Keep Being Awesome!

Great Job this week you guys! Nice team effort all around..
Enjoy this Friday and carry that on into your weekend! #blessedlit

Today's the Day

Today is not just any Thursday! It is a very important, special, and sacred holiday that should be celebrated with as much gusto as birthdays and the like.

Yes, I'm talking about NATIONAL. PUPPY. DAY.

As if puppies weren't already arguably the greatest thing to happen to mankind, the people who make days for random things decided to bless us all with this! There's even a website for it:
Though the day is in good fun, it is really used as a chance to raise awareness about the horrors of puppy mills and to urge people to adopt rather than shop. So hooray for National Puppy Day!

P.S. it is also NATIONAL CHIP AND DIP DAY, and although I'm a major snack fan (check out my snack drawer), I had to give that one a backseat because, puppies.

So there it is! Happy Puppy Day, everyone! To celebrate, here are some puppies for your enjoyment today every time you open a new tab: 


Here a chart, there a chart, everywhere a pie chart

Because, who doesn't love pie charts? Or wheel charts..or whatever you would call this "chart of awesomeness" that makes up every one of us here at SlideBelts..

If you don't recall, we have you take the Gallup Strengths Finder test when you first start working here. It's a cool characteristic test because it specifically targets how your top 5 strengths relate to you in the workplace. Shout out to Emmeline for connecting our data to this awesome platform that put it into a visually appealing chart (:

I love seeing the diversity of our team's strengths - but also the similarity of it! As you can see, we are a strong bunch of achievers, learners, and restorers (or problem solvers). And aside from those top strengths, we have a bunch of other unique ones that perhaps aren't as common, but just as valuable! Now if that didn't already sound like us, I don't know what to tell you..but now you have science to back it up! 



8 Ways To Be Constantly Improving

I recently stumbled across this list of 8 ways to be constantly improving that I thought was worth sharing.  It is from which is an entrepreneurial learning community.

  1. Read Books: It’s like having the best advice from mentors throughout history on demand.
  1. Listen to Podcasts: Fill in the gaps of your life with educational audio.
  1. Take a Course: There’s free info online, but a quality course brings it all together and saves you time.
  1. Practice Old Passions: Take a break or go on a sabbatical. Revisit the things you enjoy but don’t normally do.
  1. Get Feedback & Critique: Skip the compliment sandwiches. Seek feedback from trusted people and get straight to the meat.
  1. Work Towards a Goal: Commit to a daily practice. Do one small thing every day that will get you a little bit closer.
  1. Be Open to Change: To improve, you must change. If you aren’t willing to change, it’s hard to move forward. (part of our 7 keys )
  1. Get Around Community: Your mom was right all along. You become like the people you spend the most time with.



Music Mondays

My boyfriend and I often have the debate of lyrics vs. beat. He'll take a good beat regardless of the quality of lyrics over it and I'll always choose the song with great lyrics over a terrible beat. As a fan of lyrics, and rap lyrics specifically - no other genre of music has the word play, double entendres and rhyme schemes as rap - is one of my favorite websites for a verse by verse breakdown of the meanings of the lyrics. 


Because Chance The Rapper's Coloring Book is still my favorite album of 2016 (and really the last, like, 5 years), here are a few bars from Blessings, my favorite song on the album, broken down with the help of

I'm at war with my wrongs, I'm writing four different songs
I never forged it or forfeited, I'm a force to be reconciled
They want four minute songs
You need a four hour praise dance, performed every morn
I'm feelin' shortness of breath, so Nico grab you a horn
Hit Jericho with a buzzer-beater to end the quarter
Watch brick and mortar fall like dripping water, ugh!


Chance starts by expressing his desire to right his wrongs by writing songs that are more gospel-focused, and one song alone isn't enough to achieve this. In the subsequent lines, he expands on the path he took to get here - not selling out to record companies, doing things his way and announcing that he's a force in the music industry, with a slight twist. By switching "reckoned" with "reconciled", he's not looking to succeed at the cost of other musicians, but rather to change the industry for the benefit of all artists.


The alliteration with for/four is symbolic, as the number 4 is important in Christianity. The last few lines represent the biblical Battle of Jericho, where the Israelites surround the wall protecting the Land of Canaan and blow trumpets to knock the walls down. The walls here represent life's struggles, with music being the destruction of those walls. Nico Segal (a.k.a. "Donnie Trumpet") is Chance's friend and the other half of the duo's side group, The Social Experiment. Appropriately, Nico and his trumpet are featured throughout the track.


This is only a snippet of a great song and an even greater album. If you haven't yet, I hope this will convince you to give Coloring Book (or at least this song) a listen.





A little about Pantone:
The Pantone Matching System was created by Lawrence Herbert in 1963 in order to standardize color for the graphic arts. The color spectrum is interpreted differently from person to person, so the Pantone Matching System ensures the consistency of colors across the board. Today, Pantone is recognized as the standard "color language" and spans 
digital technology, fashion, home, plastics, architecture and contract interiors, and paint, among other fields.

Also, the books are just super fun to look at. 

Pantone releases the "Color of the Year" annually and this year's color is called Greenery! This is what Pantone has to say about the shade:

A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings.

Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.

Greenery is nature’s neutral. The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world. This shift is reflected by the proliferation of all things expressive of Greenery in daily lives through urban planning, architecture, lifestyle and design choices globally. A constant on the periphery, Greenery is now being pulled to the forefront - it is an omnipresent hue around the world.

A life-affirming shade, Greenery is also emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality.

Here's Greenery nestled inside Pantone's 2017 Spring 2017 Fashion Color Report (aka the hottest colors for spring fashion). I'm a fan of Pale Dogwood and Kale


7 Signs Your Career is Going Well

Borrowing this list from an article on The Muse..Wage isn’t the only factor to consider when evaluating your career many of these are you rocking today?

  1. You’ve made tons of progress - would you consider yourself different/better than when you started your career?
  2. You set your own priorities - do you have a healthy work-life balance, where you set time aside for what is really important to you outside of work, or does your work consume your entire life?
  3. You love to learn in your job - This applies to physically learning from books/articles/peers/managers and also learning from your mistakes
  4. You set and recognize goals - You count each small and large success at work to make you that much better for tomorrow
  5. You cultivate good habits - in and out of the workplace..perhaps you work hard to show up on time, or get up early, or set time aside to stay healthy and active
  6. Your strive to be emotionally intelligent - Also applying this one in and out of the use past experiences with people to inform your decision making
  7. You haven’t given up - and since you’re here reading this, you’ve at least got one out of seven.

Now go be successful!



My name is Sam...sometimes

When I first came into SlideBelts, I came in with the name Sam.

As most of you know, my first name is actually Nery. This name, not the most common in the U.S., became a theme in my life from a young age; almost its character.

The first time I realized my name was different was my first day of Kindergarten. The teacher began class, as most do, by taking roll. She easily made her way through the list when, all of a sudden, her eyes squinted as if the letters suddenly changed into a smaller font. A nasally sound of a long "N" came out of her lips as she struggled to put the rest together, "Nnnnn-eeeee-rrrrrr-yyy??" I had never heard it pronounced that way, so it took a second for me to react. "Here," I said quietly, now embarrassed at the new attention I was receiving.

I began to dread the first day of school; having to explain my name and the long conversation that followed about where I am from and how long I have lived here. I learned to distance myself from my name. I stopped correcting people as much and when I encountered someone that I was not going to know for long, I gave them my middle name, "Sam," because that solicited no questions or sideways looks.

Nery became its own animal that I had to learn to live with, and subsequently, had a good story to tell.

Stay tuned for the next installment...



26 Tools

Writing has always been my safe haven. When I would get in trouble with my parents as a child, I'd always write them a note to apologize and I've carried that form of self-reflection into adulthood. Yes, spoken words generally mean more, but there's something incredible about the ways that you can carefully craft a song, a poem or a heartfelt letter from just a pen and a blank piece of paper.


Here, you can choose your words carefully - you can edit, erase and begin again if it doesn't come out right the first time. The 26 letters of the alphabet are the only tools you need to craft something that could win a Nobel Peace Prize or a Pulitzer, express your deepest love to someone who might not know it, or apologize to your parents for not cleaning your room. 


Alone, those 26 letters aren't much more than a catchy jingle you learn in Kindergarten. But together, the opportunities are truly endless. When it comes down to it, words are really the only thing that can change the world - for better or for worse. With letters as your tools, the pen and pencil are your sword - representative of human progression and the evolution of one of the oldest writing instruments known to humanity. Each has a history of inspiring the greatest minds the world has ever known, creating something extraordinary from nothing.


In a time where iPhones, iPads and computers are the preeminent forms of communication, don't forget the oldest and greatest form of written communication we have. There's no email or text message that can ever take the place of handwritten prose.



Trevor - March 2017

Congrats Trevor! This is for all the above & beyond sacrifices you've made for SlideBelts.

  • 1. That one movie that you can literally watch over and over and over and over again and you still love it:
    Wedding Crashers
  • 2. What is something on your bucket list?
    To visit Germany, where my mom was born.
  • 3. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
    Professional baseball player
  • 4. That one food that you can't stand that everyone else seems to love:
    Any type of berry
  • 5. What's the craziest thing you've done in the name of love?
    Attend a Rascal Flatts concert