Tips for Entrepreneurs: How Do You Work on the Road?

Chefs.com published this deansguide article 1-14-09

Special welcome to Chefs.com as a new publisher of deansguide content. Thank you and welcome!

What does a networking day look like to you? I drive 150 miles round trip to network in Silicon Valley one to two days a week. The following are tips on how to develop your day, on the fly, when things change unexpectedly. The first scenario represents my original plans for my day. The second scenario is the reality that was my day.

Road Tips to Save Time, Educate, and Accomplish Tasks

1. Practice Time: I practice one of my 5 workshop presentations on the 60 minute drive to the Valley. It is quiet time and a great place to practice

2. GPS: A GPS system for your car is a simple tool to keep you from losing time consulting your iPhone or laptop in search of directions.

3. Buffer and Flexibility: Schedule enough time between events, sales calls, or appointments so that you can reconnect with business tasks, call backs, and keep your day moving on all fronts of your business.

4. Give Value : Be prepared to give files, printed materials, articles, and any reference resources when you are making sales calls, new consultations, networking events, or any other place you wish to give value or support your points.

5. Be Ready for Opportunity: Be ready to present your case, workshop, or product at the drop of a hat.

My Schedule Before the Day

1. 10:00am-1:30pm  CSIX Connect: This is the best employment group meeting in the Valley. The meeting runs from 10:30-1:00 at the iRestaurant in Cupertino. It includes lunch, networking, and speaker’s workshop. This is stop #1 in my day.

2. 2:00 and 3:00pm Consultations: I scheduled two consultations after the CSIX meeting.Both of my consultations centered around current clients’ needs and my need for an evaluation of their efforts to date.

3.  3:30pm Sales Call: ProMatch is a large Edd group in Sunnyvale that Susan has presented to in the past. My goal is to secure a speaking engagement on blogging to employment, Linkedin, Twitter or any social media Web 2.0 subject.

4.  4:30pm Administration: Send follow up documents and monitor our blog.

5.  5:30pm De Anza Community College: Inquire about facility rental, sales call, schedule meeting to pitch social media curriculum.

6.  6:30-7:00pm: Final call backs, wait for rush hour to thin begin home at 7:00pm

My Actual Day

1. 10:00am-3:00pm CSIX Connect: I met 7 new contacts and our lunch conversation continued until 2:00.

2.  3:00-3:45pm New Consultation: I met with a new contact to discuss social media for job seekers

3.  4:00-5:00pm New Consultation: I met with a new contact to discuss change, transition, and understanding direction.

4.  ProMatch: my opportunity to reconnect with my contacts at ProMatch is gone as they close at 4:00pm

5.  5:20pm Phone Consultation: In coming call from former client to reevaluate past issues. New focus and strategy discussed. Invite to attend ASTD monthly meeting.

6.  6:00-8:00pm ASTD “Mentoring” : Kim Wise gave a very interesting presentation on the benefits of mentoring to companies and individuals, software developed for mentor selection, and her vision of future trends in organizational development.



Job Seeker’s Guide to Making the Hiring Manager Happy

Careerbuilder.com ran a survey of 31,000 employers about their use of social media in screening and finding job applicants. The results include:

  • More than 1 in 5 employers use social media sites to screen job applicants
  • 22% of the 31,000 employers said they use social media to find human capital
  • 9% more said they would begin utilizing social media sites in 2009
  • 31% or nearly 10,000 employers will focus on social media as a recruiting and screening tool in 2009

The writing, pardon the pun, is on the wall. If you want to make a hiring manager happy, and help yourself, you will adopt all of the steps outlined below to help you–stand apart from the competition.

Silicon Valley star Guy Kawasaki did not intend for his chapter “The Art of Driving Your Competition Crazy” in Reality Check to be job seeker’s advice; yet the main theme is vital for any job seeker’s success. The chapter outlines 8 steps to drive your competition crazy aimed at helping entrepreneurs and corporations understand how to win at the art of business.The most valuable theme and step is “Focus on the customer.” Guy outlines the irony that entrepreneurs and businesses should not take action against the competition–don’t do anything to them but everything for the customer.

Theme: Make the Hiring Manager Happy

The idea and theme here is to ignore your competition and focus completely on a hiring manager’s happiness. Ignore the millions who are out of work and competing for the same jobs, ignore the pundits who continue to fuel the panic, ignore the negative naysayers who continue to bring your spirit down.

Instead think about what makes hiring managers happy? How about taking the task of reading resumes off their plate. What about saving them time, energy, and focus by removing the screening process that entails resumes and cover letters. Why not remove the gray areas and guess work for a hiring manager by delivering a better more revealing resource than a resume which is simply a job seeker’s listing of their value? How about removing the issue of back checking aka background checks to validate claims on a resume? Why not attempt to reduce their time wasted recruiting and looking for the right candidate for the job when you are available?

Most Hiring Managers Dislike:

  • Deluge of resumes create huge time crunch
  • Lost productivity in their own jobs due to resume review process
  • Tasking other people from their jobs to help in the review of resumes
  • Guess work involved in hoping they choose the right candidate
  • Decisions about new hires ultimately reflect upon the hiring manager’s own judgment
  • Lack of information or verifiable proof that job seeker can deliver their listed values in their resume

Make a Hiring Manager Happy:

  • Craft your value message of expertise, accomplishments, and experience
  • Establish your “employment campaign” blog that delivers your value message
  • Research how you can provide value to targeted hiring managers then deliver your value message
  • Write a keyword rich, descriptive, and opportunity message Linkedin profile
  • Utilize Twitter to broadcast and deliver your value message
  • Research your target companies for their participation in Web 2.0 blogging, social media networking, and engage them through these channel

California 1 of 5 States With Worst Unemployment Rate

Flag of California

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 1-11-09
The Courier News member of the Chicago Sun-Times News Group published this deansguide article 1-11-09
Post Tribune member of the Chicago Sun-Times News Group published this deansguide article 1-11-09

California has 1 of the 5 highest unemployment rates in the country according to a new report from the Associated Press Ray Henry and Christopher Rugaber. The most telling factor is that each state has something in common “a heightened exposure to the root causes of this downward spiral.”

Factors in Common:

  • Housing collapse
  • Auto Industry implosion
  • Financial Services meltdown
  • Manufacturing decline

5 Worst States by Unemployment Numbers and Symptoms:

1. Michigan: Auto industry’s near collapse and uncertainty.

2. Rhode Island: Manufacturing decline and construction stoppages

3. South Carolina: Manufacturing decline, construction losses

4. California: Housing market implosion, lender meltdown, builder losses, foreclosures

5. Oregon: Timber industry hurt by housing stall

Real Estate’s Role in California’s Economic Woes:

A very telling fact is  California’s unemployment rate of  8.4%, third highest in the nation, has been primarily due to the collapse of the real estate market. Nothing surprising in that statement but “in the year ending in November 2008, 71 percent of the nonfarm jobs lost in California were housing-related.”

Job Seekers and Entrepreneurs: Drive Your Competition Crazy

Reality Check

“If any of my competitors were drowning, I’d stick a hose in their mouth.” Ray Kroc

Harsh words no doubt but if you have ever read about McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc they fit his personality. Unlike Mr. Kroc’s take no prisoners attitude, Guy Kawasaki suggests that the best way drive your competition crazy is by “constantly innovating and serving your customers.”

If you are a entrepreneur or a job seeker go buy Guy Kawsaki’s latest book “Reality Check.” Begin on Chapter 66 with “The Art of Driving Your Competition Crazy” for the best practical advice on how to stand out, be memorable, and create your differentiating factor. Also check out the blog for more information. Although there are 8 important steps worth serious consideration, one stands out as the theme of Kawasaki’s advice: Focus on the Customer.

Focus on the Customer:  Entrepreneur

The irony here is that rather than trying to do something to your competitor(s), “the best way to drive your competition crazy is not to do anything to it.” The strategy to success is to focus on your customer by concentrating on great customer service, out-innovating the competition, and out-pricing them.

Focus on the Hiring Manager: Job Seeker

In the same respects there is an irony in this situation too. Instead of the job seeker attempting to out sell, out brag, or out maneuver his/her resume to be the best resume, the job seeker needs to concentrate on the hiring manager’s happiness.

This happiness can be achieved by creating value through a blog, a great Linkedin profile, and a social media broadcasting system. The goal for job seekers should be to remove the resume review process, time lost, costly hours wasted by a hiring manager who does not want to go through this process. By making a valuable case and delivering a message of value through target marketing, job seekers could completely remove this burden from the hiring manager.

Realtors Do You Understand the 5 Levels of Twitter Acceptance?

One of the best tools for measuring your commitment and understanding of the micro-blogging power Twitter.com comes from social media marketing superstar Rohit Bhargava the inventor of Social Media Optimization. In his article “The 5 Stages of Twitter Acceptance” Rohit has brilliantly and accurately outlined the evolution of many Twitter users. The graphic clearly highlights each stage and it acts as a measuring tool to those who have progressed forward in their acceptance.

The 5 Stages of Twitter Acceptance:

Imb_5stagesoftwitter_2
Courtesy RohitBhargava.typepad.com

My Acceptance Process for Each Level

1. Denial: One of my first blog posts of the summer of 2007 was to challenge Twitter’s validity as a tool-I instead described it ” Twitter becomes the equivilent of your well meaning but very nosy “Italian Grandmother.”

2. Presence: I simply went through the motions

3. Dumping: I inundated twitter with MY BLOG POSTS only a big no-no on any social networking site

4. Conversing: I reached the conversing stage 6 weeks ago as I really began to understand Twitter’s power 4 months ago. In this stage I knew I was progressing but I also knew something was missing-I was not a go-to objective source of information

5. Microblogging: I am now authentically building relationships 1×1, I am bringing in valuable information to the mix for other twitterers to ponder, and I am far more objective and willing to support the community

McKinsey Global Survey: Web 2.0 “Spurring Change” in Corporate Management and Organization

Web 2.0 tools are “spurring change” with corporate management and organization according to respected consulting giant McKinsey’s “Building the Web 2.0 Enterprise: McKinsey Global Survey Results.” The results of this report point to interesting trends that every corporation must analyze moving forward starting today. According to McKinsey “as Web 2.0 gains traction, it could transform the way companies organize and manage themselves, leading to what some have dubbed Enterprise 2.0.”

4 Reasons for Corporations to Consider Web 2.0 Tools:

1.  Interaction: 26% have reported Web 2.0 tools have “changed interactions with customers and suppliers”

2. Roles and Functions: 33% reported that new Web 2.0 technologies have “created new roles or functions inside their organizations”

3. Corporate Structure: 33% feel that Web 2.0 tools “are changing their corporate structure”

4.  Hiring and Talent Retention: 27% report Web 2.0 tools have changed the method that their company hires and retains employees.”

See Exhibit 6 “Spurring change”  for matrix

Chris Brogan’s Two Tips To Public Speaking: What’s In It For Me?

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 11-20-08

Do you want to learn two hugely important tips to become a better public speaker, more connected with your audience, and a method to provide your audience with an actionable next step? If the answer is yes then please read Chris Brogan’s fantastic article “Two Important Speaking Tips.”

Courtesy of (CC) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com and bub.blicio.us.

Chris Brogan, one of this generation’s true social media superstars states: WIIFM aka “What Is In It For Me?” Before you can understand how to provide the audience with the answer to WIIFM, let’s examine one of the most common mistakes speakers make–me included.

Our Introduction Rarely Connects Us to the Audience

According to Chris: “We have a tendency to clear our autobiographical throats before we dig into educating an audience. Then, we end with no real sense of what comes next. This means we leave people excited, but with nothing to do.”

Analysis: Often times I rely upon building my credentials first before getting to WIIFM. Do you find yourself moving your own value message forward before connecting with the audience’s need to CARE about your message?

2 Tips to Help Your Public Speaking

1. WIIFM: Ask Your Audience a Question- According to Chris you want to ask your audience a question “that sounds like it came right out of their head.”

Example: If you are giving a session on the merits of blogging as a tool for job seekers in their job search you might ask:

“Do you think people REALLY believe blogging will change the process of searching for a job?”

Benefits: By asking this type of question, you are relating to the audience’s need to care and understand what is in it for me.

Second benefit is what Chris refers to as taking away their “sword”:

“This means start by making sure your audience (especially if they’re skeptics) knows that you’re on their side.

2. Takeaways: these are very important for a speaker to include in their presentation. They are the next step actions and things people can do to apply the tips-information you have provided during your presentation. As Chris states, and I can vouch for this myself, takeaways are “the whole “next steps” stuff that people seem to crave at events.”

The Takeaways you provide should be “very actionable.” When I finished my workshop on Blogging to Employment, I gave my audience a homework assignment that included research, writing their initial blog article, and formulation of a target list.

Benefit of Takeaways Keeps You Connected: you remain connected and have a solid reason to collaborate with your audience as a resource and coach for their next step actionable items.

Organizational Structure: people need and want structure and organization. By giving Takeaways and “homework” you are helping your audience to be more organized in their quest for new information and solutions.