Archives for posts with tag: relationships


For most of us, when we graduate from high school or college, we assume it’s time to go out and get a job.
But like many things the masses do, it doesn’t mean it’s the best option, particularly in today’s employment market. In fact, getting “a job” may NOT be your best option

1. Having  A “Job” Is Essentially Trading Your Time For Money

Because you only get paid when you’re working, you are essentially “renting” yourself and trading income for time.  The key is to separate your value from your time by either adding a way to increase your income with an added commission or some payment based on results not just time.

2. Limited Experience

A job only gives you experience at that job. You might think it’s important to get a job to gain experience.  But if your skills ever become obsolete, then your experience won’t be worth much.  Ask yourself, “What will the experience you’re gaining right now be worth in 5 years?”  Will your job or skills even exist or be in demand?

3. Employment Security

Many employees believe getting a job is the safest and most secure way to support themselves. Look at the increasing number of layoffs and contractors in the workforce along with the amount of work being outsourced to other countries.  Does having only one source of income truly give you employment security? Could your job be digitally outsourced to the Internet (consider on-line university classes and buying books from Amazon instead of a local bookstore).

4. The Value of Relationships

Many people find that their jobs are their primary social outlet.  They hang out with the same people working in the same field. Yet relationships are the key to get a job and increase your value to others in the business world. In today’s world, it’s what you know AND who you know that counts.

5. Getting  A “Job” Versus Doing A Job

Realize that you want to earn income by providing value — not just offering your time.
You can apply this concept working with an employer or by starting your own business in addition to working for a company.  The key is to find a way to have multiple streams of income along with one that offers residual income.

Stop looking for a job and focus on providing valuable services. Employers and customers will be calling YOU for work.

Now more than ever, understand that YOU are the CEO of your life!

In our day-to-day pursuit of a great career, a balanced life and yes, even a great lunch, we have so many options.

But if you take a close look, even with all these options, there’s something special that brings people into their “favorite place”. It’s usually not the price or just the quality of the food – it’s the “culture” or the RELATIONSHIP the customer has with the food brand or its employees.

Consider Jack in the Box, with 2,200 locations in 18 states, just one of over 50,000 fast food restaurants in the US. It’s “Munchie Mobile”, a 34-foot long truck is inspired by 1970s van art. On the outside is a menu displayed on a flat-screen TV, while the inside is equipped with a grill, fryer and toaster.  The “cool factor” of this showing up at an event is amazing.

If you study the “Jack” branded spokesperson, you get the feeling that he’s connected to you as part of your family. The TV ads, the napkins and even the cups have messages that are endearing.  Think Southwest airlines. Jack in the Box and Southwest are in different businesses, yet both focus on building strong relationships with their customers.

Periodically, I stop by a local Jack in the Box in San Diego just to experience the “brand”.  Almost every time I stop in, I’m greeted by Nancy. I never have to ask for my extreme sausage sandwich without cheese. She just confirms my preference and makes me feel like I’m a VIP customer. Her attitude always comes with a genuine smile and a “how’s your day going comment” that makes me feel that my business is truly appreciated.  Stop and watch her for 5 minutes, and you’ll see her dedication to delivering the food fast and always with a genuine attitude of “we appreciate your business”.

Price and product are secondary to what is a great employee-customer relationship.

Now more than ever, truly remarkable companies and people are focused on building great relationships.

Anyone that has ever run a restaurant knows that, it’s not the new customers that keep you in business, it’s the RETURN VISITS from EXISTING customers.  In a global employment market, price, availability and quality are important, but true greatness comes from building great relationships.

A few years ago, I flew to London on Virgin Atlantic and arrived in England late due to delays at the departure gate.  As I walked off the plane, I was handed a letter auto-signed by Richard Branson that apologized for the delay and offered me 10% off on my next flight – a $90-$150 gift.  Six months later, I was in Australia on a Virgin Atlantic flight. I never checked competitive airfares.

If you want to get inspired by seeing the amazing power of relationships, watch The Pixar Story, a documentary of the history of Pixar Animation Studios. Pixar is the studio that produced Toy Story, an animated movie that earned $361 million worldwide.  It’s available on Netflix – here’s a preview –

Today with all the social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook, it’s easy to collect “contacts”. But to truly be successful in business and in our personal life, it’s the power of relationships that can take us from good to great.

We are all in the “people business”.  Nancy at Jack in the Box is an expert. Her remembering that I like my extreme sausage sandwich without cheese, highlights the secret to winning in business today. 


Many of my clients report that they have applied to job postings that are a perfect match to their qualifications but never hear anything from a potential employer. Perhaps it’s a fake job posting. Why would a job board allow ‘fake’ job postings?

1. Thousands of jobs are posted on sites each week. The job board can’t tell fakes from real jobs. The only requirement is that someone pays for the listings.

2. Employers and Recruiters use these listings to gather resumes for future needs. If they buy 30 job postings, but only use 20 and the unused postings expire in 30 days, they run some fake listings to collect resumes for future hiring?

3. Non staffing companies post fake jobs to collect names for on-line solicitation calls and sales leads to sell to other companies.

4. Some recruiters make a fake employer site including a corporate logo that redirects resumes directly to the recruiter to get candidates before the employer sees them and the recruiter loses a commission.

5. If someone has already been chosen for a job, the employer wants to appear to be offering the opportunity to everyone who is qualified.

6. Staffing firms want to appear to be “the connection” for jobs – more job postings equal more interested candidates.

7. Large firms sometimes post 700+ openings but many of them are actually “wish lists” for “potential” jobs IF a contract is awarded.

8. Recruiters want to get your resume and send it to an employer without a job requirement thinking that they will get a commission if a match is made tied to a typical 1 year” finder’s fee” contract provision.

9. In extreme cases, identify thieves post fake jobs looking for resumes where people list their social security number or they get applicants to disclose this confidential data over the phone as part of “verbal application”.

For the most part, most postings are real but it’s important to know that some are not what they seem to be. The lesson here is: Be selective in who you apply to and don’t rely on postings as the foundation for your job searchFocus on building relationships where you are dealing with real people instead of digital strangers.

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A 2013 Mindset to Get “Back In the Game”

In the spirit of the New Year, consider creating a “2013 employment mindset” that anticipates disruption yet maintains a core focus of what you are as a personal brand. Volatility and disruption are the new normal.

The secret to your future economic survival is to develop a product or services infrastructure that is simple, deliverable from any location and involves multiple income streams. In simple terms, you need to focus on enhancing your adaptability and deemphasize sustainability. You’re better off adapting to the changing job market than trying to rebuild what worked for you in the past.  Being safe is risky. Take time now to reinvent how you can deliver a service or product to multiple employers (customers).

When J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, addressed the graduating class of Harvard in June 2012, she didn’t focus on success. Instead, she spoke about failure. She once was an unemployed single mother and almost homeless. She bounced back by focusing on her core skills and then delivered them to a mass market by using a synergistic relationship with a publisher becoming the 1st person in the world to earn over $1 billion as an author. So how can you “bounce back” and architect the lifestyle you want?

  1. Create Multiple Income Streams

    You have to develop several sources of income to ensure your economic stability. It can be as simple as buying items from yard sales and selling them for a profit on Amazon or eBay. Relying on an employer as your sole source of income is no longer an option for most people. The point is you don’t have to be primarily self-employed. You just need to think of ways to earn income from more than one source. The free digital tools available today can get you up and running in a week!

  2. Figure Out What Distinguishes You From Others As Your Own Personal Brand

    As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote, “In the U.S., “average is over.” Becoming remarkable in whatever you offer is the key to surviving in the new economy. Most people are used to being a laborer. You need to become an entrepreneur even if it’s nothing more than a small business you do part time.

  3. Become A Lifelong Student

    Staying relevant by learning new skills and directing your own continuing education is the secret to making you valuable. The learning curve for most jobs is flat within 12 months. For as little as $25, you can take on-line training classes that can change your skills in less than 30 days!

  4. Find a Mentor and Build a Relationships with Them

    Aside from the people who you are already associated with, get in the habit of using social networking sites to reach out to respected industry leaders, experts, and authors. Figure out ways to support them in their goals. Do free work for them or promote them on your blog or social networks in exchange for their mentorship. You’ve got to give to get. The more you help others the more they will be willing to help you.

  5. Stay Future-Focused

    What you focus on expands almost magically, so focus on what you want each day. The secret to success is that you become what you think about most often.  Architect the lifestyle you want. Take the time to draft a plan of the life you want and the steps to get there. Focus on where you want to be and before you know it, the “new you” will appear. Don’t worry about each step along the way. Solve problems as they appear. Change your focus to being solution versus problem oriented and your goals will become a bridge to where you want to be.

  6. Tap Your Network“Your Network Is Your Net Worth” is particularly relevant when it comes to finding what you want by word of mouth. Reach out to people you know and enlist their support in making any introductions or connections that could help you. A person with 170 connections on LinkedIn is at the center of a network of 2 million people just 3 degrees away! You can reach those 2nd and 3rd degree connections just by asking for an introduction.

Think you’re not smart enough or don’t have the time to do something great. Consider this story.  A simple but hugely addictive video game is taking the world by storm. Bubble Ball™ is a physics-based puzzle game that has been downloaded as an app by 2 million iPhone users. It became the top free application in the Apple store.

It wasn’t designed by a team of highly paid experts; it’s the work of a 14-year-old boy in 8th grade. Robert Nay’s game even outsold the adventure game Angry Birds. He designed Bubble Ball in his bedroom in his spare time. Angry Birds was developed by 17 professional game designers in Finland. He tried Objective-C programming tools, but found the software a bit difficult, so switched to GameSalad, which he didn’t like. Then he tried Corona Tools that let him write and publish his game for both Apple and Android devices. Robert released Bubble Ball™ through his own company, Nay Games.

The Internet offers you the tools and the distribution network to change your life! Focus less on THE world and more on YOUR World.

Average is over. Become remarkable as a personal brand. Start small but think big. Make the New Year your New Life!

In today’s business world, starting your own business or building your own brand can be challenging. Most solopreneurs (solo-entrepreneurs) find that the most difficult thing is getting customers. Sales and marketing takes time and money and without investing in promoting your product or services, the growth of your business may take years to generate significant profits. Consider an often overlooked secret to making your personal brand a success. It’s the “The Remora Mindset”.

The concept of affiliated marketing, pop-up stores and synergetic relationships are a lot like the Remora, a tiny fish that has a modified organ with slat-like structures that open and close to create suction and take a firm hold against the skin of larger marine animals. The remora benefits by using the host as transport and protection and feeds on food dropped by the host. In exchange, the remora cleans bacteria and parasites from its connected partner. This mutually beneficial relationship allows the remora to avoid the struggles that most fish deal with on a daily basis involving looking for food and avoiding predators.  Just as a remora partners with a larger host for mutual benefits, consider partnering with a complementary host to accelerate the growth or profitability of your business or to promote your personal brand.

Here’s an example of using the power of a strategic partnership to enhance your business opportunities. Abrakadoodle is a company that offers creative art classes for children in schools, day care centers, and community programs. In 2011, they were listed by the Annual Franchise 500 as one of the Top Franchises by Entrepreneur Magazine. To expand their product offerings, they established a strategic alliance with Binney and Smith, known for its Crayola brand art products.

Abrakadoodle was looking for products of high quality that would be safe for children and that would be available nationally, so all locations could use the same materials in their classes. When they started franchising, they realized that the number of Crayola products used in Abrakadoodle classes would grow enormously. After months of negotiation, an agreement was reached between the two companies. Crayola products would be featured exclusively in Abrakadoodle classes and Abrakadoodle would be allowed to use the Crayola trademark for advertising purposes in exchange for discounts on Crayola products. Both companies benefited from their shared vision of encouraging children’s artistic creativity.

What can you do to partner with another person or business to create a win-win situation that can help you get where you want to be in a shorter time? What products or services offered by a non-competitor can complement what you offer?

Synergistic relationships may be the secret ingredient you need to compress time frames in developing your personal brand and allow you to see success much quicker than if you hope for results tied to your just own dedicated effort.

An inspirational book by Price Pritchett, You2: A High Velocity Formula for Multiplying Your Personal Effectiveness in Quantum Leaps, is my favorite quick read book that underscores the message that working harder is not necessarily the best solution to achieve success.

Change your thoughts to change your world and discover how “The Remora Mindset” may be just what you need to go from invisible to REMARKABLE!

Most people look for posted job openings as their primary focus in a job search. However, statistics confirm that REFERRALS are the # 1 way to get an interview.  Consider using your web presence and your influence to motivate others to give you job referrals.

Take a look at established by a San Francisco start-up in 2008. Klout scrapes social network data and creates profiles on individuals who are assigned a “Klout score”. 100 million profiles are currently being tracked. Klout is not an “opt-in” service, but if you register with Klout, you enable your social networks to be accessed and evaluated to get a Klout score. Data from your social networks is used to give you a Klout Score based on (1) True Reach: How many people you influence (2) Amplification: How much you influence them and (3) Network Impact: The influence of your network. Klout also builds profiles of individuals who are connected to those who register at Klout.

The 2012 Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World have recently been announced, and this year, the list underscores a shift from well-known people within well- known companies to individual people who are personally influential. Influence is quickly becoming more valuable because of how it impacts the actions of others instead of just creating an awareness of someone generated by public relations and mass marketing. Now, a simple tweet can reach millions in a second and the internet’s metric tracking capabilities give us the opportunity to measure how people who are active in social media actually influence each other online.

Taking a closer look at Klout scores reveals another interesting perspective. Not all people with high Klout scores are celebrities or in the music or movie industry. 50% of the 2012 “Time 100” have Klout Scores ranging from 95 to 23. The average Klout Score on the list is 62.  Alexei Navalni, a Russian lawyer, politician, and political activist has a Klout score of 81, higher than the average of all U.S. politicians on the list (80).  Billionaire Eike Batista, listed by Forbes Magazine as the 8th richest person in the world, has a score of 77, higher than Warren Buffet (64). The only person with a perfect 100 Klout score is Justin Bieber, an 18 year old pop star.

Almost equally important as someone’s score, are the lists they are a part of. Klout Lists are a great way to discover and interact with people in your “influence network”. Klout essentially makes it easier to connect with new people through social media by helping you find influencers in your areas of interest.  Find the influencers and then work on getting referrals to get an interview and land a job. Recognize that relationships are the key to getting a job referral, not just contacts. Focus on using your talent to influence opinions, processes, perspectives or the actions of others. Then quantify your results with Klout and measure the effectiveness of your job search related to building relationships that lead to referrals.

In the early days of NASA’s attempt to explore space they faced a seemingly impossible problem.

How could they make a material that could stand up to the heat generated by the re-entry of a spacecraft? They had to find a material that would not melt. Countless trials ended in failure because the heat was so intense.

They solved that problem by focusing on finding a material that would melt. The solution was to add a shell that would melt off as the craft re-entered the earth’s atmosphere.

If you can’t find a solution, maybe you need to change the problem.

In the old world of work, the solution was to find a job where you could develop a career and work your way into management. You expected an average annual salary increase of 4 – 5% and earned accumulating weeks of vacation based on your years of service to a company.

In the new status quo, multiple employers are becoming the norm and the new solution is to develop several streams of income, ideally with one involving a residual income.

Your problem is NOT to get a job, it’s to DO a job for multiple customers (employers).

Your NEW challenge (problem) is to get multiple employers (customers) to provide you a diversified stream of income based on your delivery of solutions that help them make money, save money or solve a problem.

Start using this mindset and your job search will take a different perspective and offer you far more employment security than most people have ever had. Employment security used to come from a company, now it needs to come from YOU and the talent you offer.

Now more than ever, you need to focus on what you’re doing AND where you are going. Decide what you want and then build a bridge to get it. Your solution is to change the problem and come up with a new solution.

Changing the problem may be as simple as focusing on these 4 things.

  1. Who you know.
  2. Who knows YOU?
  3. What talent is your personal brand?
  4. The quality of your relationships.

How many people would work for Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin Group, for 90 days without pay, just to get insights into to improving their personal brand? You need to focus on your long-term “market value”, not just how much money you make now.

Focus on the results you can produce, build a reputation as an expert, and establish a network of quality relationships to watch your market value and income increase automatically.

Change Your Thoughts to Change Your World – Change The Problem to Discover New Solutions.



Many job searchers today have developed a great system for sending out resumes to Internet postings.

They use template cover letters and resumes. On a good day, they may respond to 30 posted openings hoping that someone will call them.

Their strategy – exposure increases their odds of getting noticed by a potential employer. Essentially they are “advertising” that they are available.

However, the key to finding a job is NOT through advertising. Selling what you can offer and conveying how you are remarkable gets better results.

You need to understand the difference between advertising and selling.

Responding to posted jobs is like saying, “I’m interested, pick me if you think I’m qualified”. The expectation is that an employer will take the time to assess your qualifications and see if there is a match. It rarely happens.

A more effective approach is to “sell” what you can offer to an employer with clearly defined ways that you can help them save money, make money or solve a problem.

This approach requires you to research the employer and then go to them with a “solution” instead of just advertising your qualifications.

Consider trying the “Rule of 20”.

Decide on 20 employers that you want to work for. Forget about if they have a posted job or not. Your goal is to target and SELL yourself to an employer that you can help.

Think about what you can propose as an “offer of employment” uniquely focused on how you can help them save money, make money or solve a problem.

Your strategy – minimize your completion by going after non-posted jobs and be proactive instead of reactive in finding employment.

·         Set up a Google Alert to track your target companies and look for information that can help you establish a relationship within the company.
·         Use LinkedIn to find corporate contacts and follow key personnel on twitter by using corporate hash tags
·         Focus on building relationships, not just contacts with people that work for a target company.
The Pareto Principle states that generally 80% of great results are likely to come from only 20% of your efforts.

Consider reversing those numbers and focus 80% of your efforts selling what you have to offer linked to well established relationships.

The “Rule of 20” allows you to get what you WANT instead of just focusing on what’s available.

Since most jobs never get posted, offering solutions instead of advertising your qualifications is sure to put your job search back on track.


Internships are commonly thought of as a way to get some real world experience to complement the academics of students in high school and college. They allow people to experience jobs they are interested in pursuing.

Consider this – an unpaid internship for 1-2 weeks – part or full time while you are looking for work. You have the flexibility to expose yourself to an employer who may like what they see in this “try before you might buy” situation. Small companies are best suited for this because they are less structured.

Target companies you’d like to work with and come up with a creative way to propose an internship arrangement. Keep your skills fresh while searching for full-time work, get exposure and build business relationships.

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