Our Story Tells The Tale Of How Simply Ardynn Became An International Brand

By Michael Harris_Arzon, The Simplistic Professional

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The journey has been long and challenging, and I never would have guessed that as we, the Ardynn Media Group, celebrated our 10th Anniversary, we would be occupying and entirely new consumer space.

For 20 years I used my expertise to help other companies build their brand presence.  Companies like Homes.com, Move.com, Inman News, Zillow and Trulia, just to name a few.  Then when the country faced its worst economic depression in written history, I threw in the towel and opened the Ardynn Media Group.

I still worked with Top Brands across the U.S. and Canada to help them make the transition from traditional brick and mortar brands, to having an extremely, strong online presence.

For more on how our company has grown and changed over the years and the challenges we faced.  Check out the details via Our Story

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Keeping Things Simple Isn’t Always The Case In Business…the bill always comes due

By Michael Harris-Arzon, The Simplistic Professional

Our love of technology has given professionals, such as myself, the option of working our own way…what ever that may be. For me, it is from where ever I happen to be, at any hour of the day. There is no need to see clients face to face when we have FaceTime and real time collaboration apps and tools.

Recently I learned a very hard lesson. That no matter how hard you work, nor what you may achieve…the bill always comes due. For the past year I have been working, quite diligently I might add, on building and launching a new brand in a consumer space that I was not an expert in when I began. The Food and Lifestyle space, while I have lived it well, I didn’t understand the inner workings, until now.

While I am extremely good at my job, and have launched and helped build some of Americas biggest brands over the years, I have to ask myself if I can still do it. Everyone says 40 is the new 30 and when I look in the mirror, I forget at times that I am almost 50 years. Like a woman told me yesterday, I wear my age well, but actions still wear a person down.

For the past few months I have literally been working 60-80 hours a week. And it finally caught up with me. I have heard of people being hospitalized for exhaustion and kinda of wondered how it was even possible for a person to get to that point. Now I know. It hits your like a house being dropped on you. I was down for an entire week and couldn’t even eat, let alone work or take care of my family. The bill came due.

As the person that has been preaching balance, I failed to live by my own words. Take time for yourself. Be good to yourself…whatever that means to you. Make sure you are getting rest. The human body cant keep going on 2-3 hours of sleep a day. It will always protect itself by shutting down and going into a hibernation type mode.

Lesson learned, I am back to work and keeping things balanced. Which for me, means shifting set deadlines, asking for help and being proud of the way our brand has evolved. It is not the company I envisioned 10 years ago, but what has emerged is a brand that I honestly, can’t believe I built. Once the revenue streams are in place, our family will be set for a long time to come. It is becoming a true family business and I had nothing to do with it. They asked to be involved. I couldn’t be more proud.

I am working on our companies first real commercial and mapping out the media outlets to place it on. One of the interesting things I have found is my target audience has chosen me. While. I was working towards millennials, it is actually Gen X that has showed initial support. And I’m talking across all platforms. Isn’t it amazing the information you can find with out paying an outside firm? The analytics provided by social media, Google and WordPress are indispensable.

My point with telling you all of this and being so transparent, is that many of you are friends and peers that I would not want to see this happen to. Learn from my mistake. Keep the balance in your life or you will pay the price. For me it was exhaustion but just as easily could have been a major heart attack. I have already had one, when I was 20 and it runs in the family.

Today’s Post Regarding Possible Hacking / Compromise of Xerox Bank Card Services Mysteriously Disappears

   

Earlier today I discovered that the Debit Card program used by OK DHS and many other government agencies has been compromised. All cards were cancelled with out a reason given. Simple text was received early am that new card had been sent.

I can’t find any info online, nothing in the news and no press releases or announcement from Xerox period.

It took hours to just get an idea of what was going on. At first I didn’t think much of it, until I learned that that account was frozen and it would be 10-14 days before a new debit card was received. The customer service rep couldn’t even tell me how all of these accounts had been compromised or if I had just become a victim of identity theft.  All she could see was that an alert was showing that all of the cards affected had had their expiration dates changed to yesterday.

I finally got them to resend a new card express delivery for Tuesday. After I got off the phone a little before 1 pm I wrote a blog post just to let people know what was happening and also posted a tweet.

At somepoint in the past few hours everything but the image associated with the post was removed from WordPress. I can’t even find it in the trash. Why would it be taken down is my question? Especially if they were hacked or compromised like Tamara over at Card Services indicated. Note to self, RECORD all telephone calls and backup all articles or blog posts via image capture.   ‪#‎breakingnews‬ ‪#‎xerox‬ 

By Michael Harris-Arzon