Impressive Aussie- Marcello Recommends: Secrets of Super Productivity by Neen James

Secrets of Super-Productivity by Neen James

A few weeks ago I attended a private business conference in Indianapolis. It’s an annual gathering that’s kinda like a Dead Poet’s Society for special event entrepreneurs. One of the featured presenters at this multi-day event was  productivity expert, Neen James, from Australia.

Not only did she offer sage advice with regard to personal and professional efficiency, she totally owned a room that was filled with 40 alpha-male control freaks who can be very unforgiving if you don’t bring your A-game.

I can’t share specific details from that particular presentation, but I can at least refer you to her public book release, Secrets of Super-Productivity: How To Achieve Amazing Things In Your Work Life. Neen graciously sent me a signed copy in a  very impressive follow-up package after the conference.   It read like a modern version of How To Win Friends and Influence People.   James touches on everything from task prioritization, the importance of social surroundings, continuing education, financial fundamentals and general wellness tips.

Secrets of Super-Productivity would make a great gift for anyone you know who is old enough to read and who’ll eventually be on their own someday.   Like the ability to balance a check book and display simple social graces, I firmly believe that the gospel of Neen should be standard fodder for school curriculums everywhere. SOSP is also a great investment for the successful professional who likes or needs a little  reminder of what got them to the top and more importantly… how to stay there.

Here are a few excerpts to whet your appetite:

Neen James

“Stop trying to manage time and learn how to make time.

“…The other thing most people overlook is the need to schedule time before and after each meeting to prepare and complete follow-up activities… Jason and I had a ‘decompression session‘ after each day of educational content in order to digest what we learned, discuss implementation strategies and just to chat about anything else BUT business in order to avoid information-overload.

“Many people have a tendency to want to keep e-mails.  Set yourself some guidelines for what you want to keep and delete the rest once you have read or actioned them.” Jason @soundconnectdj recently tweeted:  ‘WOW.  Just hit 10,000 unread emails.‘    It’s good to be busy and in demand, but I think JJ needs a little Neen-inspired Delete Key session.

“Make an appointment with yourself for the first of January every year to reflect on the year that was and the year to come. My friends know that I’m usually on a plane to Costa Rica at the beginning of each New Year.  The reflection begins on take-off and evolves into a month of introspection and rejuvenation.  11 years ago I read that mandatory sabbaticals yield significant results for CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, it’s been a part of MMP’s annual playbook ever since.

Sleep is vital for renewing body and mind and yet we often forfeit sleep time so we can do other activities.”  ..  “The important thing is to discipline yourself to get a good night’s sleep and  rise early so that you can make the most of every day.”

“You will feel more in control of your life when your home is a retreat rather than an obstacle course or a constant reminder of things that need doing!  Spend some time spring-cleaning… remove the clutter, tidy problem areas, create storage solutions and eliminate the mess.”

Connect with Neen on Linkedin, Twitter, & Facebook or visit her online productivity store for additional resources & booking

*Editor’s note:  I still get choked up every time I see that scene from Dead Poets.  🙂

Someone to Watch Over Me

This was one of my grandmother’s favorite songs.

It’s been 6 years since she passed away.  I still think of her often… especially during the summer.  That’s when we spent the most time together at her beach house.

We went to the movies, played bingo, watched Judge Judy, and walked the boardwalk every morning so we could eat like champs at night.

Grandma Dora seemed to have an endless supply of fresh mozzarella,  breaded veal cutlets, macaroni and perfectly- sweetened iced tea in the kitchen.

After mowing the lawn the other day it started to rain.  I looked up from the bottom of the driveway and saw this beautiful rainbow.  It was as if Grandma was letting me know that she’s still lookin’ out for me and my family.

Thanks grandma.  I really miss you.



660 Years of Warmth, Wit and Wisdom

Good company: (Top Left) Lee, Richard, Don, Ken, Marcello, (Bottom Left) Pierre, Jane, Norma, Suzie, Ginette, Arvie

When you put together an eclectic mix of people that includes a pediatric neurologist, former teacher, martial arts instructor, fly fisherman, golf course superintendent and various executives from the corporate world and motion picture industry, the conversation is destined to be filled with golden nuggets of life lessons learned. 

My dear friends, Norma and Ken Kahn, always make me feel like I’m part of the family when I’m traveling through Central America.  At their lovely home, over-looking the sun-kissed ocean yesterday, we had a delightful lunch gathering.  I’ve come to the conclusion that I prefer to hang around people that actually talk to each other instead of send texts and facebook messages all day. 

I’m far from being anti-technology, but the current anti-social trend is a bit alarming for those of us who enjoy a good eye to eye exchange of thoughts and laughter.  That’s why lunch was so enjoyable. 

Sometimes you take for granted the amount of experience, intelligence and entertaining interactions that are right in front of you.   Today, I made sure that wasn’t the case and just soaked it all in

Out of curiosity, I asked how old everyone was… some were twice my age.  All together, I was surrounded by 660 years of life.  That’s a lot to celebrate.   -mp

Kind and Generous: Liming Celebrates 60 Years and 2 Decades Fly By

Liming with her husband Joe

The Celebrate Life Team had the pleasure of entertaining at Liming Kuhns’ 60th Birthday party last month.   Liming is a beautiful soul.   She’s the type of person who presents scholarships and gives out gifts to the guests… even though it’s her party.

Growing up, Liming’s mom taught her the finer points of generosity and kindness… regardless of your financial situation.  Based on the numerous toasts and conversations I overheard throughout the afternoon about the guest of honor, Liming’s mom was a great teacher.

Every time I hear this great rendition of Stand By Me, it reminds me of all the positive vibes and zest for life that Liming brings to the world.

Marcello & Mary 1990

Marcello and Mary 2010

On a “time flies” note, Liming shared this photo that she took back in 1990 of me and her daughter, Mary, after one of my first DJ events in Oakland at the annual Summer Rec  Camp Carnival.  We re-created the shot 20 years later for a good laugh. Check out the 1990 link and that should explain the hair.  🙂

Longevity in the business and lasting friendships are just a few of my favorite things.

Best wishes to Liming, Joe, Alex and Mary.     –mp

Samsung, The Venetian, and MMP Kick It Up A Notch: BAM!

Samsung, After Dinner Set

Do you want your event to look like this next year? Samsung Celebrates at The Venetian

What happens when you take one of the most successful companies of 2009 and mix it with one of the best venues on the east coast and then sprinkle in some award-winning entertainment?  In the words of Emeril Lagasse,… “BAM!!!”. Not only do you “kick it up a notch” and transform your ordinary annual gathering into an extraordinary Holiday Gala, your guests “feel the love” and experience a festive, elegant and unforgettable evening.

We’ve been teaming up with Samsung Electronics America since 2003.  Over the years, it’s been very exciting to see their company earn the #1 spot for mobile phones and T.V’s here in the United States and the #1 spot for D TV’s worldwide.  If you’re not impressed yet, at a time when many companies cut back and saw their numbers plummet in 2009, Samsung had the best quarter in the company’s history and their stock price went to an all-time high.

The Best of Both Worlds, Live Musicians and DJ Entertainment

The Best of Both Worlds, Live Musicians and DJ Entertainment

If your company holds it’s own, or like Samsung and some of our other VIP corporate clientele, actually manages to  increase growth and raise the bottom line in the new economy, there are usually a few people you want to show your appreciation to. I’ll give you a few seconds to guess who those special people are…….    BAM!   That’s right.  You answered correctly.  Your employees…  The TEAM.      The executives at Samsung know this and agree with Steven Covey, “Always treat your employees exactly how you would treat your best customers. “

So when it was time for Samsung to celebrate another year of success and hard work, we helped them produce a black-tie Holiday Gala fit for royalty.

The Vienese extravaganza begins with a bananas foster presentation

The Viennese extravaganza begins with a bananas foster presentation

If you haven’t been to the new Palazzo Ballroom at The Venetian yet and would like to practice saying “wow,” and walking around with your jaw continuously dropping to the floor,  schedule an appointment and check out the stunning decor, architecture and ambiance of The Palazzo.  From their never-ending cocktail hour selections to their Viennese stations that would impress Willy Wonka himself, The Venetian combines delectable cuisine and first-class hospitality for all of their guests to enjoy.

So Samsung had the right place and the right people (nearly 700) ready to go.  The only ingredient left to add was the right entertainment. A recipe like this demanded MMP’s Best of Both Worlds “Winter Wonderland” package.  It combines the classic DJ entertainment element with live musicians and  multi-media visuals.  The entertainment and production team consisted of a Master of Ceremonies, an on-site Event Manager, DJ, 2 Dance Floor Motivators, Guitar Player, Saxophonist, Percussionist, and an Audio-Visual technician.

Service Awards

Service Awards Presentation

This package was designed for the  discerning client who wants the best of everything; the presentation and musicianship of a live band and the excitement and flexibility of a professional DJ and Emcee. Samsung also wanted to personalize their event and put the spotlight on their guests.  They produced a custom DVD presentation which included a special appearance by Beyonce, they gave out numerous Service and Recognition of Excellence awards, and had photographers on hand to take candids of their happy guests which we displayed on our big screen and dual plasma T.V’s.  (Which of course were manufactured by Samsung.) 🙂

It was an exceptional evening of entertainment and hospitality.  We look forward to teaming up with Samsung and the Venetian again next year and producing another successful collaboration. BAM!

Happy guests; How to raise company morale,

How does Samsung keep the company morale high? Happy team members.

As a side note, not only is it important to take care of your employees, you have to recognize their spouses, significant others and families as well.   If Zagat was to rate Samsung on how well they take care of the people that take care of them, they’d get a 30. Yesterday,  we performed at the company Headquarters for all of the Samsung kids and family members. It was a blast.  Everyone enjoyed cookie decorating, face painting, photos with Santa, interactive games, dancing, a luncheon and gifts for all.

Special thanks as always to Carlos and the staff from the Venetian for their professionalism and to Evan Santi, from Urban Plantscapes, for the fabulous floral arrangements that adorned the ballroom.

Encore Gallery:

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