Archives for posts with tag: career

Just Say No
It’s not just their discipline to work hard to reach a goal, but their ability to say NO to those things, which on the surface appear to be important, but in reality are distractions. Saying “no” is a gift you give yourself.

When you choose to only focus on what’s truly important, it will make you available physically and mentally for the things that are really critical to reaching your goals.

By saying “no” you inevitably protect your most important fixed resource- TIME.

You and I have 24 hours in a day. So do President Obama, Tim Cook and Katy Perry. Your success no longer just depends on your ability to prove yourself, but more on your ability to prioritize what’s important.

As Steve Jobs once said, “I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.” Jobs followed his advice in 1998 when he cut Apple’s product line from 350 down to 10. Watch this 1-minute video with Mark Parker, the CEO of Nike talking about a call he got from Steve Jobs.

When you’re focused, it’s easy to see what you need to do to become remarkable and manage your brand. Herb Kelleher, the Founder of Southwest Airlines applies a simple mindset to every issue: Will this help Southwest continue to make the airline THE low-cost provider with remarkable customer service? Southwest was recently named to Fortune’s 2015 list of World’s Most Admired Companies for the 21st consecutive year with a record 42 consecutive years of profitability.

I Carry Free Bags
That’s why remarkably effective people are so decisive.

Indecision is usually the result of a lack of focus. Take a look at this video of Kobe Bryant’s insane work ethic that earned him a net worth of $300 million as a 37-year-old basketball player.

Your career is not a ladder where you have unlimited time to reach your goals. It’s a mountain that has to be climbed. If you want to make it to the top, you’ve got to carry only what’s necessary, and nothing more. Because what you carry will either slow you down or help you get to the top faster before you run out of time.

March Blog Pic
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 14 years since Reese Witherspoon starred in the movie Legally Blonde. At that time, she was one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. But after Witherspoon won an Academy Award in 2006, she got divorced and her career floundered.

Fast-forward 8 years. Reese has made a dramatic comeback. She recently produced one of the highest grossing movies of 2014, “Gone Girl” proving that when you take control of your career and stop waiting for someone else to create what you want, you can change your life.

Witherspoon read a story in the New Yorker in 2012 involving a profile of Ben Stiller and a list of actors who were big stars 10 years ago and now they are not. She was on that list.

Within 2 years of starting her own production company, “Wild” was released, and this year, she was back at the Academy Awards as a nominee for “Gone Girl”. In her words, “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever give up on yourself.”

Take some time and watch the last 5 minutes of the movie “Legally Blonde” and see how she inspired others to realize their dreams in life. The movie is a comedy, yet it underscores the often hidden truth that success is not dependent on always being successful, but how you handle failure or unexpected challenges.

If You Don’t Like What You See, Do Something About It

Witherspoon did not like the roles she was being offered, so she created her own production company, Pacific Standard. It’s focused on creating interesting and complex roles for women. Since she never knows which project will be a hit, her company has 16 television and movie productions in development.

Stop for a moment and ask yourself, What is the lifestyle you want to architect?

What career or job changes do you need to focus on to reach your goals? The odds are, you’ll need to try or evaluate many options before you discover the right formula for your success. Failure or dead-ends are your friends.

More often than not, it’s the process of trying and sometimes failing that will help you uncover the golden opportunity that was waiting for you to find it.

So many times you may have heard, “you become what you think about most often”. Hidden within that statement is a key component that many of us forget – it all comes down to your personal expectation as to whether or not you’re going to ultimately succeed.

That’s where it all starts. You’re not going to get anything if you don’t work hard to achieve it. But you’re not going to work hard in the first place unless you have a strong enough expectation that you’ll be successful. This is how life works. Your motivation to take action, and to follow through until the job is done, is directly proportional to your belief that you will succeed.

Food for thought:

When you believe that success is going to be the end result of you never giving up, then you are going to attack your objective with a greater passion. You’re going to be excited about what you’re doing, because you know that it matters. You know that whatever it is you’re doing, it will eventually translate into the result you want.

When you believe strongly enough that you will succeed at something, success is practically guaranteed – not because your belief creates the result, but because you don’t give up taking dedicated action until you get what you want.

The perspective of certainty gives you the ability to see obstacles as challenges that fuel your growth. Focus on “How can I, instead of Why can’t I … ?” The late author Dorothea Brande, in her book, Wake Up & Live, wrote, “Live as though it was impossible to fail.”

You’ll know when what you decide to do is the right thing – you just need to go for it with proper planning. Just don’t get “analysis paralysis” and never get started.

If you’ve got a major goal you want to achieve, here are 3 things to keep in mind:

1.       You have to have the expectation that you (specifically YOU) can achieve this goal. People typically have a lot easier time believing something is “possible” than believing it’s possible for them.” They don’t fully believe that they will be capable of achieving a goal because they are missing something – the time, the talent, the resources, whatever.
2.       You have to have the expectation that you will close the resource gap, no matter how wide it is. How can you compete with a dyslexic college kid like Richard Branson who took on the music industry and the airlines (and succeeded).  A lack of time, money, connections … it doesn’t matter, because there’s a number of creative solutions out there that you’re going to come up with to overcome them. If you have the expectation that it will eventually be resolved, guess what’s going to happen.
3.       You have to have the expectation that every action you take matters. Recognize that action accumulates – that pyramids are built brick by brick. “Live as though it was impossible to fail.” Become a dreamer again.

Your qualifications are a key factor in you getting hired however the impact of competition is a variable that many job searchers forget.There are over 1 million job listings and over 40 million resumes posted on CareerBuilder distributes its resumes to over 1000 local newspapers and job search websites. With all of these people looking for work, how will you be noticed?

If you are an IT professional, you are competing with millions of workers worldwide in today’s plug and play web linked services market. Consider the impact of It allows anyone in the world to access a Mac or PC from any Web browser in real time. So if you are a Network Engineer in Thailand, you can essentially compete with anyone in the U.S.

Think about it. A company advertises for a sales account manager and gets 2000 resumes. 10 applicants have a personal website link embedded on their resume highlighting what they can offer along with a blog link that offers insights into how to develop sales strategies. 5 show up on Linked-in and 7 were referred by current employees who met the candidates at a sales conference. Who gets an interview?

Understanding how to compete with your competition and creativity thinking about ways to get noticed is what can make the difference in getting hired or getting ignored.

Build a digital profile of who you are and what you have to offer.

Then give someone a reason to pick you.

FocusA major role of our unconscious mind is to filter the millions of bits of information that we’re bombarded with every day and delete, distort and generalize them, allowing us to focus on what we think is important.

When we change our focus, the world around us presents us with evidence that supports our new thoughts. Our brain likes making sense of the world, so despite the many contradictions you may encounter, you will find supporting details for your beliefs.

In the book, “The Secret”, it says, “Whatever you focus on will expand and be brought to your conscious awareness”.

Think about your biggest challenge in life right now. If you spend your time thinking about a problem, your unconscious brain will filter all the information being thrown at you and present you with more evidence to support the problem. Your brain likes being right.

Try shifting your focus from the problem to the solution. What is it you really want to accomplish? The problem shouldn’t be your focus. Focus on the ideal solution long enough, and your brain will shift gears. It will start providing evidence (evidence that is already around you, but not consciously recognized) that you can use to work towards the solution and around or through the problem.

Professional athletes focus on the ideal outcome and then visualize all the steps necessary to make it happen. Focus on “not falling”, and your brain gets caught up in the “falling” portion of the process.

Know what you want and focus on the results, not the obstacles. Change your thoughts to change your world. It works.


It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 10 years since Netflix and Zipcar changed the economy to a shareable consumption model that has become a compelling alternative to traditional forms of buying and ownership.

Now many consumers are choosing shared access over ownership.

The effects of the global economic crisis, environmental issues and the expansion of a globally connected social web have created a new generation of businesses and jobs that are changing the “world of work”. In the job market, the world is going from “having a job” to “doing a job”. Companies are essentially “renting” employees as contractors when they need them instead of “owning” them as full-time employees.

Take a look at how even businesses are changing to reflect this ”renting mentality”.

Consider AirBnB. Back in 2007, Gebbia and Brian Chesky were recent graduates in need of extra cash to pay their rent. On a whim, they built a website offering attendees of a design conference a place to stay in their apartment on an air mattress and included a home-cooked breakfast. Encouraged by the experience, they decided to build a web platform where booking a room in a person’s home anywhere in the world was as easy as booking a hotel room. AirBnB is now in more than 8,000 cities and rents houses, castles, cars and yachts.

Zipcar, now owned by Avis, convinced people that they could avoid car ownership and enjoy the perks of access without inconvenience. Now companies like Uber, RelayRides and Getaround don’t own any cars like Avis, they simply enable the sharing of autos owned by individuals. Essentially they have “re-purposed” products/services by enabling them to be shared via web access.

German car manufacturer Daimler (they make Mercedes) is also developing this new business model into a part of its core business. Daimler AG distributes 100 vehicle models in 200 countries worldwide. Its Car2Go service is similar to Zipcar’s, except that it doesn’t require a reservation or a two-way trip. Car2Go’s mobile app allows a person walking down the street to locate a Smart car and access it immediately via a windshield card reader and PIN number, drive it anywhere locally, and leave it there for someone else to use. Daimler has also started developing apps that work for any car, not just a Daimler-made vehicle to capture this new model of transportation access.

  • Why buy a second home when you can rent a chateau in France on Airbnb for $300?
  • Why hire a chauffeur when they don’t come with an Uber app that tracks their relative location to yours and can be used for a quick pick-up for a 2-mile trip to the dentist?
  • Even owning the music of your favorite music artist is a lot less appealing when you can stream it immediately on or offline with Spotify and without taking up any space on your hard drive.

These business examples make a compelling case for why you to need make yourself a web-enabled personal brand. Many employers are evolving their businesses model where shared employee access makes more economic sense than employee ownership. This is not a niche trend led by web-based companies. It’s quickly becoming the new way of doing business using the globally connected social web.

To ensure your income security and marketability, take time now to assess how you can become a part of this rapidly changing business mindset. Study the tools of the Internet that essentially offer you the capability to reach an “income market” beyond a reasonable commuting distance from your home.

As a Boy Scout, I earned a marksmanship merit badge demonstrating that I could safely use a gun and hit a target. However the most valuable lesson I learned, has changed the way I think about business and my career today – To hit a moving target you have to LEAD the target and anticipate where it’s going. Flexibility to change course, accessing the power of the Internet and looking for what lies ahead have become the key factors in ensuring your economic security as it relates to your job. Perhaps the word job should be changed to “income stream” to highlight the importance of having multiple income streams coming from many customers (employers).

Changes are coming quick and they are inevitable.

Start NOW to make yourself a SHAREABLE web-enabled personal brand.

The opportunity of a lifetime is right in front of you. Go for it!

The Little Guy

The mass production of standardized products fueled during the past industrial economy brought high productivity and low costs to consumers.

Now with our information-rich digital economy, technology is eroding the power of large-scale mass production and moving us quickly into a world where millions of small producers offer unique services/products. Consumers are becoming less interested in mass produced things.

3D printing, mobile apps, cloud computing and collaborative work technologies are making the “digital economy” economically feasible to almost anyone with Internet access and offering you the capability to deliver unique products/services globally.

A series of breakthrough technologies and new business models are destroying the old rule that bigger is better.

By exploiting the vast audience afforded by the Internet and taking advantage of cloud-based platforms/tools now available to startups, Small is becoming the New Big.

Take a look at Airbnb. It’s the online marketplace allows people to list, find and book accommodations globally offering over 600,000 accommodations in 34,000 cities and 192 countries. Founded 5 years ago, Airbnb is now on target to become the world’s largest hotelier! Watch for the evolution of companies like Airbnb to transform many industries and related jobs in the next few years.

Now companies can be launched without a massive investment in personnel and an IT infrastructure and can quickly get to market to compete with mid-sized to large companies. By buying specialized services, in customized form and at modest cost, companies can create unique products and find buyers globally. Hyper-niche market companies can now access customers using platforms like Etsy to sell across the world.

Global competition continues to drive large companies to aggressively focus on productivity and leverage technology innovations to get work done with fewer employees. As a result of these changing corporate infrastructures, large numbers of people will have no choice but to invent their own jobs, based on leveraging digital markets and platforms.

The GREAT NEWS is that The Digital Economy Will Be Good for Job Growth because it opens up thousands of new market niches. Going forward, your employability is almost guaranteed if you focus on how to leverage this new way of creating income security.

Instead of looking for what jobs are available within a driving distance of your home, look for ways to capitalize on digital markets that allow you to help people make money, save money or solve a problem.

Keep in mind that your income is generally in direct proportion to the number of people you serve. Going digital can be a great way to use the Internet to reach more people and earn an income based on RESULTS instead of TIME.

For those who want to reach a large audience, a growing host of well-established companies are acting as incubators to connect you with production, manufacturing, and distribution channels.

Start NOW to learn the technology and discover the tools to build a digital infrastructure to market services or products that are remarkable.

“The Little Guy”
Now Holds The Means Of Production AND Distribution


People are usually bad at predicting the future because everyone thinks the future will resemble the past and they have totally different perspectives of the past based on their own experiences.

Statistics genius Nate Silver recently told a story that offers us an insight into why we need to be aware of our viewpoint looking toward the future of our career path.

Radar technology was in its infancy in the 1940s. Navy planes circled the Hawaiian Islands, searching for threats by sending planes that would fly around the islands until they were low on fuel. The Japanese military knew exactly how large that circumference was, so it sent its aircraft carriers just beyond the range that the U.S. reconnaissance planes could fly so a surprise attack would be easy.

The point is that our viewpoint usually just gives us a fraction of the whole picture. There are important developments and technology that are just outside your viewpoint that, if we knew about them, they would totally change how we view the world and future employment opportunities.

Another factor is your personal history, which is heavily influenced by your own experiences. But just like the Navy aircraft, your own experiences are only a partial view of the world, altered by when you were born and your past, the equivalent of the reconnaissance planes with a limited fuel range.

Dr. Morris Massey a Sociologist, and a former professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder produced a 70’s video titled “What You Are Is Where You Were When”. An updated version captures the essence of “viewpoint” not just related to what we believe, but also how it can affect how you develop your future employability.

The lesson here is that we need to continually and consciously update our viewpoint.

That’s why I have always believed that (1) Who You Hang Around With and (2) What You Read, are the 2 Key Factors In Determining Your Future.

Consider these ideas to ensure your viewpoint enhances your future success:

  1. Set aside an hour a week to browse the magazine section of your local library. Pick a magazine that piques your interest and look for insights that can offer you a new perspective related to a future career.
  1. Go to, select topics of interest and then let the site algorithms bring you to related websites with just the click of a button.
  1. Use a Twitter Keyword Tracker to find articles and links to topics that will lead you to alternative career perspectives.

In computer technology, the acronym WYSIWYG translates to “What You See Is What You Get”.

Make it a habit to change what you see by taking a different route to work, rearranging your office furniture or maybe going to to discover new friends who can offer you a new perspective on what you believe and how you think.

The world of work is changing fast. It’s time to update the software of your thinking and embrace the exciting opportunities that await you.


Sometimes it’s what you STOP doing that allows you START doing what will make you more productive and ultimately more successful.

Surprisingly, a key variable in getting what you want relates to having clarity, which leads to focus, which motivates you to take action.

Author Greg McKeown in his latest book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Doing Less, highlights the importance of discerning between external noise and your internal voice.

Greg draws on experience and insights from working with key executives from some of the most innovative companies in the world to show you how to achieve the disciplined pursuit of less to get more.

His core message isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the RIGHT things done.

It’s about challenging the core assumption of ‘I have to do everything’ and replacing it with the pursuit of the right thing, in the right way, at the right time.

Take a look at the online shoe retailer It’s projected to make $1 billion in sales this year, yet profits weren’t its top priority when it was a start-up.

Their initial focus was on making improvements to the customer experience thinking that the more loyal customers they had, the more word-of-mouth business growth they would get.

They essentially adopted the ‘Essentialist Mindset’ of primarily focusing on building customer relationships instead of just selling shoes.

This perspective targeted customer service and made their customers raving fans who told their friends about why doing business with Zappos was remarkable.

They probably could have sold anything and still ended up being a great success.

By focusing on what is essential, doing less non-productive things allow you to take control of your choices so you can focus your time and effort into working on activities that matter.

Something as simple as trying to do too many things may cause you to lose a lot.

Maybe it’s time you consider becoming an Essentialist. It isn’t about getting more done in less time.

It’s about getting only the RIGHT things done by eliminating non value-added activities that are nothing more than distractions.

Consider these insights to get your goals on track while using an Essentialism Mindset:

Write Things Down

  • A goal that you can see is 10 times more powerful than a goal you just think about.

Get a Vision Board

  • Cut out pictures from magazines that represent your goals and look at your board when you wake up and when you go to bed.

Talk About Your Goal

  • Talking with others about your goals will help keep you on track and make you accountable to do what you say.

Set a Date

  • If you give yourself a deadline, you’re more likely to reach it.

Day by day, you may think that nothing changes but when you look back, you’ll see that many things about you are different because of how you spend your time.

Begin today to decide what you will STOP doing to START what you need to be doing to reach your clearly defined and written down goals.

Change your mindset from I have to do everything and I don’t have enough time, to your new “Essentialism Mindset” where you discipline yourself to Pursue Less to do More. 

For many people, the start of the New Year reminds them of the saying, “If You Do What You’ve Been Doing, You’ll Get What You’ve Been Getting”. To make 2014 better than 2013, it’s time to change your thoughts to change your world and realize that “Average is Over” and going forward, you need to become REMARKABLE to achieve great success.

In the past 12 months, the Internet has radically changed the way we do business, how we connect to others and most importantly the critical requirement for all of us to develop our own Personal Brand. Consider these New Year’s Resolutions to maximize your potential and truly become REMARKABLE in your area of expertise.

1.     Expand Your Professional Network – relationships and referrals are still the #1 factor in your being successful. Take time to acquaint yourself with NEW people who are aligned with your goals.

2.     Learn A New Job Skill – take time to expand on what you know to include a NEW skill that is in demand and marketable.
Set aside time to refresh your continuing education so you feel “brand new” again.

3.     Quantify Your Accomplishments – remember the saying, “You Can’t Manage It if You Can’t Measure It”. Set up a spreadsheet to track personal development metrics to measure your success in reaching your goals.

4.     Find a Mentor – the research is conclusive; get a mentor who can offer you qualified feedback and help you stay on track and you can DOUBLE your productivity.

5.   Brand Yourself As Someone Who Can Help a Company Make Money, Save Money, or Solve a Problem. Companies are not in the business of hiring people. They are in the business of making money. They use their money for increased automation, improved technology, leaner manufacturing and streamlining processes.

   Create Your Own Self Marketing SystemTo land your dream job you must be both FINDABLE and RELEVANT. With a well-designed “self-marketing plan”, you can have potential employers and or customers calling you! In the “old” job market, the adage used to be, “It is not what you know but who you know.” In today’s new job market, It’s who knows you, can you be found AND is what you are offering marketable and in demand.  Become an industry expert or the “go-to” person in your professional circle. Join organizations within your professional specialty and become an active participant in LinkedIn groups.

7.   Stop Setting Goals (seriously) and Start Making Habits– It is the small things that occur on a regular basis, that truly define who you are. Commit to a PROCESS of improvement, not just a goal. When you focus more on the practice instead of just the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time. It frees you from the need for immediate results. Goals can provide direction and even push you forward in the short-term but having a SYSTEM is what matters.  What’s the difference between goals and systems?

  •   If you’re a coach, your goal is to win a championship.
    Your system is what your team does at practice each day
  • If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book.
    Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.
  • If you’re an entrepreneur, your goal is to build a million dollar business.
    Your system is your sales and marketing process

8.   Life is Like A Cafeteria– A man came to America from Europe and went into a cafeteria to get something to eat. He sat down at an empty table and waited for someone to take his order.  Nobody did. Finally, a woman with a tray full of food sat down next to him and told him how a cafeteria worked. “Start out at that end,” she said. “Just go along the line and pick out what you want. At the other end they’ll tell you how much you have to pay”. He soon learned that that’s how most things work in the world. Life’s a lot like a cafeteria. You can get anything you want as long as you are willing to pay the price, but you’ll never get it if you wait for someone to bring it to you. You have to get up and get it yourself.

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