March 27, 2013
I came across a recent article by Jeff Haden in Inc. magazine, which appeared in the Huffington Post website, on personal productivity. These 8 steps or tips are things you should keep in mind as you try to get more out of your work or personal day.
The only thing I would add my comment on is #8, “don’t quit until you’re done”. Be sure the task you define is something that can be done in that period of time you have in mind. If you underestimate that, you could be back to where you started from, working indeterminately until you’re done.
And that means you need to know how to take really big projects and cut them into manageable pieces. It’s like the eating contests some restaurants have … “Eat a 48-ounce steak in 45 minutes and it’s free.” I don’t recommend it, but the guys who do this know how to take that 4-pound steak and break it into bite-sized pieces. They certainly don’t try to cram 4 pounds in all at once!
November 12, 2012
A LinkedIn post on Sunday night by a business owner in Belgium created a firestorm of reaction by Monday morning. In her post “Why I hesitate to hire forty-somethings“, Inge Geerdens put her point across on this delicate subject. As I read it, I could actually see her post being interpreted in one of two ways, either being discriminatory and almost biased, yet also being cautious on how she invests her salary dollars. Or, perhaps, a combination of both.
You read it, and see what you think Geerdens was trying to say. The next day, after she realized the reaction she created, she posted again to explain herself: “I hire on ability, and nothing else.” From the reactions to the more recent post, it’s not clear to me that she was successful in making her point any clearer to them.
With today’s social media technologies, yet another example of how people really must be extra careful of how they express their points of view.
November 5, 2012
In a recent guest post entitled “2 Tips for a Productive Freelancer’s Home Office,” which I wrote for the blog $200K Freelancer, I shared 2 tips to help freelancers create a more productive environment from a home office space. These are applicable to anyone in any industry working from a home office, so check out my post to find out what those 2 things are.
September 26, 2012
I came across a good article at the FastCompany website that was directed at creative freelancers, who are independent contractors. Being a contractor is not much different than being self-employed. The points offered by the author are actually applicable to all independents, whether you’re a freelancer, consultant, attorney, CPA, therapist, or any other type of solopreneur.
Check out the article, and take note of some very useful tidbits of advice.
September 24, 2012
A good part of what might hold us back is indecision. We might waffle on whether we should take a certain course of action, and as a result take none. Or we might hestitate to fix a team chemistry problem, wondering if we’ve read the situation incorrectly. And again do nothing. Or we might put off talking to an employee about a performance problem, for fear of not having all the information we need. Meanwhile the problem continues.
There is fear behind indecision — the fear of making a mistake. If we take that specific course of action based on what we know, we fear that we might be making a mistake because of incomplete information. We put off talking to a problem team member, again because we fear that we might be mistaken about whether they’re the problem or not.
And this fear could be in the face of strong and certain feedback that we’re reading the situation correctly, but we still fear making a mistake. A business owner I know, even though he was unhappy with an employee because of multiple job performance issues, was still unsure if he really should bring the subject up. He was afraid he might be wrong.
If you can lose the fear of making a mistake, then you will solve any issues you might have with indecision. I don’t ever mean that you make decisions based on little or no information. But I do want to remind you that we will never feel that we have enough information to make things perfectly obvious, even if we have a ton of information. You just need enough information so you can use your judgment and experience.
And try not to worry about making a mistake. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” According to Teddy, the wrong thing is better than nothing!
September 2, 2012
George Lois is known as the one upon whom the Mad Men, the popular cable series, is based. In his recent book Damn Good Advice, he offers a number of tips for success, with foundations in the advertising industry, but applicable to all types of businesses. Some of those tips are summarized in this Fast Company online article, which includes excerpts from the book.
Sound advice from the guy who created the brand names “Lean Cuisine” and “Aunt Jemima”, and the cult ad phrase, “I want my MTV!”.
September 1, 2012
It’s Labor Day weekend; I hope you’re all enjoying it, before the school year starts up again in earnest. Thoughts of Labor Day tend to remind me that it’s labor that bears fruit. Success and results are rarely attained without the labor behind it. So if you’re considering a business method that sounds like “success with only 3 hours a week”, “6 figures with push-button software”, or “no experience necessary”, then it sounds too good to be true. And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Get your R&R this weekend, and resume your labor next week, to work toward your goals!
August 30, 2012
Apparently, exercise and working out make you smarter, according to information presented by OnlineCollegeCourses.com, as summarized by Morgan Clendaniel of the FastCompany Co.Exist website. Check out this point of view — it makes for another reason to keep up your exercise routine.
What a deal: work out, look better, and be even smarter!
August 9, 2012
The Olympics has offered many stories of athletes from all walks of life, all with the singular goal of leaving London with a medal. As different as all the stories are, I noticed yet again that there is one thing that stood out to me. Regardless of whether an athlete is favored to win or not, they all have their naysayers.
If the athlete is favored, there are people who will say that he or she is overrated. If an athlete is not favored, lots of people say that he or she has no chance, so why even bother. So, even athletes who are best in their own countries have to put up with this kind of talk from people who aren’t even athletes. Yet those athletes still go about their business, doing what they came to London to do.
Don’t let any naysayers in your business or personal life sidetrack you. Just go about doing what you’re supposed to be doing. That puts you in the same boat as Olympic athletes!
March 9, 2012
Come Sunday morning, we’re going to have to set our clocks ahead one hour again, bringing to mind the phrase used when I was a kid, “spring forward.” And that’s the story of all of us trying to make something happen … to spring forward toward our goals. But what if you’re springing for something that’s not in reach?
I hear lots of workshops and seminars talk about having big ambitions and creating big goals. There’s an acronym I’ve heard from several different places, BHAG, for big hairy audacious goal. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Unless you don’t know how to get from where you are to that big hairy goal.
That’s probably the biggest issue. There are plenty of people who can think up the big goal (“I want to become a millionaire, a billionaire, financially independent, well known and famous”, etc.). That only takes imagination. The reason why very few people make it to the big goal, is because most folks can’t connect where they are with where they want to be and develop an action plan. Some do develop the action plan, then never execute it.
That’s why I’ve always said, “Great ideas are abundant. Great execution is rare.” You must execute, and in order to execute, you must know what your steps are to get to your goal.