Archive for the ‘Career’ Category
A sidekick is defined as a “close companion who is generally regarded as subordinate to the one he accompanies. Some well-known fictional sidekicks are Doctor Watson (of Sherlock Holmes), Tonto (of The Lone Ranger), Robin (of Batman), and Ethel Mertz (of Lucy Ricardo).” “I love Lucy.” Don’t you?
Anyway, did I mention that some bosses have sidekicks; particularly those who cannot make executive decisions?
Who is smarter; the boss or the sidekick? Who gives the orders? Who is in charge? Let’s see!
Batman was the “man.”
Sherlock solved the crimes!
Though Ed McMahon said “Here’s Johnny,” it was The Tonight Show’s late night host Johnny Carson who was the star!
What happens when the sidekick usurps the boss’ authority that the boss willingly surrenders because he doesn’t want his job?
“Holy Switch A Roo,” as Batman’s Robin would say.
Will the incompetent sidekick’s decisions ultimately kick the boss in his behind? “Pow!”
Stop thinking that these are television examples only. Look around in your office complex. Too bad the walls can’t talk!
Stay tuned to watch corporate dysfunction at its best?
The cameras are rolling! Let’s see who steals the show.
Although it may seem like a comic strip, the Peanut characters and their many sidekicks were smart and on top of their game!
“Where’s Snoopy?” He’ll make sense of this!
The boss sure can’t!
Does your job have too many chiefs?
In order to successfully operate, a company needs organization and a balance of power. It needs someone to give orders and someone to take them. Commands from multiple people who lack the authority or who are not specifically clear may present inherent problems. Conflicting directions are just as bad. Is there clarity in the organizational lines of authority?
Are the directives understandable and clearly defined/stated?
To effectively and profitably move a company forward, defined lines of authority are essential.
Someone has to do the work when the instructions are given!
An imbalanced proportion results in chaos. If you don’t believe me, look outside your office door!
Photo credit: www.cafepress.com
Are you addicted to your cell phone?
Before you answer this question, let me share how I and so many others use our cell phones.
1. First and foremost – To talk. It is right at my fingertips to be spontaneously used.
2. To store numbers. I don’t know anyone’s numbers anymore. They are all stored in my phone. Why use my memory when I don’t have to? I know that there is a danger in that theory, but it works for now. (By the way, I only personally know one person who doesn’t store his #’s and directly dials out all the time. He is so secretive that I am convinced that he is hiding something or someone! However, that’s a blog post for another day.)
3. To canvass Social Media sites. Please follow me on twitter at #swta, #Vernalee, and follow my daily blog, stuffwetalkabout.com. Here I go again with my marketing!
4. To send text messages and emails. I am up on all the abbreviated shortcuts. R U ?
5. To play games. This is a shout out to all my candy crush fans.
6. To provide directions. Nothing beats a guiding handheld GPS when you are directionally challenged.
7. To serve as my personal secretary by maintaining / reminding me of my appointments. For those entrepreneurs who have no personal administrative assistant, this is a great fringe benefit.
8. To take photos and shoot videos. Does anyone still use traditional cameras?
9. To tell time. I wear watches for fashion purposes only. I love my cellular alarm ringtone to wake me up.
10. To listen to music and download my favorite iTunes; to watch HBO Go.
11. To browse the Internet. Google is my favorite.
12. To read my favorite magazines. Black Enterprise was just downloaded. How convenient!
13. To check the stock market. Check the Nasdaq; feel important even if you do not own stock! Why not?
14. To serve as my personal baby sitter when I am waiting on someone who is late and don’t want others to stare me in my face.
15. To use my Face Time application to talk to my love ones. I have asked them to give me a 3 minute warning so that they don’t catch me looking my worst. Oh well!
16. To check the weather. I daily check the temperatures in Cleveland, Ohio, but also in my hometown in Mississippi. Then, I get depressed when it is snow on the grounds here and the Mississippi temp is in the 70’s.
My list goes on and on …. so I guess that I am addicted! Think about it! The cell phone is so versatile that although it was meant to be at our ear and mouth to hear / talk; many of us use it more to transmit messages non-verbally. We can hide behind our small cellular devices and avoid verbal communications by sending written messages via text and emails. Why hear their voices when you don’t want to be bothered? It is so much easier to write what you don’t have the courage to say.
For the record, that was not me that you saw standing in the line last week for 8 hours waiting to pick up the newly released iPhone!
Photo credit: www.yahoo.com; www.bunow.com
How’s your Email etiquette? Are your words accurately and respectfully written?
Since Emails are a dominant form of communication in our personal and professional lives, making them effective is the key. Many of us prefer to or have chosen to email folks rather than verbally communicate with them. Besides, emailing is handy. You don’t have to worry about catching folks or them returning calls. You don’t have to leave home or get dressed to communicate. Plus, you can send them anytime, anywhere, and from your phone which is always with you.
Because of the conveniences and simplicities, why bother with the physical interaction? You may not be in an office when you send an email, but if it’s for business, it should reflect a professional tone.
It is for these reasons and more, that we should make sure that our emails convey the appropriate message.
1. Subject Lines – Make them succinct and to the point. If the subject should change in your email thread, change the subject line to reflect same.
2. Professional Email Address – If it is not a corporate email, does it contain your name/your company’s name or a reference whereby the reader will know that it’s you?
3. Reply All – Think before you press that button. Do you want everyone to read your message or just the sender? Are you sending the email to the right person? Double check your stored recipient’s name to assure your accuracy before you send. Slippery fingers can present a slippery mess!
4. Salutations – Be professional and please use a greeting of some sort.
5. Exclamation Points – Multiple exclamation points can be offensive. Some authorities equate multiple exclamation points to shouting.
6. Blind copy/Forward – Wisely use as appropriate.
7. Replies – Try to reasonably respond to emails even if it is a brief answer. ( i.e received, thank you). Don’t leave the sender wondering if you received/read their message.
8. Proofread – Read it before you push the send button.
9. Can you really hide behind the words? – This is a double edged sword. You can say in writing what you do not have the courage to say to a person’s face. However, words don’t lie whether they are oral or written. Unlike verbal communication, we have little or no wiggle room for interpretation when it is in print. Emails can hold a liar’s feet to the fire because the sender can’t say that it wasn’t him/her who sent the message when the email came directly from their email address. The black and white letters become permanent etches.
Emails are here to stay. They are permanent records that are undeniably evidentiary. Your emails can be funny or serious. They can be light or academic. They convey a consortium of messages. Regardless, be careful, discreet, accurate; be a person whose emails you can defend! Be wise with your choice of words!
By the way, the conveniences of emails can add hours to your workday because many of us transmit emails from home that we didn’t have time to send during work hours.
Photo credit: www.math.uh.edu
To be obvious or unusual form the basis for Standing Out From The Crowd.
Our actions, behavior, leadership … determine where we stand.
Certainly, our attitude and aptitude determine the altitude to how high we rise. If you want to be more than the average bear, mediocrity has no place in your world.
As Susan Gale says, ” Normalcy is what makes you part of the crowd. Character is what makes you stand out from the crowd. But principle is what makes you rise above the crowd.”
Entrepreneurs in particular must pave their way through the maze. In this process, there are 5 secrets to stand out and rise above the crowd.
1. Take Initiative.
2. Have a positive mental attitude (PMA).
3. Have Goals.
4. Be open to take risks and keep an open mind.
5. Be a Go Getter.
We have to stay “charged up,” stay motivated, take the challenge, execute, deliver, and display positivity in our actions and leadership. As entrepreneurs, we are watched and judged. When we deliver the best and don’t short-step on quality, who we are don’t matter as much as what we produce!
Photo credit: www.business2community.com; Source: Kenneth Cloutier, Get Motivated for Success.
Our time is so valuable. How it is used determines integral outcomes in our life. There is “never enough time in the day,” is an old adage whose meaning becomes more realistic daily. Thus, we need a plan, particularly when our utilization (of time) determines our income. What’s primary; what’s secondary? How do we make those determinations? As an entrepreneur, making a daily plan makes sense. Four questions / commands of relevancy may determine how our business grows.
1. What tasks make money now?
2. What tasks make money in the future?
3. Schedule money making tasks everyday.
4. Delegate tasks that need to be done, but not necessarily by you.
In quick simplistic terms, the answer as I see it, is a what and a how.
What can bring in the $$$ now, in the future; and how will it be accomplished.
Time management is a science with our utilization of same equating to outcomes … with generation of revenue being one.
How we spend our time – directly and indirectly – determines how much money is in our pockets!
What is our next step? There may be many. Hiring a full time employee may not be financially affordable, but support – be it virtual or a consultant – may be an avenue to explore.
Many of us learn by example. Oddly, some of us can’t resist learning the hard way. We may insist on experimenting with the “bought sense vs. learnt sense” hypothesis.
With quantitative and qualitative measurements, eventually, we will learn that we cannot do it all … by ourselves. When that realization clicks, we will “be in the money!”
Green is such a spendable and vibrant color! Get started planning the “how’s” and “what’s” of your day!
“The early bird catches the most worms!”
Photo credit: www.homebusiness.about.com
Confucius said, “Choose what you like to do and you’ll never work a day in your life.” With that quote in mind, do you like what you do? Or is it a job that just pays the bill? Do you dread going to your office? Or do you wake excited to finish incomplete assignments? Liking/enjoying what you do is important. Your success, financial renumeration, work/personal life balance and other intricate determinants to your satisfaction may depend upon it.
In your quest, consider these simple steps.
1. Determine what you really want. What qualities and values are most important right now?
2. Choose that. Ask for it. Move toward it. Assume you deserve to get it.
3. Commit wholeheartedly. Determine what stands in your way.
Stop doing what you hate. Recognize that you have choices. Don’t wait until somebody makes it for you.
You deserve more for yourself than to do something that you dislike or be stuck where you care not to be – job, environment, staff, otherwise. Take inventory; make wise choices; chase your dreams; be determined – you can do it! “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face,” but find what you like to do and go for it! You’ll be happy that you did!
Photo credit: www.likesuccess.com; Source: www.quintcareers.com
Being broke is not a good feeling. Raise your hand if you agree! Can I get an Amen? But being broke can be your greatest motivator. Just ask Daymond John who started selling his home-sewn t-shirts on the streets of Queens on a $40 budget that later became the incubator for the $6 billion dollar global phenomenon FUBU (For us, By us) brand. John had a stand by your side Mother, “a heart full of hope, and a ferocious drive to succeed by any means possible.”
So, FUBU founder and star of ABC’s Shark Tank shows that being broke may be your “greatest competitive advantage as an entrepreneur. It forces you to think more creatively, use your resources more efficiently, connect with your customers more authentically, market your ideas more imaginatively; and finally, it forces you to be true to yourself, stay focused on your goals, and come up with innovative solutions required to make a meaningful mark.”
Yes, that’s right. John shows in his book, “The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage.”
“When your back is up against the wall, your bank account is empty, and creativity and passion are the only resources you can afford, success is your only option.”
John in his book covers the below topics:
1. The Power of Broke
2. Rise and Grind
3. Money changes everything
4. What it is
5. Broke isn’t just personal
6. Be the change.
7. Bringing it all home.
Are you motivated yet?
Sometimes, we have to use what we have as John did.
With no advertising budget, he asked his fellow Queens neighbor and rapper L.L. Cool J to wear one of his caps in a GAP commercial in the 1990’s.
Not too shabby; right? Great advertising, I’ll say. The rest is history!
Here’s my take.
Don’t be afraid to ask!
How can you receive if you don’t ask!
Use your available resources.
It shows that thinking out of the box will land you farther than the idleness of not pursuing your passions.
Don’t give up!
Be persistently motivated. Motivation can make your paycheck bigger.
Work hard and harder and harder.
Work your passion to achieve your greatness!
Don’t take NO for an answer.
Where there is a will, there is a way!
Don’t let the lack of funds stop you!
Neither should you!
Photo credit: www.chicagotribune.com
As entrepreneurs, it is imperative that you become your own brand. Besides, no one can sell you better than you. Agreed?
The question is: How do you become a brand; a recognizable brand at that? Let’s see what the experts have to say.
1. First …Become an expert on something that relates to your business.
2. Establish a website or blog under your full name preferably and/or theme a recognizable subject name that you can call your own.
3. Learn how to be a good source.
4. Generate brand awareness by networking.
Allow me to “Vernalize this.
In other words, become a knowledgeable brainchild whereby you unequivocally know what you are talking about; promote and establish yourself as an authoritative expert. It may sound complicated, but it isn’t.
In simple terms, educate yourself and showcase your talents.
Take it a step further and become a primary source so that people ultimately come to you for the quote as the recognized expert.
Sounds good so far?
As you expertly craft a good name and reputation for yourself in the stratosphere, your network and the world will recognize you for your skills, knowledge, talents, and of course your brand.
You now stand out from the crowd.
A good name is hard to beat; isn’t it?
Your good name or shall I refer to it as your brand will draw people to you like bees to honey.
Speaking of your drawing card, networking becomes one of your trump cards.
The four rules of networking that you should keep in mind are mutualism, giving, targeting and reconnecting.
A. Mutualism: You have to create win-win relationships in business. Mutual benefits will help.
B. Giving: Help someone out, before asking for anything in return. This makes people want to support you.
C. Targeting: You want to be very specific with the types of people you network with, in order to save time and to attract the right people to your brand.
D. Reconnecting: Never lose touch, that way networking contacts remember you when new opportunities surface.
These tenets remind me of the old folks sitting back in their rocking chairs on their screen porches in Mississippi.
Without anyone asking for their input, they voluntarily would put in their two cents. “That child sho nuff knows what she’s talking about. Her mouth might get her somewhere someday. For sho, she meets no strangers. She can work the room better than anybody I know. Can’t she?”
Though perhaps elementary, those old folks saw your shining star. Hence, you were creating your brand even back then.
As you move forward, continue the development so that all will materialize into positivities that sell and work.
In closing, you will know that you have become a recognizable brand if a letter is mailed to you with just your name on it (no address) and it arrives at your office doorstep.
Okay folks, don’t flood my mailbox with letters addressed to Vernalee.
If you do, I claim it!
It is the validation that my branding tactics have been successful.
Join me as we rebrand and re-position ourselves.
Photo credit: www.zcorum.com; Source: Entrepreneurs.com
Remember the Titanic? It was considered unsinkable. Figuratively speaking, a sinking ship could be a bad relationship, a dead end job, a drowning marriage, a wayward child, or any circumstance in life that may take you down. A downward path may encompass an emotional or a physical descent. If you are on or navigating a sinking ship, you basically have 3 viable survival options: You can either get off – before it hits, when it hits, or after it hits, – but before it sinks. Sometimes, we are optimists and feel that we can coast and ride out the storms in our lives; life jackets or not! Our success rate sometimes cannot be predetermined or accurately predicted. When we are confronted with obstacle courses, and when and if there are opportunities to make wise decisions, we must do so! Don’t procrasinate! Time does not wait on no one and time may not be on your side! Invariably, our decisions determine our destiny. Never forget that on April 15, 1912, despite its sophistication, the RMS Titanic, on its maiden voyage from the UK to NYC sank when it collided with an iceberg! “SOS;” Don’t underestimate the reality of a situation. As the old folks say, “Be safe, not sorry; sink or swim!” Your life may depend upon it!
Photo credit: The RMS Titanic courtesy of www.en.wikipedia.org