds (max).  As I listened to busy conversations and watched their interactions, I found it interesting how my daughters’ interaction and experience reflect how I see my partnership with my clients.  Here is what my twenty-seconds of observation and application brought to me:


My sixteen-year-old recently acquired her driver’s license and loves the freedom and independence that driving gives her.  My thirteen-year-old loves sitting in the front seat while her older sister drives.  You can tell that she respects her older sister and looks up to her.  She wants to join in the independence and be apart of the new experience.


My clients drive their businesses.  They know where they are going.  They have practiced and done their due-diligence that allows them to grow their passions.  I, on the other hand, get asked to sit in the passenger’s seat and go for the ride!  I know what buttons I can be responsible for (my thirteen-year-old is especially fond of the radio).  I can adjust the temperature and direct conversation if needed.  I point out things that I observe in passing that the driver may not have seen because their attention is on the road.  My purpose for taking the trip may be different, but we are going the same direction and my presence contributes greatly to the ride.

That’s my weekly tidbit! 

I hope you are inspired to look at situations as an opportunity to see how you fit into your leadership or professional role.  By the way, tonight I also noticed that my thirteen-year-old holds on to the grab-handle above the door window.  I’m not sure why, but I like to think she is excited about being along for the ride!

Hold on, enjoy your ride and have a productive week!


TWEET:  Backseat driver takes a front seat in creating strategic and branded communication for clients. @darladhancock #SocialMarket #ContentComposer

IMAGE (not my daughters) by Free Photos CC

17 Reasons · Blog · Entrepreneur

the non-waffle

“I ask existing users of a product how they would feel if they could no longer use the product.”  Sean Ellis

Here is the conversation I had with myself this morning:

I woke up late – again!  

I was going to make muffins for the kids for breakfast.

At this point, muffins will take too long to bake.  

Last night, I put the waffle iron away.

Mixing waffle batter will take too long.

All I have to do to make muffins is add 1/2 cup milk and an egg to the dry ingredients. (Martha White Gluten Free Muffin Mix is the best!)

If I mix muffins, I can use the waffle iron.  

It’ll make flat muffins. They’ll be crunchy muffins.  But, they’ll be done quickly.


What  I wasn’t expecting, was that my kids would think that because the “muffins” look like waffles, they would need maple syrup.

#5. Product

So, tonight, I hope to inspire you to find solutions for your business and motivate growth for your social market by looking for the obvious possibilities in everyday opportunities… even everyday situations like flat muffins and non-waffles.

As you continue to work through your marketing plan, your Business Model Canvas and/or your inspiration for a prosperous 2017, take into account this advice from Tristin Kromer of Grasshopper Herder about how to think about your product(s):

  • It is important to differentiate between product/market fit and problem/solution fit when measuring a company’s customer base.
  • When gauging a customer’s desire, companies need to be sure they are measuring desire for the product or service—not just for a solution.
  • Misinterpreting customers’ desire for a solution as desire for a company’s product or service will end up being a false positive for product/market fit.

Do you want to measure your product fit, your customer base or market fit, but don’t know where to begin?  Here are 10 suggestions from  Ash Maurya of The Lean Canvas:


  1. Your product is not “product”
  2. Explore different business models and prioritize where to start
  3. Understand the three stages of startups: problem/solution fit, product/market fit, scale
  4. Focus on the right metrics
  5. Formulate falsifiable hypotheses
  6. Architect for learning
  7. Architect for speed
  8. Go only as fast as you can learn
  9. Validate qualitatively, verify quantitatively
  10. Systematically test your model

“Life’s too short to build something nobody wants.”  Ash Mauyra

Whether you make flat muffins or chocolate chip waffles, it is necessary to to build perspective of a successful product… a product that others want, will use, will value, will miss if it’s gone.  A MVP requires action from these four parts of your BMC:  customers, value proposition, channels and relationship.

Go out there. Find your pockets.  Do big things… no syrup necessary.


Did you get my latest email?  See the options below and click…


To read THE MOTIVATOR, the first post in my “17 Reasons to” series —-> CLICK HERE

Some information for this post was found here.

©2017 Darla D Hancock, The Social Market, LLC

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Blog · Branding

Branding with Marie Forleo

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”  Simon Senek

Looking for branding ideas for your small business?

Here are three smart branding strategies from Artifact Uprising — a company that knows how to grab our attention and keep us coming back for more. – Marie Forleo

How to build your brand:

Discover 3 brilliant branding strategies the casual-clothes company Marine Layer uses that you should try on for size. This video will show you how to weave personality into your business and sell more without being pushy. – Marie Forleo

The Copy Cure

To help communicate your brand through social media, contact me for a quote at

Blog · Communication · Entrepreneur · Life Learner · Self-Management · Uncategorized

Be Generous

“Generosity is a business boomerang.”  Darla D Hancock, The Social Market LLC

The willingness to throw out generosity often brings back a bigger return.


My first thought about generosity in life or business, is to be observant…

Allow others to make mistakes.  Allow yourself to make mistakes.  Observe mistakes and always learn from them.  A closed mind does not lead to open opportunities!


Second, be generous in emotions…

As much as we’d like to separate emotions from business, business is about people and people have emotions.  Lend grace to others and don’t burn bridges… you never know when you may need to turn back around.


Last, be generous to yourself…

Take opportunities within you can see potential.  Experience the most you can.  Allow yourself time to reflect.  Work to not be reactionary.  Give yourself grace.  Explore possibilities.

Fellow mogul, be full of generosity.



To read more about “The White Skirt” – > CLICK HERE

—> CLICK HERE to read the first post of my ACROSTIC-MOGUL series.

“What does generosity look like?” Darla #businessboomerang #imbeddedmogul @SocialMarketLLC

“The willingness to throw out generosity often brings back a bigger return.” Darla #whiteskirt @SocialMarketLLC

Business is about people and people have emotions.Darla #businessboomerang #ImbeddedMogul @SocialMarketLLC

©2016 Darla D Hancock, The Social Market, LLC

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Blog · Entrepreneur · The Imbedded Mogul

Be Original

“Entrepreneurs cannot be someone else or do what someone else is doing.”  Darla D Hancock, The Social Market LLC

Your business, skills, product or service may not be original, but YOU ARE!

When developing a business, an idea, an interest, an insight, a talent, a business plan, a product, a service, a hobby, progress is dependent on your willingness to invest in your originality.  You invest passion, talent and time that are all original to you; often sacrificing your career, your friends, your family and your intellectual property.  Investing in all those things seems like a lively and lovely venture… until you share it with the world.

Originality seems novel, until shared.

Entrepreneurship is often a lonely journey… on purpose and out of necessity.  You become your best cheerleader or worst critic, sometimes at the same time.

That is why participating in a course like Start Smart is so beneficial.  If you are lucky, you can find yourself in an environment where everyone has completely different passions, interests and abilities.  It’s great to be reminded that there is room for each entrepreneur to pursue individual interests and enough clients or customers to use our services or buy products.

However, despite the level of diversity, I think sharing your passion can be the most intimidating of opening your business to the outside world.  Even if you stand behind your concept and commitment to following through, your investment of time, energy, money and your originality is exposed.  I’m not sure which is more worrisome- someone “taking” your idea/business or it not working.

Entrepreneurship is personal.  The opportunities available to you are grounded in the diverseness of your interests, talents, backgrounds, industries and hope of the possibility of reaching the impossible.

Fellow mogul, use common sense, respect direction, be willing to learn and change, invest in your dreams, embrace your originality and… be the original you who started what will end up being great.


This post is the first of my ACROSTIC-MOGUL series?  To read more —> CLICK HERE


“Originality seems novel, until shared.”  Darla #beorginal #intellectualproperty @SocialMarketLLC

“Entrepreneurs cannot be someone else or do what someone else is doing.” Darla #beoriginal @SocialMarketLLC

Your business, skills, product or service may not be original, but YOU ARE!Darla #ImbeddedMogul @SocialMarketLLC

©2016 Darla D Hancock, The Social Market, LLC

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Blog · Entrepreneur · Life Learner · Social Media · Writing

“Stupid” Entrepreneurs!

Today, I came across an interesting [and enticing] article via Flipboard titled, ‘Shark Tank’ star Barbara Corcoran says all her best entrepreneurs are ‘stupid’.


Whether she meant “the ‘s’ word” or used it as an analogy, it was an interesting read… although, personally, I don’t think “the ‘s’ word” is the right choice.  I thought I would share my two favorite lessons learned from this article:

  1. Entrepreneurs need to be flexible enough to bend – at the right time… but, a smart, strong, intuitive and risk-taker the rest of the time.
  2. A good title will get readers reaction & attention.

I probably would have skipped over the Flipboard article if it had been titled, ‘Shark Tank’ star Barbara Corcoran says all her best entrepreneurs like apples or ‘Shark Tank’ star Barbara Corcoran says all her best entrepreneurs are good at math.

When someone is scrolling through your website, their inbox or social media streams, did you know you have seconds to catch their attention?  HubSpot still says that 33% of email recipients will open an email based on the solely on the subject line.

Here are a few suggestions from HubSpot to get you started on writing subject lines, blog post titles or tweets to get you started:

  1. Make people feel special
  2. Create a sense of urgency
  3. Don’t forget, you can be ‘punny’
  4. Don’t overdue on CAPS or !!!!!

Thanks for the tips, HubSpot!  If you are working on building a skillset for eNewsletter subject lines or are interested about capturing a larger audience, HERE is a great resource too.

Well… go out and get them stupid!!

(Sorry.. had to.)

Darla @SocialMarketLLC


Don’t like to write or have time to invest in creating content?



SHARE IT!  Are you a stupid entrepreneur? #GetYourWordsRight #SharkTank @SocialMarketLLC

Blog · Entrepreneur · Frugalship · Life Learner · Time Management


I’m convinced that there are very few products you can’t buy without coupons.  This “theory” then presented a query…

Do I spend my time to save money or make money so I can save time?

Being frugal isn’t so much a passing thought, it’s a way of living, purchasing with intention and investing purposefully.  With four children, my husband and I often talk about the best use of money… and time.  We often debate:

  1. Do I spend too much time trying to save money?
  2. Am I spending too much time working, that  I end up spending excess money for no reason?

You may find yourself in one of these two camps; as well as ignoring the subject all together, ending up spending too much time and too money and not much to show for either.  Especially if  you are managing a personal household budget and business accounts, being frugal and smart with your resources really has to be an intentional choice.

To start, you must ask yourself:  Which do I value more? Time or money.  Let me frugal-shop for you, so you can frugal-ship!!!

Happy Frugalship!!


TWEET:  People still like saving a buck and having an extra hour in the day. That’s #frugalship! @frugalship @socialmarketllc

TWEET: #frugalshhip is a way of living, purchasing with intention and investing purposefully. @socialmarketllc


Blog · Entrepreneur · Life Learner · Productivity · Self-Management


Today, I had the pleasure to attend a seminar of Jim Roman.  In the spirit of entrepreneurship, he spoke about accomplishing goals, making progress and the  mindset to make dreams doable.

I always have been interested in visual organizing, creative productivity, self-defined balance and inspired accomplishments.  However, when you add “small business owner” in to the mix, the potential for progress and the significance of realistic point-of-view grow into something bigger than yourself.

If I were to share the ideas that were most important to me from this presentation, I would say this would be my countdown:

5.  If a goal isn’t personal [and if it doesn’t mean anything to you], you wont reach the goal.

4.  Take control of your life [and your time] – don’t allow life [and time] to take control of you.

3. What is my idea of successful and what do I need to do to reach it?

2.  Be strategic and understand what drives you!

1.  Processes don’t determine progress.

Thank you, Jim Roman of Business Owners Institute and for sharing your insight on being balanced in business.




x, the potential for progress, much less survivial

Life Learner · The Imbedded Mogul

TIM – Week 9


Tonight was a really neat experience!  I wasn’t able to take notes… I was a bit distracted.

This session was the turning point… from professional training to our Pitch Deck competition. The last several months of learning, what to do, what not to do, what we want to do and what we don’t want to do… several of us [moguls] presented our businesses to six judges and others in the class.

I did my homework the entire class.  But, unfortunately, I didn’t understand how the Pitch Deck slides and content corresponded to the weekly emphasis and homework.  I’m not sure how I didn’t get that connection.  But, it may not have been the inconvenience I thought it was…

…over the last week, I spent 20 hours making my Power Point slides and creating the specific information to go with each slide.  I realized how difficult it is for someone passionate about something [like an entrepreneur], bubbling over with ideas and dreams… to reign in creativity and hopefulness to create a refined, realistic and successful business concept… then, put it into action!!

Working right up to the minute I had to leave.  Quickly working to print my judge slides… only to realize my kids had used all my copy paper!!  So, I saved my presentation and notes on my thumb drive and emailed it to myself (just in case) again.

When I arrived at BizWorks, I printed my notes from my office computer and began making copies for the judges from the email I sent myself.  Thankful that Tanner came to the copy room, because in my nerved-state… I told the printer to print “71” copies – instead of “7”.  YIKES!  My presentation HAD to go better than the last hour, right??



Entrepreneur · Life Learner · Self-Management

My Grown Up Piggy Bank

I’ve been learning so much about entrepreneurship and how to be a successful small business owner.  One important aspect that is mentioned repeatedly… open a business bank account.

Well, that seems simple enough, right?  All kinds of people have small businesses, they must have figured it out, right?  I don’t hear that opening a bank account is a difficult process, if it was, there wouldn’t be so many small businesses, right?  I’m determined to do this the right way, so this will be a painless process, right?

Here are my top 5 tips when opening a business account at a bank:

5.  Even if your husband isn’t a small business owner, maybe you should listen to his insights a bit more. 

As hard as it is to believe, it isn’t easy to see the whole picture when you are trying to build it all at the same time.  Accept observations and advice from the outside-in!

4. Don’t deposit all your checks at once.

When you open a new bank account, checks will take at least 7-10 days to clear.  You won’t have access to your hard-earned funds (even if they tell you you’ll be able to get it the following morning – nope.)  Don’t learn the hard way, like I had to.

3. Do you have to pay for a business account?

I think, with most banks, there are ways around paying for a business account.  With Bank of America, I can get a free bank account by paying myself once a month. – This is one of the positives from opening my account.

2. You get checks… and a deposit stamp.

Maybe it is the childhood-entrepreneur in me… I love checks and stamps!!  When I opened my account on line, they didn’t tell me I got FREE checks (and a FREE stamp)!  When I went into the branch office, she quickly got me hooked up and I got my packages in the mail just a couple days later!  It’s for real now!!!

1.Don’t use the online-option!  Go into a office and work with a person you can see and who can see you! 

Working with an experienced small business banker [at a banking center] will make your experience much less painful and you’ll probably get advice about other aspects of you business along the way.  More than likely, the information will be consistent… unlike talking to 5 different people over a week and getting 5 different answers and information.

Be educated, flexible and ready to work for what you need.  It may not end up being productive or an efficient use of your time, but it is always progress [whether you move ahead or have to learn from getting behind] – soon you’ll be able to say, “Show me the money!”

So, that is my life-lesson in opening my business account at the bank.  For important information you should know before opening your business account, CLICK HERE(Just ignore the first suggestion – I obviously don’t support that advice. Sorry, SBA.)

Just for the record, HERE is your other option!