Archives for posts with tag: remarkable

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.

Job seekers today are facing a never before seen employment marketplace with new rules and new technologies. There is a new mindset that is required to be successful in today’s employment market – unless you’re remarkable you’re invisible. Gone are the days were you could just post your resume on-line and wait for a call.

Consider adding these components to your job search.

1) Share Stories Not Facts. There’s an old adage in sales and marketing that stories sell and facts tell. People can relate personally to stories. The more you know about the company and person that you are interviewing with, the better off you will be.

2) Present Solutions. An employer wants to hire someone to solve a particular problem. Either they don’t have enough of something or they want to fix/change something. And if they had all the solutions then they wouldn’t need you. So after you have thoroughly researched and analyzed the company, its culture, the competition, the industry and the people you are interviewing with, you need to know what potential solutions they may need and be able to communicate your ability to solve them. Any employer worth working for will be completely impressed not only by your research but by your diligence.

3) Be Proactive. Most people don’t want to put forth the time and effort to do what they need to do to secure an interview and a job. The vast majority of jobs are attained by active networking – not by posting your resume on-line or applying for job after job. Yet most people are not willing to do what it takes to establish and nurture the right networks. Focusing on building relationships can mean the difference between having or not having network contacts and ultimately getting a job.

4) Be Interesting. Surveys of recruiters and HR managers show that the #1 trait that job seekers lack is high energy. People want to be around other people who are upbeat, exciting and at the very least, energetic. If you’re not excited about what you have to offer, why should anyone else?

5) Speak multiple languages. People get information in 3 ways; Auditory, kinesthetic and visual. Auditory learners can grasp information just by you talking to them. Visual learners need some form of pictures or stories to create the picture before they “get it”. Kinesthetic learners need to be an active participant before the information gets through to them. Most people are visual. Why do you think that Google paid big dollars for YouTube? Because video appeals to the masses in a way that written text never could. Try to appeal to an interviewer’s preferred style. It’s difficult to be sure what the interviewer prefers, so ALWAYS make an effort communicate in all 3 styles.

6) Don’t Be A Quitter. Most people quit too soon. Studies show that 81% of professional sales people take 5 calls to close a sale. However, 90% give up prior to making that critical 5th call (48% quit after the first call and another 24% quit after the 2nd call).

7) Have A Remarkable Resume. Your resume won’t get you the job or interview but it can lose it for you. Make an investment in a resume prepared by a professional. You need to work with someone who knows what employers want and can make your resume sell, not just tell. The # 1 reason someone initially reviews your resume is to rule you OUT!

8) Be A Giver Not A Taker. If you are always looking for what a company is going to do for you and what your benefits will be, then you are thinking backwards. Everyone’s favorite radio station is WIIFM (what’s in it for me). Focus on what you can do to help the employer as a solution provider instead of a job searcher.

9) Be Prepared. For every minute you spend planning, you save 10 minutes in execution. That’s a 1000% return on your energy. Remember that more often than not, “Chance Favors The Prepared Mind”.

It’s a buyer’s market so you better have the right product.

Now more than ever, make your job search a process, not just an event.

90% of job searchers post their resume on-line and wait for a call.
10% of job searchers build relationships.
Most jobs are filled through referrals and relationships with people.
Focus on people, not postings, and the results may surprise you.


A man ran into a friend on the street one day and asked his friend if he was still in the junk business. His friend smiled and said, “No, I’m an antique dealer.” His friend asked, “How did you get into that line of work?” “Oh, it was easy. I just changed the sign on my store from junk to antiques.”

Take a look at today’s job market and you’ll see that how you are perceived has a lot to do with your marketability and perceived value. Packaging is important! Go to a grocery store and notice that most people will not buy a can of corn that is dented even though the contents are fine. Perception is reality.

Consider this true story: A violin player played in a Washington, DC metro station for 45 minutes. During that time, 2000 people walked through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule. Four minutes later, the violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw the money in his tip hat and continued to walk.  Within 10 minutes, a 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother encouraged him to keep walking. The child stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head toward the performer. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk by.  The man collected $32. After he finished playing, no one applauded. No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, a world famous musician. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

To become remarkable AND marketable, you need to portray yourself on-line and off-line as exceptional among your professional peers. Your LinkedIn profile, your resume, the books you read, your Twitter contacts, events you attend, where you market your talent and your social network are all clues to others about who you are and either identify you as ordinary or EXTRAORDINARY.

Today, more than ever, you need to curate a digital and in-person persona that radiates your talent and identifies you as a valuable resource within your area of expertise.

Take a moment and look in the mirror. What do you see? Adlerian psychology reminds us that all behavior is purposeful. What you invest your time and effort in will ultimately determine your career success and define who you are to others.

You will become the person you think you are. How you perceive yourself and how others perceive you are the secret ingredients to becoming REMARKABLE.

Perhaps having a clear picture of what you want to be is the secret to becoming what you were meant to be.

Robot Fast Food Worker

As a former Boy Scout working on my marksmanship merit badge, I learned that when you want to hit a moving target you have to anticipate where the target will be and then take your shot before the target is in front of you. Today’s job market requires the same mind-set; anticipating where jobs will come from and then positioning yourself to meet the qualifications.

The best example of this strategy can be found in automation as it relates to robots, a rapidly evolving trend in manufacturing, medicine, food service and knowledge-based jobs. Many people continue to look for jobs similar to what they had, however the real opportunities will come from preparing yourself for where new jobs will evolve.

Years ago, 70 percent of U.S. workers lived on farms. Today automation has eliminated 98% percent of their jobs, replacing them with machines. Farmers became web developers, factory production workers and software engineers taking jobs that evolved from work eliminated by automation. This transition to automation is already happening with machines that utilize mass produced sensors, artificial cognition, machine learning and algorithms that anticipate preferences and suggest options.

As manufacturing costs are reduced because of robots, the cost of transportation will become a more important factor than the cost of production, making localized production the next trend in product manufacturing and delivery. Take a look around you and you will see that automation is already shaping a radically new job market.

Consider Kiva. They make robots that scoot around warehouse floors and pick up items from shelves to help fulfill customer orders. Amazon is already a customer, along with Staples, The Gap and Crate and Barrel. Some bots can lift 170 pounds retrieve boxes, sort them, and load them onto trucks. Pharmacies are also using pill-dispensing robots to fill prescriptions.  Narrative Science sells software that writes stories about sports events just using game statistics and other applications that can generate a synopsis of a company’s stock performance from related text found on the web. Even surgery is becoming increasingly robotic. In 2008, NYU became the first medical center in New York to use the Da Vinci Si, the world’s most advanced computer-assisted surgical system. Even a non-technical job as a Bartender may be changing. Bartendo is a lightweight and portable machine that can make a perfect drink in 10 seconds and serve 200 drinks in an evening. You can even view reports on a tablet or smart phone of the drinks made and the quantities of ingredients used.

As software makes automation a common reality, many professions will evolve that will open up a strong demand for people who can design, program and work with robots. If this industry interests you, now is the time to explore this market if you want to make yourself more marketable and get a lead on your competition.

Automation is just one of many professions that are evolving as fresh alternatives to re-inventing yourself to be more marketable and offer career-broadening options. Take the time to explore evolving technologies that interest you and then build a bridge to architect a job that will be in demand and offer you new challenges. If you’re a teacher, considering expanding your expertise in on-line learning. If you’re a desktop computer support specialist, look into becoming an expert on mobile phone apps or focus on cloud computing.

The bottom line is: Go after what you WANT, don’t just look for what’s AVAILABLE.

Have a “target career” and then develop yourself to be remarkable in that profession.

Most investors will tell you that anticipating opportunity in the stock market will make you the most money. Invest in your career by looking for opportunities not just jobs.

Get motivated in less than 2 minutes. Watch this video: The Start-Up of YOU: Rediscovering the Entrepreneurial Spirit in All of Us and start today to architect a lifestyle to DO WORK THAT MATTERS!

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. 

Your personal brand is the collective impression people get not only from you and your marketing efforts, but from their interactions with you. By adding a social branding component (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc.) to your personal brand as part of your job search, you can leverage technology to promote yourself in a viral way by expanding who knows you related to on-line referrals and the search capabilities of the web. To enhance your personal brand with social branding technologies, consider incorporating these 4 ideas:

1. “Become What You Want To Be Right Now.” Who you are and what you want to be is as unique as a fingerprint. Act as if you are already a specialist in your area of expertise and you will become that person.

2. “Speak Your Message In Their Language.” Everyone in the virtual employment marketplace is talking at once so your brand has to rise above the noise. Your message, the nutshell of who you are and why people need what you have to offer, has to be short and shareable.

3. “Look The Part And Be The Part.” Your visual identity is a symbol that carries the weight of 1000 words. It’s a combination of elements you own (your name, logo, tagline, etc.) as well as elements you come to own through repeated use like writing/speaking styles and even the way you dress. Consider UPS. The color brown is part of their brand.

4. “Branding Is A Process, Not An Event.” Peoples interests change and technology tools change. Social branding is a dynamic process requiring you to be aware of what’s happening in your field. Become a student of your employment marketplace to ensure you know the latest trends and what your competitors have to offer.

Study the concepts of personal AND social branding and leverage them to reach your employment goals. Now more than ever, you need to be remarkable or you’ll be invisible.

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!

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. Being safe is risky.

A lack of clarity in what you want out of life or too many options can cause “analysis paralysis”. In today’s world of constant and rapid change, you have to be committed to a goal, not just curious if you can reach the goal. You can be comfortable or remarkable, but not both. The key to going from invisible to remarkable is to get out of your comfort zone and into your passion zone.

Employers (customers) today want to see and feel that interacting with your personal brand is something that is unique or compelling relative to your competition. You have to differentiate yourself from being ordinary to becoming extraordinary. More often than not, it’s your passion about what you represent that makes the difference in you being a success or not.

Realize that it’s often what you STOP doing that makes you a success or failure. If you’re looking for work, stop scanning job boards and start focusing on building relationships with industry leaders. If you don’t have time to think about building a personal brand, decide what you need to stop to free up time to get things going. It’s that simple.

Consider, Dilbert, a comic strip written and drawn by Scott Adams. It’s known for its satirical office humor about a white-collar, micromanaged office featuring the engineer Dilbert as the key character. The strip has generated several books, an animated television series, a video game, and hundreds of Dilbert-themed merchandise items. Dilbert appears in 2000 newspapers worldwide in 70 countries and 25 languages.

For 6 years, he worked at a day job while doing the Dilbert comic strip mornings, evenings and weekends. Then Adams bought a book called “1986 Artist Markets” and followed the instructions on how to get syndicated. He drew 50 sample strips and mailed copies to the major cartoon syndicates. United Media called a few weeks later and offered him a contract. was the first syndicated comic strip to go online in 1995 and is now the most widely read syndicated comic on the Internet. Scott essentially built a bridge from where he was to what he wanted. He passionately focused on making his goal to be syndicated a reality. The rest is history.

If you take risks, expect to fail many times. Failure is part of the process of learning. In fact, negative feedback is often some of the most important information you can get, if you use it to redirect yourself in reaching your goals.

Look at people who are successful and you will almost always see a path of rejection followed by success. If you knew you only had 3 years to live, what would you do differently?  Clearly define what you want as a career and go for it! The time has come to stop looking for what’s available and build a bridge to what you really want.

For most people, their job is sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day and essentially trading their time for money.

Ask most people what they earn and they respond in terms of how much they make per hour. Having a full-time job seems to be the goal of most people who ultimately want to be assured of a steady income in return for showing up on a regular basis to complete tasks assigned by their employer.

Take a closer look at the changing world of work, and you’ll see an evolving trend toward DOING versus having a job. Understanding this difference is the key to your future success, regardless of your chosen profession.

A simple analogy to understand this shift in the job market is thinking of yourself as either a hunter or a farmer. To survive in today’s employment market, you need to become a hunter AND a farmer.
Since the Internet now offers most of us the opportunity to have customers almost anywhere, we can control our income by increasing the number of people we help and by offering a valuable product or service.

Notice that the focus is on having “customers” (many employers) not just “renting” your time (one employer). Think about this. Your income will always be in direct proportion to the number of people you serve. It’s that simple. Decide on what you can offer that is in demand and spilt your time between finding new customers and delivering a great product or service.

Change your thinking to DOING versus HAVING a job and you will become more marketable AND employable.

Today there are fewer opportunities to be employed, so focus on developing yourself as a “brand” and market what makes you remarkable. Then ask yourself, “How you can serve more people?” The more people you help get what they want, the more you’ll get what you want.

If you’re currently unemployed, consider spending 50% of your time job hunting. Use the other 50% to create a job for yourself. Explore what you can do that is marketable, can be delivered digitally and is in demand by a large number of people.

Becoming a hunter AND a farmer is the key to becoming financially stable in the new economy. Get good at finding customers and offering something that is remarkable, and you will always have work and a stable income.

I have a framed statement on my desk that reads: .
It reminds me every day that we all are essentially self-employed. Focus on marketability instead of employability and the results may surprise you!

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