September 27, 2013

Lessons from "The Brand You 50" by Tom Peters

This book, "The Brand You 50 : Or : Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an 'Employee' into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion!", by Tom Peters, was not one of my favorites. He does however raise several good points with regards to how one should go about rebranding one's self for the workplace, which I am reproducing here:
  • Don't neglect any details, from personal style to business card.
  • Connections (networking) are a critical asset.
  • How you spend your time will define you. Be sure it truly reflects your priorities.
  • To get what you want, first identify your goals.
  • Develop a portfolio of attributes and skills.
  • Take jobs no one else wants and make them enviable.
  • See everyone and everything as a potential resource.
  • Be noticeably good at something.
  • To stay fresh, welcome unusual influences.
  • Be design conscious.
  • Develop solid public speaking skills.
  • Be a leader, even if no one follows for now.
  • Promote yourself daily.

September 23, 2013

"Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it."

September 13, 2013

Lessons I Learned from a Social Network's Incompetetence

There is this social network - and I use the term very loosely - which is quite famous in certain circles. It is not Facebook, or MySpace, or anything so conventional - it appeals to a niche market.

The site owner is notorious for committing atrocities against his own members, all for personal gain. And, while it is not my intention to here document all of the site's crimes against humanity, I do want to point out the lessons that can be learned from them.

So here they are, available for anyone thinking about running a membership-based site or organization, the Lessons I Learned from a Social Network's Incompetence:
  1. Do not belittle or ignore your members. This causes frustration and abandonment.
  2. Do not penalize your members for talking about you or your competition. If you can't handle people talking about what you're doing wrong, then you don't deserve to hear them talking about what you're doing right. If your members are talking about your competition, perhaps it is because they see something better than what you have to offer - this is an opportunity to improve!
  3. Make basic tools free and easy to use. Making your members to pay for basic tools (like chat, etc.) will do only one thing: drive them to the competition, who is offering them for free.
  4. Make information easy to find and use. Requiring members or users to navigate labyrinthine menus or use complicated procedures just to find information will lead to a lot of emails for you and frustration for them.
  5. Let your members - not you - decide if they belong. The whole point of a club or social site or gathering is so that people who share interests can share those interests together. When you start singling out individuals and telling them that they aren't "XYZ-enough" you are going against organic flow and variable individuality amongst people - in essence, you are forcing your group in an unnatural direction. This can create a lot of bad PR and ill-will. Be careful, or you just may force it down the drain!
  6. Place advertising appropriately. I cannot emphasize this enough. Don't just throw ads any place you like - put some thought into it, make it fit with the decor or layout. And don't force people to see them, to the point that the advertising is blocking or handicapping everything else.
  7. Customer service should not be abandoned. This goes hand-in-hand with our first item on this list. Offering support and service, and then not backing that offer up, will do more damage to your credibility than just about anything. Remember: they are members, not assets.
"There is more to life than increasing its speed."
"Yesterday's home runs won't win today's games."

September 3, 2013

From "Why You Should Always Do a Little Work for Free" by Jeff Haden

Another short list from Jeff Haden, giving reasons to Why You Should Always Do a Little Work for Free, in other words, why you should give away some of your effort: 
  1. You get to stretch a little - loosen the joints from doing the same thing over and over
  2. You get to be scared - helps your remember how fortunate you are
  3. You get to be more creative - help someone find solutions within their limited resources
  4. You get to do the right thing - helping others is not just good for them
  5. You get to be a hero - help someone else out and you become their hero
"Ideas without action aren't ideas. They're regrets."