Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dave Nelsen of Vistage With Tips on Social Media

Ten Dos and Don'ts of Social Media

By Vistage Speaker David Nelsen

Social media and social networking are quickly becoming “de rigueur” for business.
A recent study by a Chicago-based firm, Slack Barshinger, showed that small and
medium-size businesses are getting “heavily involved with social media, with about
half using blogs, wikis, Twitter or other social media channels for business purposes.”
 If your company is not yet engaged, it’s time to jump in before your competitors beat
you to the punch.

If you’re not familiar with social media, check out YouTube, Twitter, TalkShoe,
 or any blog--these publishing and broadcasting democracies involve hundreds of
 millions of people. While most of these services were originally conceived for consumers,
social media allows businesses to engage in many-to-many conversations with customers,
 accelerating their learning and building trust. This is not your father’s marketing.

Here are ten basic rules for what to do and not do:


1.Don’t get started if you have significant product weaknesses or customer support issues. Engaging in social media makes good products more successful, and bad products… dead. But don’t delay for long; address the issues and then jump in.

2.Don’t use social media to overtly market or sell. Instead educate, enlighten, inform, and entertain your audience. In this way, you’ll position yourself and your company as an expert in your field and benefit from the “media halo.”

3.Don’t “set it and forget it.” This makes you look worse than not showing up at all. Once you get started, sustain your participation and interaction.

4.Don’t go negative. Emphasize your strengths and advantages rather than making claims about a competitor’s weakness.

5.Don’t mix personal and business accounts/personas, etc.

6.Don’t expect to fully control the conversation. Social media is not an advertisement, product brochure, newsletter, email blast, or one-way monologue; it’s a conversation. Conversations are bi-directional and can have rough edges. Even if you don’t want to participate, your customers and prospects are already talking. Join them.

7.Don’t worry about some negativity for online users. Studies show that a little negativity increases credibility and empathy. Paraphrasing Abraham Lincoln: “You can’t please all of the people all of the time.” Be responsive to the negative.

8.Don’t feel the need to disclose everything. Not everyone who likes sausage wants to see exactly how it’s made. Be open and honest and use discretion.

9.Don’t be a generalist. With literally hundreds of millions of blogs, videos and podcasts to choose from, every individual can precisely tailor their consumption to their interests. Focus on one topic and do it well (the narrower the better).

10.Don’t overwhelm your followers with too much information, or too frequently. Everybody’s got a busy life and nobody enjoys getting “Twitter-ria”. Focus on the highest value information and content.


1.Do the same up-front planning you would for any important business initiative. Define your target audience. Detail how you intend to create value for them. Map out how you expect them to create value for you. Document your approach and objectives per medium (blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.).

2.Listen and learn from others for a few weeks before responding. In general, spend twice as much time listening as responding.

3.Display your Personality, and keep the content Interesting and Entertaining (the old radio adage “PIE”). Remember, people buy from people; show your professional self.

4.Be authentic. Never before has a medium and its participants been more skilled at smelling a rat and turning against the perpetrator.

5.Remember that social media is about two-way conversation (see “Don’t try to control” above). Conversation builds trust; trust leads to more sales.

6.Favor timeless content over time-sensitive content (note: this varies based on the medium and there are exceptions). We live in a time-shifted “Tivo” world and there’s wonderful leverage in creating a blog post (for example) that will have value to new readers weeks, months, or even years from now.

7.Remember that “push” is out and “pull” is in. Direct mail, traditional advertising, and unsolicited email are forms of “push” -- the content producer chooses who to target. “Following” on Twitter, “subscribing” to a blog or podcast, or viewing a video your friends “liked” on Facebook are forms of “pull” -- the content consumer decides what to listen to. In today’s information-rich world, people want to opt-in, choosing where to spend their valuable time. Give them a reason to choose your content.

8.Keep your eyes open. Use Google Alerts, search.twitter.com, relevant Linkedin Groups, Ning networks, and other sites to monitor or “listen in” on conversations about your company, your competitors, and the best practices in your industry.

9.Show patience. As the party with more power (a business relative to a customer/prospect), attacking or being critical will frequently backfire and word will propagate quickly.

10.Learn from your audience (as they will learn from you). Be prepared to rapidly evolve your products and services to meet their needs. They’ll suggest valuable ideas you never thought of.

In the next few years, social media will become a primary vehicle for interacting with your customers, partners, suppliers, and even employees. By getting started today, your company can adapt to a changing world more quickly than your competitors. What are you waiting for?

Vistage member and speaker, Dave Nelsen helps companies develop social media strategies to improve their marketing, sales, customer support, and even internal communication. He’s the Founder of podcasting pioneer TalkShoe and a long-time entrepreneur.

 You can contact Dave at dave@get121.biz.

With more than 14,500 members, Vistage International is the world’s foremost chief executive leadership organization. Vistage’s Executive Leadership Program provides unparalleled access to new ideas and fresh thinking through monthly peer workshops, one-on-one business coaching, speaker presentations from hundreds of top industry experts, social networking and an extensive online content library of articles, best practices, podcasts and webinars.

Executive Leadership Program Powered by You

Today, Vistage International (TEC’s successor) and its global affiliates operate in 16 countries. Executive Leadership Program members meet in small groups every month under the same guiding principles—to help one another make better decisions, achieve better results, and enhance their lives. They’re also connecting in ways Nourse could never have imagined, collaborating online, tapping into a vast content library, and learning from hundreds of top industry speakers.

Vistage-member companies generate nearly $300 billion in annual revenue and employ approximately 1.8 million employees around the world. Studies have shown that Vistage-member companies outperform their competitors and, on average, grow their revenues at three times the percentage growth rate after joining Vistage.

Patty's note:

TEC now called Vistage was instrumental in my entrepreneurial growth from 1986 on.

For more info about Vistage please visit their wesbite at http://www.vistage.com/

Monday, September 28, 2009

Al Walsh, Back by Popular Demand......... Speak up!

Speak UP!   by Al Walsh

Mindy Gibbins-Klein posted a blog on Ecademy regarding her desire
 to see women take a stronger role in the public speaking world, and
 asked for my comment. I thought it might be useful to share my thoughts:

I’m forever encouraging people to take risks in order to develop their careers.
Had I not taken some risks in my career, I would not enjoy the extent of knowledge
and experience that I do today; nor would I have grown as rapidly. That is not to say
that we should take foolish gambles; but we don't want to be over-cautious either.

 This bit of advice particularly applies to women. Most women I've known in the business
 world tend to take the safe, conservative route. There’s safety in “blending into the herd”,
 but you’ll never enjoy the growth-benefits that can come with standing out and differentiating
yourself. Women need to take some more risks and throw themselves "in harm's way" now
and then. For instance, I've intentionally taken jobs that I knew had a limited "shelf-life" because
 I wanted experience with business startups, turnarounds, M&A, and other activities that I
wouldn't otherwise be exposed to. This required exposing myself to new experiences and having
 to develop new skills while "under fire". These experiences have been my best, for a variety of
 reasons. They are the experiences where most of my professional growth has occurred.
 They’re the experiences that have primarily shaped me as a business leader.

 Public speaking falls into the “taking risks” category.

Most people find it a bit awkward, and tend to shy away from it.
It's a learned skill that's best developed in the crucible of hard experience.
Women should look for speaking opportunities and hone their skills.

 Corporations always have “dirty little tasks” to be performed that the majority shy away from - such as internal training classes. Experiences like these provide the opportunity to sharpen one’s skills as a speaker.
I’ve volunteered to conduct many of them.

Take opportunities where you can.
They will sometimes come rapidly from strange directions.

Once, as a young exec for a new company, I joined a selling trip overseas to tout some new technology to government officials. As we approached the final minutes before our first presentation, it was announced to us that the prime minister of the country was present and had decided to sit in. Everyone panicked like “deer in the headlights”. After a pregnant pause, I volunteered to go first. The others were happy to “sacrifice me”. I stumbled over my tongue a bit at first, but soon warmed up to the subject and set the stage for the others. We wound up winning a contract. A week later, the same exact scenario happened in another country. Both leaders were very patient and gracious with me over my “thick tongue”.

You're going to make mistakes at first. Oh well, no big deal. Everyone does! Find "vacuums" to fill, take the risks, make your mistakes, learn from them - and grow. Stick your neck out a little more often.

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the results. If no opportunities arise where you’re at - maybe it’s time to plan a move.

Al Walsh, CEO

Walsh Enterprises, Business and  Financial Advisors

Huntington Beach, Ca


More of Al's articles can be found at: http://walshal.wordpress.com/. I select sources who have displayed an amazing capacity for incisive analysis. I’ve been following them for years. They saw what was coming, and why. You won’t find this information in the boiler-plate press.

Your Attitude and Happiness are Critical Components of Your Success

Happy for No Reason
personal learning course

Author of Happy for No Reason,

co-author of six Chicken Soup for the Soul books,

and featured in the The Secret DVD and book    http://www.marcishimoff.com/


I had a chance to learn more about March Shimoff and her speaking and her best selling new book.  Marci is a celebrated speaker and she has a fabulous program which took extensive research and preparation to put together over years of experience.

Since your happiness is important to me, and since you attitude is an important predictor of your
success in your career and in your life.... I wanted to share this opportunity with you now.   Patty De


This means that no matter what happens in your life -- no matter what stress plows
 into you -- no matter how dire the circumstances might turn -- you can AUTOMATICALLY
return to a higher level of happiness than you have today.

To be happier, everything you need is inside you — and the Happy for No Reason
 personal learning course gives you the simple instructions on how use it, so that you:

•Take ownership of your happiness. You’ll focus on solutions instead of problems, find the gifts in life, and make peace with yourself.

•Don’t believe everything your mind tells you. You’ll question the validity of your thoughts, let go of thoughts that don’t serve you, and incline your mind toward joy.

•Let love lead. You willl focus on gratitude, practice forgiveness, and spread lovingkindness. (This works as well in business as it does in your personal life.)

•Make the cells of your body happy. You will learn to nourish your body, energize your body, and tune into your body’s wisdom.

•Plug yourself into spirit. You will invite connection to your higher power, listen to your inner voice, and trust life’s unfolding.

•Live inspired by purpose. You will find your passion, follow the inspiration of the moment, and contribute to something greater than yourself.

•Cultivate nourishing relationships. You will learn how to tend to your relationships so that they grow, surround yourself with support, and see the world as your family.

These notable people have joined happiness expert, Marci Shimoff,
 on the recordings of this new course: Paul Scheele … Chunyi Lin …
 Jeddah Mali … Hale Dwoskin … John Assaraff … Jack Canfield …
 Lisa Nichols … Lynne Twist … John Gray.

In eight CDs and through 100 pages of the guidebook,
 you will learn practical, down-to-earth strategies based
on the new science of happiness that will help you experience
 happiness "from the inside out."

To make your happiness journey easier for you,
we’ve included a copy of the extraordinarily popular
Happy for No Reason Paraliminal that Marci created
with Paul Scheele in 2007.

This version of the Paraliminal, which works with your inner mind to be happy from
 the inside out, is encoded with Holosync audio technology provided by Centerpointe
 Research. Using Holosync creates new neural pathways between the left and right
brain hemispheres, balancing the brain, enhancing mental/emotional health, improving
mental functioning and self-awareness, and healing unresolved emotional issues, all to
 support raising your baseline of happiness.

You don’t have to have happy genes, win the lottery, lose 20 pounds, or become a saint.
 By the time you finish listening to the Happy for No Reason course you will be experiencing
 more happiness. Follow the steps, which help you adopt habits that most happy people have,
 and you will live in an authentic state of sustained happiness for the rest of your life.

Happy for No Reason CD Course $248.00

It's Risk Free! http://www.happyfornoreason.com/Products/Course

Build an Unshakable Inner Home for Happiness


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Taming the TO DO List and Finding Depth in Everyday Life

One of my favorite, thoughtful authors is Abby Seixas
From time to time she offers classes and lectures and
 I always recommend them to people who seek more
 meaning in their busy lives.

The Deep River Within:

Taming the To-Do List and Finding Depth in Everyday Life

Abby is again offering her  7-week distance course for women in the art of slowing down.

Beneath the busyness of our daily lives flows a deep
 river of creativity, passion, silence, and a place of
contact with ourselves and what matters to us. Although “the deep river” is a powerful source of
 nurturance, the fragmentation and sheer pace of life in 21st century America often buries this deeper dimension under the perpetual-motion surface of our days.

This course is about slowing down.

Based on Abby’s highly acclaimed book,

 Finding the Deep River Within: A Woman’s Guide to Recovering Balance and Meaning in Everyday Life, and on her in-person seven-week groups, the course will introduce the three preliminary doorways and six core practices that can support us in allowing our own deeper currents to flow through daily life.

With the help of readings, experiential exercises, discussion, creative expression, humor, and each other, we will explore ways to free ourselves from the tyranny of our “To-Do’s”, and so to rest more in our deeper selves and in the gift of life itself.

Phone seminars will be: Mondays, Oct. 19–Dec. 7, 2009; 7:30-8:45 pm EST
 and Wednesdays, Oct. 21-Dec. 2; 7:30-8:00 pm EST. *

(No meetings the week of November 23rd)

Phone seminars will be recorded for course members only, to download if a meeting is missed.

In addition, there will be a participants-only website for posting comments, sharing and questions, and for accessing downloads of all supplemental materials.

Cost: $225 (you are responsible for your telephone carrier’s charges for the calls.)

TO REGISTER, click here. (This pilot course is limited to 8 participants)

QUESTIONS? Abby@deepriverwithin.com or (781) 647-4404

P.S. Also upcoming: an in-person 7-week group (begins Oct. 20); a one-day workshop (Nov. 7), and the Facilitator Training day (Nov. 8), all at the Women's Well, W. Concord, MA.

And...a day-long workshop in Falmouth Maine on Oct. 17th.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Jack Canfield and Amanda Gore on Finding Your Passion

This is from Success Magazine article with Advice from Amanda Gore and Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield is the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a peak performance coach.

Amanda Gore is a professional speaker and author of four books, including You Can Be Happy. She has a background in psychology and stress management.

Finding Your Passion

Q: I enjoy my work, but I don’t think I am living my passion with my professional choices.
What steps should I take to get closer to my dream business and out of the professional doldrums?

Amanda Gore: First, find clarity about what is your passion;
then you can create the opportunities to pursue it more specifically.

Once you are clear about what inspires you, enthuses you, makes you feel
creative and that you are contributing in a meaningful way or that you are
making a difference, then you can decide if you need to change jobs, change
your perception of your job, create your own company or volunteer more!

Often we expect our professional lives to feed all of our needs, but our perception
of a job is faulty! We can make a job our work. Work is a much bigger concept. It
refers to what we were put on Earth to do. A job can be work if we perceive it

Any job we have needs to be viewed from the aspect of service:
Who are we serving and how are we serving them?
Doing our job with the right spirit, with the right heart, transforms it into our work.
When we are busy focusing on serving others, our passion ignites, our enthusiasm fires others up. We are more likely to be acknowledged and appreciated, our confidence and energy levels increase and we are fired up to start our own business, if that’s what emerges out of our search for clarity.

Jack Canfield: The key is to start by just leaning into it.
When I realized I wanted to do more writing and less traveling around the world
teaching live seminars, I decided to write the first Chicken Soup for the Soul® book.
I knew I wanted to have 100 stories in the book, so I wrote or edited two stories a
week for a year. The majority of that work took place from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. after my
wife had gone to bed and on the weekends. I couldn’t afford to quit my “day job,” so I
just knuckled under and did it when I could.

The most important thing is to get started in some way today.
If you have the capital to jump ship now, go for it.
If not, work up to it. But the key is to start doing something, however small, today.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Paul Castain's Tips for Acing the Interview!

Acing The Job Interview!

Our world has grown increasingly competitive.
While our ultimate destination might be a new job our first challenge is becoming more memorable!

Having interviewed over 1,000 professionals and spearheading the Sales DNA program at Consolidated Graphics, I have truly seen it all. I've also been the dude on the other side of the desk getting interviewed. There were times where I knew I nailed it and other times that I left thinking "I can't believe I said that out loud!"

Today's blog is about you, kicking tail,
taking names and wielding a little something
called IMPACT!
So strap in folks, its a lengthy one but this is your career so there will be no corners cut!

1) Get Current With Key Things You Should Know: Your industry, your craft, the local business landscape, national/international business landscape. Want to kick it up a notch? Have a quote, a statistic, a study to show your interviewer you take business seriously! Just in case you want to take it up two notches, come prepared with an interesting story pertaining to the areas I mentioned and watch how it can liven up your interview.

2) Meticulous Preparation: This is where so many people drop the ball. Its inexcusable in this day in age not to do your homework. Let's start with the obvious stuff. Study the heck out of their website, the about us section, press releases. Learn who the key players are. Google the company, the individual who will interview you as well as the key players. Never know when one of them might join you in the interview. Better be prepared. Know who their competitors are (who knows that might even create another opportunity for you). Look for things that enable you to get inside the head of your interviewer such as a blog, discussions on Linkedin etc. When I interviewed for my former position with Dale Carnegie, I found out my interviewer did a presentation for the Egyptian Chamber of Commerce on Leadership. I studied the powerpoint he used line by line and was able to understand how he thought, terms he used, his philosophies on leadership and was able to leverage that by getting him to talk about his favorite subject . . . himself! Isn't that what we all love to talk about, ourself? The other part of your research should involve developing preliminary questions based on your research. Things you want to discuss, get clarification on etc. It should also involve something cool you can keep "in your back pocket". When I interviewed for Consolidated Graphics, I found information which included a picture of my interviewer at a grill with the heading "Grill Master". At one point my interviewer called me out to see if I did my homework. I told him about articles where he was written up in Printing News and other publications. He wasn't impressed because he felt anyone could have found that out. I then presented him with the picture of "The Grill Master" and we had a good laugh. He explained the story behind the picture to me and we had an opportunity to connect. That's a critical reason why meticulous preparation is key! Important: Telling someone you researched them is one thing, verbally proving it is another, but showing them differentiates you. That's why you should bring your research with you in a folder. Feel free to tap that folder when you tell them you did your homework. The other part of meticulous preparation is understanding the basic questions and becoming fluent with your responses! I have included a link to some standard questions you should know. http://justsell.com/sales-interview-questions/ I'll get into more detail on some specific questions where you need to really be on your game later in this post. Oh, one more thing about proper preparation. There is a specific question you need to ask that can save your hiney big time. Before you hang up the phone feeling like a million because the interview is set, ask them "Is there anyone besides yourself who may join us?" That stupid question will help you research ALL the appropriate parties and even reveal that the person you are speaking with won't even be interviewing you. Wow, talk about a big waste of research and showing up unprepared, huh?

3) Get in the right "state" before you interview: This can be particularly hard if life has just dealt you a groin kick. If ever there was a time for a game face, its now. Listening to your favorite "pump up" music can work magic. How could you not want to kick ass after listening to some "Born to Be Wild" or some "Enter Sandman"? I wrote an entire blog post on this and you need to check it right now dude http://salesplaybook.blogspot.com/2009/07/soundtrack-for-success.html And while you are at it your attitude, quite frankly may need a mandatory enema. We can't be sure so for a quick exam go here http://salesplaybook.blogspot.com/2009/09/when-your-attitude-needs-enema.html Do you ever get nervous? Well Uncle Paul has you covered. Take two shots of Cuervo, just kidding. Seriously, hold a ceramic cup filled with warm water before you go forth and conquer. The warmth travels the nervous system and calms you down. I've coached people who have stage fright and call reluctance with this crazy remedy and it works! Visualize yourself saying the right things. Visualize your interviewer nodding their head in agreement and showing verbal and non verbal signs of approval. Now, pardon me for the "101" moment but part of meticulous preparation is allowing enough time so you don't have to rush. Do you think you are at your best when you just screwed up the punctual thing? Nuff said!

4) Unleash the Advanced Rapport Techniques: And no, I'm not talking about commenting on the trophy on the shelf or the pics of the kids. Do that and you blend in with everyone else and run the risk of sounding artificial. I'm talking about the holy grail of rapport as in understanding that each person is wired differently and therefore has a different code for you to crack in order to connect. Get the skinny by clicking here http://salesplaybook.blogspot.com/2009/02/play-19-one-size-doesnt-fit-all.html

5) Beware Of Certain Questions: When someone asks you about money, always give a range for what you are looking for. That leaves room to negotiate and keeps you in the game. Under no circumstances are you to answer the "Tell me about your weaknesses" question with that BS of "I'm a perfectionist" I would suggest telling them something more in the past tense of something you had to get a better handle on such as time management, delegation, prospecting etc. Then tell them how you did it, lessons learned, your biggest take away etc. You will come off much stronger and won't sound like you read the from the same script as the others. Beware of the "Why are you considering a change?" question. Many people look at this as an opportunity to get negative and bad mouth their employer. Use your head, think it through and you will be fine. Final advice: Beware of left hook questions from the interviewer. They are designed to ruffle your feathers to see how you handle (and sorry for saying this) other people's stupidity as far as I can gather. I mean stupid questions like if you could be any animal or travel to any place in the world. You wouldn't want to say "I'd like to be a Lion because who wouldn't want to be the king of the F'n jungle baby! And as for places I'd go if I could go any where, I'd go to wherever you got that question from and eye gauge the jackass that taught you the question" Anyway, sorry for that folks, I'm a tad jacked up on Mountain Dew!

6) Don't Over Talk Your Answers! I like to think of it as Gorilla Warfare because you need to get in and get out. And while you are at it, watch those digressions (you know when you take someone around the block with your answer and ultimately drop them off some place else) Personally, I can't stand long winded answers, especially if they don't answer my question. Check their temperature after answering a question to make sure you covered what they asked. Here's a little inside secret for you. A good interviewer will allow a little uncomfortable silence after you answer to see what you do with that silence. Many times they will find out some pretty wild things about you simply because the average person has a need to fill silence out of nervousness. My suggestion, simply stare them down, confidently and with a smile as if to say "Your monkey style kung fu is ineffective biotch!" Gold star if you use silence on them!

7) Do This and Take It Over The Top Baby!: Proactively prove what you say.
Don't wait for them to ask for proof. Show them! Here's how it works. I tell the interviewer that I was the grand freakin wizard of sales. Well, they may take my word for it or I can provide them with my sales ranking charts in the company newsletter, my W-2's etc. Have testimonials from clients? Bring them! Letters of recommendations from previous managers? Bring them! Better to come prepared and choose your weapon than get called out and have to look like everyone else when you say "I'll bring it next time" Always put your best foot forward and don't count on a next time!

8) Focus On Delivering A Congruent Message! If I want to project a message of being confident and well prepared, I'm not sure a verbal message littered with "ums" "you knows" "basicallys" and a non verbal message that includes squirming and breaking eye contact will help. The cure? Video tape yourself. Watch your body language. Do you look confident, capable and some other C word so I can complete the freakin C Trilogy I just started? Listen for useless "ums" etc. Consider using what I call "intentional language". This includes money words like reduced, increased, streamlined etc. And when you make it to the finals (and you will) use inclusive language such as we, us, partner, collaborate.

9) Come Prepared With Solid Questions! More candidates screw up this step by asking lame questions like "How much does the job pay" "Do we get Victory Over Japan Day off?" all during the first date so to speak. This is your opportunity to ask some of those cool questions you came up with during your meticulous planning as well as questions that sort of presented themselves as the interview progressed. Oh and please don't read them from a list. By all means take the list out to once again show the preparation, but know your material! If you want to score mega points ask the questions others aren't asking. You know the ones that make the interviewer stop dead in their tracks and say "Wow! No one ever asked us that before. Great question!" Here's a little secret (don't tell anyone, I mean it) The secret to connecting with people is obviously quality conversation. The secret to quality conversation lies in the questions you ask! Don't ever discount the importance of good questions as part of your strategy!

10) Ask What The Next Step Is: More candidates lose opportunity simply because they didn't have the stones to ask for the next step. You need to demonstrate your confidence by asking. Many interviewers (especially in the sales circles) will intentionally hold off to see if you ask! Don't fall into the trap of Not asking.

11) Proper Follow Up!: I wouldn't lose impact by sending a crappy thank you email! Too many people get caught up in this virtual stuff. If you want to stand out, you need to move it to real time by sending a handwritten thank you! Set yourself up for the win whenever you are asked to provide something by answering "(name of interviewer) I promise to get you that by Tuesday" Then call on Monday (because you want to brand yourself as on top of your follow up) you call with this "(name of interviewer) here are those TPS Reports as promised" Do that and you bond now on a subconscious level and in ways the others that interviewed missed!

12) Know What Makes You Different! Put yourself in their shoes. They are interviewing all these candidates and they so desperately want to find the difference maker. What's yours? Be able to articulate and demonstrate this throughout the entire process. In fact, this needs to be your focal point. Your difference!

I want to leave you with a final thought.
You were wired for great things. More importantly, you deserve that greatness.
Sometimes we forget that when times are tough or when life has stuck another needle in the Castain Voodoo doll. So if you read this today having been through a struggle, I hear you and want you to know that I have too had to rebuild my life a few years back after losing everything (including my self esteem). Please don't let it get to you. I truly believe that the best chapters in our success story are ahead of us, not behind us.

Now go unleash some of this on that interviewer.Hurry up!
A new chapter in your incredible success story awaits!
Please pass this along to your network and stop by our Sales Playbook Group on Linkedin by clicking here to join http://www.linkedin.com/groups?about=&gid=1832739&trk=anet_ug_grppro

Want cool, free sales tips delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to Paul Castain's Sales Playbook by Email

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

David Harder's Inspired Work

The Inspired Work Program leads people into happiness with their work. It is a two-day totally immersive experience that leads to breakthroughs in virtually every area of your work. When we look at how much time it consumes, we find that work is the biggest relationship that we have. Most of us were never given the role models and education to treat work as a relationship. In our culture, the standards usually center on survival and predictability. Now more than ever, this is the time to raise our standards.

Come participate and step into the life you are meant to have!

Dates: Los Angeles (October 2 & 3, November 6 & 7)

Chicago - Available to our clients on request

New York - Program dates will be announced shortly

Take a look: http://www.inspiredworkservices.com

Even better, call us! In a very short conversation, we can mutually identify what the program will bring to your life. We don't pitch, we listen.

Charlene Gorzella: (312) 550-0677

David Harder: (310) 277-4850

P.S: See David on reality TV!

Watch him work with the turks of "Million Dollar Listing."
On Bravo TV beginning October 12 at 11 p.m.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Virtual Jobs, the Career of a Virtual Assistant

Could you work anywhere?

In a field of flowers?

From desk/office you have set up in your kitchen?

Consider the Career of a Virtual Assistant........
being one or utilizing the services of one.

Cheryl Ebner is the capable Virtual Assistant/ executive director for local trade organizations. She works behind the scenes and out front as needed by her clients. Santa Barbara Virtual Assistants
is one of the Central Coast of California businesses that we admire.

Cheryl has a newsletter and she recently ran an article by Minda Zetlin entitled Why You Need to Hire a Virtual Assistant . I thought you might like to see what Cheryl and her colleagues have to say about Virtual Assistants.

Melinda starts our asking entrepreneurs and business people if they are overwhelmed at the office. Then asks if they are not yet ready to hire new staff? A virtual assistant might be the solution.

For small businesses that are drowning in paperwork or administrative tasks, the traditional choice has been to hire a part-time or full-time assistant, or else slog through unassisted.

In these work-from-home days of the Internet, there’s a third option: hiring a virtual assistant.

Though the profession is relatively new and definitions vary, virtual assistants provide administrative or other services from their own offices, over Internet, phone, or fax.

Zetlin says that virtual assistants (VAs) can provide a wide range of services, including not only administrative tasks such as clerical work, correspondence, and making travel arrangements, but also Web-based marketing, bookkeeping, writing, and any number of other tasks.

VAs are small businesses themselves; some are one-person shops who may mostly handle administrative duties, others work with a staff of VAs to provide a wider range of services and greater availability than is possible for a single person.

For Wendy Battles, a health and lifestyle coach with a company named Healthy Endeavors, hiring a virtual assistant meant finally being able to market her business the way she wanted to. “As the business grew, I had more and more tasks,” she says. “I spend a lot of time with clients, but I also need to do marketing. And I’d wanted to launch new tele-seminars and develop more courses.”

Now two virtual assistants help Battles with Internet marketing tasks. They disseminate her weekly two-minute audio tips, improve her site’s shopping cart and search engine optimization, and write pitches. The Internet marketing work she never seems to have time for is finally getting done. And, though a Web developer might also have been able to improve her SEO and shopping cart, working with a VA has a different quality, she notes. “A Web developer wouldn’t do some of the stuff my assistant does,” she says. “Plus a Web developer might not always be available or have the same mentality about getting things done that a virtual assistant does.”

What to expect from a VA
Ready to consider hiring a virtual assistant? Here’s what to expect if you do:

1. Don’t expect to have to make a big commitment. Some VAs work on a fee-for-project basis. Others work on an hourly basis whenever you need them. But many prefer a monthly retainer for ongoing work. “That way, we get to know the clients and share in their successes,” says Sue Kramer Harrawood, marketing director for the International Virtual Assistants Association, and a VA herself, whose company is Peace of Mind Virtual Assistance. But just because you pay a retainer doesn’t mean you’re committed to a lot of work or expense -- many VAs allow for a commitment as small as five hours per month. Whatever you decide, it may be a good idea to plan for extra work -- perhaps double the usual amount -- during your first month, as the VA gets to know you and your requirements.

2. Expect to pay $25 per hour for a truly novice VA, to $65 per hour for a more experienced or highly skilled one. At least, within the United States, those are the going rates. Many VAs from other countries, notably India, will work for $5 an hour, or less. “You can cut overhead dramatically, but I’ve been looking for offshore VAs for 10 years, and have only found one who reached my standards,” says Jennifer Goodwin, owner of internetGIRLfriday.com, a VA firm that employees other VAs to help serve its clients. Technological challenges and a language barrier can also be an issue when working offshore, Goodwin notes.

3. Consider looking for a VA who specializes in your industry. “Some VAs are specifically trained and licensed to work with real estate or insurance,” Kramer Harrawood says. Others may specialize in copy writing. Depending on the type of work you need, seeking out a VA who knows your industry may be well worth the effort.

4. Check out the VA carefully before you hire. A prospective VA should expect that you will want to have a detailed interview, and also check references with current or former clients. And, if the VA will be handling sensitive or valuable materials, you can take it a step further. “If you feel you want to do a background check, or look for a VA who’s bonded, then do it,” Goodwin declares. “There are plenty of them out there.”

5. Remember that the VA is a small business owner, not an employee. “A lot of people who hire VAs think of them as employees, and they have that mindset that the VA has to come into the office and do whatever they say,” Goodwin notes. “Actually, it’s more of an equal partnership.”

6. Expect more efficiency than you would with in-house staff. “Usually someone on staff has a lot of downtime, because there are breaks, conversations with co-workers and so on,” Goodwin says. “There are studies that show a VA who doesn’t have these distractions can get through an eight-hour day’s worth of work in four hours.”

7. Think of the VA as a partner in your business. “Sometimes there’s a great benefit for a client to creating a strategic alliance with the VA,” Goodwin says. “A lot of VAs send out newsletters, and feature their clients in their newsletters. And let’s say a company like mine has a client who’s a florist. I may want to send flowers to my other clients. And my other clients may want to send flowers to the people in their lives as well. Sometimes you can both make more money if you look at it as being in business together.”

The thoughts and connections available from the professional associations of virtual assistants can really help with your research about this emerging profession. I highly recommend the International Association of Virtual Assistants and know that this is a key enprepreneurial business that is here to stay. Patty De

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Single Most Critical Skill for the 21st Century

The Single Most Critical Skill
for the 21st Century

According to the World Future Society, a publication I enjoy reading and love learn from the most critical skill for you to develop in the coming years will be FORESIGHT.

In this era of accelerating change, knowledge alone is no longer the key to a prosperous life. Foresight is the critical skill.

Knowledge quickly goes out of date, but foresight enables you to navigate change, make good decisions, and take action now to create a better future.

We often think people are successful because of luck, when in fact it was their foresight that made them “lucky.” If you look at any successful person, organization, even a country, you will find a high degree of foresight. That’s why foresight is...

The Secret Ingredient of Success

Foresight is critical to achievement in all areas of your life, including your major life decisions.

People who lack foresight are likely to find themselves unemployed when jobs are unexpectedly lost to new technologies, competition from overseas, or shifts in consumer tastes.

Foresight is the key to survival in a world of disruptive innovation.

Foresight enables you to see opportunities, avoid threats, and chart the fastest path to your goals. The key to success is seizing opportunity when it arises. But you need to see the opportunity and be prepared to take action. That’s why foresight gives you power and agility to achieve any goal you want to achieve.

7 Ways to Spot Tomorrow’s Trends Today

In the more than 40 years since the World Future Society was founded,
futurists have developed a range of techniques to study the future.
Here are a few techniques futurist use to spot new opportunities and
potential problems. These methods give individuals and organizations
an edge to help them succeed in a fast-changing world:

1.Scan the Media to Identify Trends—Futurists often conduct an ongoing and systematic surveys of news media and research institutes. These surveys help spot significant trends and technology breakthroughs. Futurists call this environmental scanning.

2.Analyze and Extrapolate Trends—After the trends are identified, the next step is to plot the trends to show their direction and development into the future. Trend analysis and extrapolation can show the nature, causes, speed, and potential impacts of trends.

3.Develop Scenarios—Futurists often describe the future development of a trend, a strategy, or a wild-card event in story form. These scenarios can paint a vivid picture that can help you visualize possible future developments and show how you can prepare effectively for future risks and opportunities. Scenarios help you to blend what you know about the future with imagination about the uncertain. Scenarios help you move from dreaming to planning and then to accomplishment.

4.Ask Groups of Experts—Futurists also conduct “Delphi Polls” which are carefully structured surveys of experts. Polling a wide range of experts in a given field can yield accurate forecasts and suggestions for action.

5.Use Computer Modeling—Futurists often use computer models to simulate the behavior of a complex system under a variety of conditions. For example, a model of the U.S. economy might show the effects of a 10 percent increase in taxes.

6.Explore Possibilities with Simulations—Futurists create simulations of a real-world situations by means of humans playing different roles. For example, in war games, generals test out tactics they may later use on the battlefield, or corporate executives can explore the possible results of competitive strategies.

7.Create the Vision—Futurists help organizations and individuals systematically develop visions of a desirable future. Visioning creates the big picture of the possibilities and prepares the way for goal setting and planning.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more please consider a membership in the World Future Society. You can also discover how to use these techniques yourself in your business and personal life. We’ve prepared a special report that shows how to use these and other futurist techniques.

It’s called The Art of Foresight: Preparing for a Changing World. This report will show you how to use futurist techniques to prepare realistically and creatively for success in your personal and professional life. You can get a copy FREE with an introductory membership in the World Future Society.

Important Forecast The Millennial Generation Will Have Major Impacts
on Society
The millennial generation, born between 1982 and 1998, will have a huge impact on every aspect of society in ways similar to their parents, the Baby Boomers. Some futurists believe Millennials are the next “great generation” of U.S. society, exhibiting many of the heroic qualities of the World War II generation of Americans.

Millennials have a strong entrepreneurial bent. Twice as many say they would prefer to own a business rather than be a top executive. Employers will need to adjust virtually all of their policies and practices to the values of this new generation, including finding new ways to motivate and reward them. See how in your free report, Urgent Warnings, Breakthrough Solutions.

For more info please contact: World Future Society futuristupdate@wfs.org

Forecasts for the Next 25 Years.

THE FUTURIST: A Journal of Forecasts, Trends, and Ideas About the Future: This bimonthly magazine focuses on innovation, creative thinking, and emerging social, economic, environmental, and technological trends.

Friday, September 11, 2009

To "friend or not to friend" That is an interesting question!

I noticed that there is a Twestival in my home town this evening. What's
a twestival you say? Or... at least that's what I asked and read further to find that it's a gathering of those who TWEET.... a Twestival = people coming physically together to tweet about their favorite topics, and in this evening's case it is about one of my favorite NGO's! Direct Relief International. http://www.directrelief.org/

To learn more you can visit www.twitter.com/sbtwestival or www.twestival.com

Tonight's Twestival is to raise awareness and build networks of Tweeters who care about Direct Relief International's important mission to enable better health around the world. Quite a worthy cause and the NGO utilizes both old world communications and today's social media. (Old world means I actually attended a real, in person strategic planning and development meeting yesterday at their world headquarters and the day before I attend a "gotomeeting" via phone and my pc for another committee meeting.

You can get on board and make a big difference in your speed networks and your social contributions.

Now, How about "Friending" your boss?

Social networking is invading the office. The issue used to be,
"Which friends will I 'friend?'"
But what about when the boss wants to friend you?
And what about the other side of the coin—should you friend the boss?
What about co-workers? Vendors? Clients?

A recent survey suggests that friending in these situations often makes
people uncomfortable. But, because it's not always avoidable, the survey's
developers—OfficeTeam—suggest setting up some different levels of friends,
so that the people from the office don't see pictures from your social life that
may not be appropriate for the office.

Survey says ...

OfficeTeam is a staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled
administrative professionals. Their survey was conducted by an independent
research firm and is based on telephone interviews with 150 randomly selected
senior executives at the nation's 1,000 largest companies.

Executives were asked, "How comfortable would you feel about being 'friended'
by the following individuals on Facebook?"
Their responses:

Boss Co-workers Reports Clients Vendors
Very comfortable
19% 13% 12% 7% 6%
Somewhat comfortable 28% 38% 32% 34% 23%
Not very comfortable 15% 13% 15% 17% 24%
Not comfortable at all 32% 28% 33% 33% 38%
Don't know 6% 8% 8% 9% 9%

"The line between personal and professional has grown increasingly blurred
as more people use social networking websites for business purposes," said
Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. He said that managers,
even if they aren't going to connect with business contacts on social networking
sites, need to be prepared to deal with requests for friending and such.

Hosking advises managers and employees to familiarize themselves with privacy
settings and create different friend lists to control how—and with whom—information
is shared. "Individuals should classify their professional contacts into a 'work' list and
limit what personal details this group can view," said Hosking.

Following are some common Facebook situations professionals may encounter—and OfficeTeam's recommendations for handling them:

• You're tagged in an embarrassing photo. Untag yourself and change your privacy settings so photos are viewable only by your close friends.

• You're friended by someone you don't want to connect with.
It might be best to accept friend requests from colleagues to avoid slighting them,
but add them to a "work" list and adjust your privacy settings so you can effectively
separate your job from your personal life.

• You're considering friending your boss. It may seem like a natural extension
of amiable office small talk, but think twice before proactively friending your
boss. It could become awkward for both of you.

• You want to join various groups. You should join groups that interest you.
But if you have colleagues in your network and don't want them to see the
groups you join, remember to adjust your application settings.

• You would like to be a fan of certain pages. Becoming a fan of pages on
Facebook is visible to anyone who can view your profile, so you should avoid
becoming a fan of any page you are uncomfortable sharing with coworkers or
business contacts in your network.
• You love quizzes. Stop and think for a mo
ment before taking online quizzes and posting the results to your
Facebook page—unless you want professional contacts to know which
Gilligan's Island character you most resemble.

Patty's note:

Use "old world" wisdom today...... Don't say or write anything that you are not
willing to have show up on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. This is a pretty
effective governor and if used as your guide will save plenty of embarrasing and potentially career derailing moments!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Peter Bregman on the Importance of Cultural Education

A New Rule for the Workplace -

Peter Bregman -

Reprinted from HarvardBusiness.org

Because the world is more global and organizations are more diverse, the likelihood we will interact with people very different from us is increasing exponentially. And people who are different from us do things we don't expect or want them ...


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Importance of References by Tom Hogan

Are Your References Killing Your Chances for Employment?

Presented by Tom Hogan Level 1 Resources
We provide Accounting and Finance talent to Companies throughout CT, Westchester County and NYC area

Reference checks can confirm or deny the value of a job seeker to a potential employer. They can be the difference-maker in employment.

A poor reference can literally cost you thousands of dollars of lost income.

1) Unless someone can speak directly about your professional qualifications and character, do not use them as a reference. This means that your neighbor, hair stylist, lawyer or high school sweetheart don't count. Unless you've worked with them, they're not a reference.

2) Not every potential employer limits their reference screening to former supervisors. We recommend that, in addition to three former direct supervisors, you also have two peers and, for managers, two subordinates ready as references.

3) Never use a person as a reference without their knowledge and consent.

4) Never use someone that can't (or won't) speak knowledgably and enthusiastically about you.

5) Someone who will only verify employment should never be used as a reference. Also, While many companies have policies that dictate that they can only discuss a former employee’s title, dates of employment, and eligibility for rehire, people break those rules every day, Jeffrey Shane, vice president of Allison & Taylor Inc., a professional reference-check and employment-verification company says,“Over 50 percent of Allison & Taylor’s job seeker clients receive a bad reference, despite the strict policies their previous employers have in place.”

6) Choose your references with care. After doing everything right to get this far, you don't want to sabotage your efforts by hastily picking any 3 names.

7) Job seekers make a fatal tactical error by failing to prep their references or assuming that they’ll be able to sweep negative opinions of their work history under the carpet.

Don't assume that your references know what you wrote on your resume or spoke about during your interview!

Make sure your references know what you’ve been up to, and provide them with your latest resume.

In addition, counsel your references to ensure you both agree on what will be said if someone calls.

Get agreement on key achievements and resume points.

Make sure you review a few questions your references might want to know.

Focus on some of the following topics with your references so you agree: - start and end dates of employment - the reason for leaving - salary - positional responsibilities and achievements - work ethic - communication skills - team focus - promotions - willingness to re-hire - general strengths and weaknesses

8) The impression a reference leaves will be reflected upon you. Be sure that your references understand how important this is. Be sure they will be available when called upon. If your reference travels frequently or is really busy, you need to communicate that fact with your potential employer and coordinate with your reference. Ask your reference how they would like to be contacted – at home, by cell or by e-mail - and when.

Also, be sure you have their most current contact information.

Providing an old email address or cell number makes you look bad. Not having a reference call returned is a problem you want to avoid. It shows they may not care enough to respond quickly or give you high marks. Silence can be deadly here.

9) Never underestimate the importance of reference checks!

If you would like to reach Tom Hogan or follow him on Twitter, you can do so:

Email: tomhogan@level1resources.com.
Web: www.level1resources.com
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/tjhogan
Twitter: http://twitter.com/level1resources

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Exploring Your Life Mission.........

It's a great idea to explore your beliefs,
values, desires and talents.

Most of us were born with numerous special gifts but
few of us are lucky enough to learn about ours early
on and to be able to find work in ways which employ
our gifts to their highest powers.

I encourage you to take a look at Kathy Hill's Webinar
which will enable you to take a close look at your personal
passions and purpose.

Kathy asks:

Are you feeling passionate and fulfilled with your life/career?

Would knowing your "life/career purpose" help you to get the
clarity you need to make a plan for a passionate future?

Kathy Hill has been coaching clients for twenty years to achieve success in every area
of their lives.

If you want 2009 to be a transforming year, join her in the following teleclass.

(All you need is a telephone to attend)


This series of four one-hour teleclasses will help you to figure out "what next?" -

What do you "really" want the next chapter of your life to look like?

What can you focus on during the rest of 2009 to make this happen?

What will give you the passion you are searching for?

A brief summary of the class follows:

Week 1: Look at your entire life - social, career, financial, spiritual, health, and family. How balanced is it, what areas need work, and how would you define a "10" in each area? We will work on defining what you "really" want.

Week 2: Clarify your Needs, Values, Natural Gifts, Talents, and Passions. If you don't get your core "needs" met first, you won't be able to focus on your passions and explore your life mission. What are your core "needs" and how are they being met?

Week 3: Understand your empowering and limiting beliefs, how they play out in your life, and how to change the ones that no longer serve you. Learn how these beliefs can get in your way and make you feel stuck.

Week 4: Create a Mission Statement for your life/career.

WHEN: Four Wednesdays from 8-9PM ET (5-6PM PT), 9/9, 9/16, 9/23, 9/30

COST: $129 WITI Members ($159 Nonmembers)

For more information and to register, visit www.witi.com/teleclass

Please contact Kathy Hill with any questions at kathyshill@aol.com

Friday, September 4, 2009

Quality Resumes and English Skills Count!

Are Your Writing Skills Up To Snuff?

Basic English Language and Grammar Rules

By Wendy Enelow, CCM, MRW, JCTC, CPRW
with Louise Kursmark, MRW, CPRW, CEIP, JCTC, CCM

Louise Kursmark and I always talk about the fact that one of the best things about writing the “Expert” series of resume books for JIST Publishing is getting to read all of the great resumes that our members contribute! As we start each book, you’ll find us on the floor, resumes spread all about, looking, reading, and saying to each other, “Wow! Look at this resume!” And, for that, we thank you!

HOWEVER … you knew that was coming (!) … we also find some consistent types of errors that many writers are making. What follows are some basic English language and grammar rules that you should pay special attention to.


Rule: When you are using two words to describe a noun, those two words act as an adjective and must be hyphenated.

high-performance career … low-cost manufacturing … market-driven sales programs … problem-solving skills

Exception: DO NOT hyphenate when the first of those two words ends in the letters “ly.”

highly successful executive … consistently superior performance … remotely controlled device


Rule: When you are writing serial items, they must all be written in a parallel voice.

Directed all manufacturing operations including training and supervising staff, scheduling production, purchasing materials, managing inventory, troubleshooting operations, installing new technology, and coordinating all budgeting. (Note that all of the phrases start with an “ing” verb.)

Directed all manufacturing operations including training and supervising staff, scheduling production, materials management, inventory control, troubleshooting operations, installing new technology, and budget management. (Note the inconsistency in the list of serial items - some starting with the “ing” verb and others using noun phrases.)


Rule: Pick a method and stick with it where you either consistently use or not use a comma before the word “and” in a list of serial items.

Trained all newly hired personnel in the sales, customer-service and customer-support departments of Macy’s Stores, Macy’s Outlet Malls and Macy’s Online Shops.

Trained all newly hired personnel in the sales, customer-service, and customer-support departments of Macy’s Stores, Macy’s Outlet Malls, and Macy’s Online Shops.

(Note that either of the two examples above is correct and consistent. In the first example, a comma is not use before the word “and” in each of the two serial item lists in the sentence. In the second example, the comma is used.)

Trained all newly hired personnel in the sales, customer-service and customer support-departments of Macy’s Stores, Macy’s Outlet Malls, and Macy’s Online Shops.

(Note the inconsistency of the sentence above where the first list of serial items does not use a comma before the word “and” while the second list of items does. This is incorrect because it is inconsistent.)

Exception: It is recommended that you use a comma before the word “and” when the final item in a serial list has the word “and” in the clause.

Coordinating materials movement, inventory planning, and shipping and receiving operations.


Rule: Bullet-point items must be consistent and use the same verb or noun tense.

* Budget Management
* Staff Training & Leadership
* Customer Service
* New Product Introduction
* Sales Territory Management
* New Market Development

* Budget Management
* Trainer & Leader
* Customer Service Representative
* New Product Introduction
* Managing Sales Territories
* New Market Development

(Note the tremendous inconsistency in the use of nouns and verbs in the incorrect example.)


Rule: Pick a format and be consistent in how you present job titles and college degrees.

Retail Sales Associate (1999 to Present)
Sales Associate (1996 to 1999)
Inventory Clerk (1995 to 1996)

Retail Sales (1999 to Present) - This is NOT a title!
Sales Associate (1996 to 1999)
Inventory Clerk (1995 to 1996)

Master of Arts Degree in Education, 2003
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, 2001

Master’s, Education, 2003
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, 2001

I hope you’ve picked up some good English language and grammar rules and solid writing tips from this article that you’ll immediately start integrating into all of your writing projects!

From the founders of Resume Writing Academy... for more great tips and articles please
visit their vast library on site: www.ResumeWritingAcademy.com

Thursday, September 3, 2009

You Will Benefit by Better Email Correspondence!

Your Email Correspondence is Awful. Here's Help.

Tom Hogan

I just have to vent. Why a job candidate would send a poorly constructed, error filled, grammatically incorrect e-mail is beyond me. Your e-mail is as much a part of your professional image as the clothes you wear, the greeting on your voice
mail and the handshake you offer.

If you want to impress on every front and build positive business
relationships, pay attention to your e-mail.

Here are some common sense pointers everyone should follow:

1) Make sure it's obvious who your e-mail is from.
The "From" field in my inbox should be your full name. I'm looking at the first 20
emails in my inbox. I have 1 person with his initials, 3 with an e-mail address, and
one with the word 'Finance". In other words, I have no idea who sent 20% of these emails.

2) Personalize Your Message To The Recipient.
E-mail is informal but it still needs a greeting. Failure to put in the person's name can
make you and your e-mail seem cold and too direct.

3) Be sure the subject line is meaningful!
Again, I see the following subjects in my inbox: - Re: - HI - (a person's name) - FYI - Discussion - RE: Hello - Thursday - (no subject) - Good Afternoon - Recruiting At first glance,I have absolutely no idea what any of these e-mails are about. Please, make it obvious what the
e-mail is about.

4) Be sure the file name of an attachment is meaningful.
A file titled rkRev20a.doc may mean something to you but not to a recipient. For a resume,
try LastName-FirstName_JobTitle.doc. Keep track of your job search activities and which resume you sent where on a spreadsheet. I have a file on my profile at http://www.linkedin.com help you.

5) Don't use the "High Priority" Flag unless it truly urgent.

6) Remember that all your correspondence is a reflection on you.
If you know that misspelled words, poor grammar and a lack of or misuse of punctuation
on a resume is a death sentence to getting an interview, what makes you think your e-mail correspondence is any different? Use grammar and spell check. Read before sending.

7) Put your message in context.
You don't read a book by starting in the middle so don't send an email that starts the
reader off in the middle of a topic. Including message threads in your e-mails helps and remember to change the subject line as the topic changes. 8) Understand the difference
between Cc: and Bcc: If you're mass mailing your resume to everyone in the United States,
use Bcc:. It's not good to let a hiring manager or recruiter know that your resume is circling
the globe. At that point, you become a commodity and no one really wants to work with you.

9) Don't use emoticons.
Those little smiley faces make you seem at best silly, and at worst unable to express yourself.

10) Be mindful of the tone of your correspondence.
A reader cannot see your face or hear your tone of voice so chose your words carefully and thoughtfully. Put yourself in the other person's place and think how your words may come across.

11) Don't write a novel. E-mail is meant to be brief.
Keep your message short. Use only a few paragraphs and a few sentences per paragraph. People skim their e-mail so a long missive is wasted.

12) Don't Leave Off Your Signature
Always close with your name and contact information such as your home phone and cell phone, The recipient may want to call you. Creating a formal signature block with all contact data is the most professional approach.

Ok, I'm done venting.

Tom Hogan Principal

Editorial note: AMEN! Please, please please get better at sending e-mail correspondence. Otherwise you train people to only open yours when they get a round to it! Or Worse yet, you train them to delete yours due to not knowing how important your message is! Patty De

Doing Well by Doing Good by Patty DeDominic

It's Official: Heroes With Big Hearts Set A New World Record

That's my friend, Mary Schnack... in one of her favorite "Scarey" poses! Mary speaks all over the world helping to empower people to be better at advocacy and crisis communication.

This week she is in Iceland!

More News...... How would you like to work at a place which holds the world record for the most Superheros? If you are looking for real career satisfaction, go to work at YOUR local Children's Hospital!

Official: Heroes With Big Hearts Set A New World Record

The Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) recently set a new world record for the most people gathered in superhero costumes in one place at the same time.

Hanover, N.H. (PRWEB) September 3, 2009 -- Superheroes coming together during times of crisis to battle a common foe is a typical theme in comic books. Upper Valley residents got a chance to see fiction turned to reality this past weekend as the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) set a new Guinness World Record by bringing together 1,016 superheroes in conjunction with its recent CHaD Heroes Half Marathon and Relay.

Despite a rainy, overcast day, thousands turned out for the event with a record-breaking number in superhero costumes, easily eclipsing the previous record. The event was a success on all fronts. Over 800 runners participated, including 107 registered 3-person relay teams and nearly 550 runners who took on the challenging 13.1-mile half-marathon course. Keith Drake of Hanover set a new course record at 1 hour, 14 minutes, 23 seconds. The top female runner, Tracy Joslin of Waitsfield, VT, finished at 1 hour, 33 minutes, 51 seconds. Complete results and photos are available online at www.chadhalf.org.

Over 400 children and their families participated in "Cam's Course," a one-mile fun run in honor of Cameron Marshall, a CHaD patient from Lyme who is being treated for leukemia. Also new this year was a roughly 5K walking course that included 50 walkers.

Organizers say the world record try with the superhero theme was meant to symbolize the heroic nature of the battles that many CHaD patients with serious health conditions fight on a daily basis. It also recognizes as heroes the parents who take care of them, the care providers who treat them, the researchers who work tirelessly to find cures, and the community members who support them through fundraising and volunteering.

"We are so lucky to have an institution like CHaD in our backyard, and lucky that people are willing to do what it takes to support it," said event volunteer organizer Nini Meyer. "I remember standing on stage and looking down at the sea of capes in front of me thinking that surely I was witnessing the best of humanity. It was an incredible sight to see our community rallied in a superhuman show of hope and protection. I felt incredibly lucky to be part of this magic."

The event raised an estimated $225,000 for research and patient care at CHaD, New Hampshire's only children's hospital. The Children's Hospital at Dartmouth provides an extended system of care that offers advanced clinical services for children. This includes everything from well-care visits to the most complex childhood diseases. CHaD also recently added a new Emergency Services Unit as part of its Emergency Department. CHaD is part of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), the only Level I Pediatric (and Adult) Trauma Center in Northern New England.

"Everyone at CHaD is in awe of the outpouring of support by our community," said CHaD Director Paul Merguerian, M.D. "The CHaD Hero Half provides critical financial support which allows us to care for the sickest and most critically injured children. This heroic effort truly makes a difference in our young patient's treatment and recovery and supports the wellbeing of the children and families we serve."

"We felt from the onset that the superhero metaphor worked beautifully in terms of describing the heroes on staff at CHaD, but also in providing hope and empowerment for families struggling with illness," Meyer added. "The symbol of a superhero is instantly recognizable to people of all ages, and instantly lends a sense of enthusiasm and positive energy.


Dick DeVos Talks to Northwood (and All) Graduates

Commencement Speech to Northwood University Graduates
Dr. Dick DeVos

Founder, President, The Windquest Group

Thank you, President Pretty and congratulations to the Board of Trustees on presenting
such an extraordinary group of young people. And, congratulations as well to the parents
and family who've supported these young people in their pursuit of their education here at Northwood.

I'm proud to be with you as a graduate, as an alum, and now to have joined your class.
Thank you for allowing me that privilege.

I also want to commend the mission of Northwood to encourage free and ethical commerce
in the world. Isn't it interesting that when we break down one side or the other of that
equation, either the free or the ethical, we start to see difficulties? And, we're certainly
seeing those in our country today. But, Northwood has the answer. What Northwood is
teaching here, the ideas of free and ethical commerce, is the way forward for our nation.

It's my job today to be part of a long tradition … the tradition of the commencement
speaker. You just have to have one it seems, to feel good about graduating, you just
hope you don't have to have it for too long. Now, my job as speaker is to try to distill
a lifetime of experience, into thoughtful, meaningful, insightful, hopefully entertaining
remarks that are in keeping with the tradition of this school and to do it in ten minutes,
or preferably substantially less.

So, I will try to distill it down as quickly as I can for you.
I have just a quick word of advice: "Don't forget to buckle your seatbelt."

Do you realize that 49% of the fatalities, of people who are killed in automobile accidents,
actually did not have their seatbelts buckled? Are you aware of that important fact?

But maybe more importantly, I suggest, is to not forget to buckle your seatbelt because
for some of us, that will tell us an awful lot about who you are and what you are.
Whether you make that choice, or not, says something about you.

First, it's going to tell me a lot about how you respect yourself. And, how can I respect
you if you don't respect yourself enough to even do the simplest thing, like buckling your seatbelt?

You know, there are a lot of people in this world who respect themselves too much,
that take themselves very seriously. You know how serious they can be, right?

Name a few. Pick my personal favorite, Donald Trump, who takes himself very seriously.

Now I will contradict myself just a little…don't take yourself too seriously, but take yourself seriously enough. Because you have an extraordinary faculty here that have invested in you; you have parents and family around you and friends around you that have supported you.
Have paid dearly for the education that you've received here. So respect yourself enough,
just not too much. And buckle your seatbelt so that you show me that you respect yourself
and you respect the others who stood with you and made this day possible.

Second, if you don't respect yourself, how are you going to be able to respect others?

How can you possibly realize the strengths and the gifts and the talents of others, if you
don't have respect for your own strengths and gifts and talents?

I have a management theory, for those of you that are studying management. I call it the "Theory of Sufficient Incompetence."

As a manager, one of our challenges is to become sufficiently incompetent in what we used
to do, in our prior specialized career, so that we will truly turn it over and delegate it to
others. Allowing them to do the job that they are trained and prepared to do. Maybe you've worked with managers who don't trust enough, don't respect others enough to turn the work over, and genuinely allow someone else to get the job done. They're too busy worrying about themselves. Maybe they need to learn how to respect themselves, get comfortable with themselves, so they can respect others and delegate what needs to be delegated.

So, don't forget to buckle your seatbelt, because it's an indication that you not only respect yourself, but that you respect others.

And a third thing that I would point out to you… if you make the decision not to buckle your seatbelt, it's going to tell me that I should question your ability to evaluate risk. If you're
careless with small choices and small risks, than what choices are you going to make when
the stakes are larger?

Life is full of risk. I think we all know that. Life itself is a risk.

•You have a 1 in 850,000 probability of drowning in your bathtub
•1 in 3.6 million probability of dying from a bee sting
•1 in 6 million possibility of being killed by lightning

Life is full of risks. Evaluating them and understanding them is the key. Now, some of you
look at me and say "Who's this old guy speaking who hasn't taken any risks in his life, what
does he know about risk?"

Well, surprisingly to some of you, I'm very willing to take risks. I've taken them all my life
as a business person and in my personal life!

•I'm licensed and regularly fly a jet airplane at 500 MPH and 45,000 feet in the air
•I'm licensed and flew up here today in a helicopter at 150 MPH and only 500 feet up
•I've sailed countless thousands of miles in the open ocean, racing sailboats around the world
•How many of you have jumped off a bridge on the south island of New Zealand, bungee jumping?
•Or, the best indication I have of my high risk tolerance, is the fact that I ran for Governor of Michigan … as a Republican!

That shows you I'm fully prepared to take risks!

But do you evaluate the risks you take? When you buckle your seatbelt, you're telling me something about how you evaluate risks. Take them. Enjoy them. I do, every day. But, enjoy them wisely.

Why is that important? Well, there are two reasons.

The first reason is, because this broken world needs you. It needs you to take care of yourself.
It needs you to make sure that you get to work every day, to make this broken world a better place.

Now, we act as though today is the first day that the world's been broken. But let's be honest, the world's been broken for many tens of thousands of years. It just happens to be a little more broke today. But our challenge and responsibility as leaders is to go out and try to make the world a little less broken.

And those of us who've been in the fight for some time, we need you in the game, Graduates.
We need you there to encourage us with your

•Fresh perspectives
We need you in the game.

Buckle your seatbelt, so you take care of yourself. So, you show up at work every day, and
make a difference every day.

Every day isn't going to be a big difference, but life is a series of small steps that will take us
all closer to our destination.

And the final reason I want to encourage you to buckle your seatbelt, is because there are exciting, exciting times ahead.

•You are prepared
•You are motivated
•And you are supported by all of those who are here, standing with you.
That's not to suggest there isn't going to be turbulence. I've never flown a flight where there hasn't been turbulence.

There's some turbulence right now in the economy and finding a job. You know that.

There's some turbulence right now because the career that many of you have chosen, in business and business leadership, is not held in the same high regard it may have been
awhile back.

And there's some turbulence out there as the government, and just about everybody,
wants to tell you how to run your businesses today. There's turbulence, and there will
be turbulence in your life.

But keep your seatbelt buckled, because you'll be able to fly safely through the turbulence. Because there are exciting and wonderful times ahead.

Let me reflect with you, if I might, some statistics of what life was like 100 years ago, and how much has changed in the world that we live in.

100 Years Ago:

•47 years was the life expectancy, a sobering thought for me as I stand here at age 53
•14% of homes had bathtubs
•8% homes had telephones
•8000 cars were on the road with 144 miles of paved roadway
•The tallest building in the world was the Eiffel Tower
•The population of Las Vegas was 30
•6% of the United States had a high school diploma

Has the world changed in a hundred years? Oh, yes it has. Just since I have stepped to this podium,

•Fully one-third of those dressed in caps and gowns have texted each other about the party after the graduation ceremony is over;
•The other third have been Tweeting about boring commencement speakers and letting everyone follow their thoughts;
•And the final third have updated their Facebook pages to reflect that they are now graduates, not students.

More excitement is in store for you, and extraordinary possibilities lie before you.

So, don't forget, buckle your seatbelt. You're going to need it.

And maybe, just maybe, every time you get in your car, or you get in a plane and you
buckle the seatbelt around you, you'll be reminded that it sends a very powerful message
about who you are and what you are. And, you'll be reminded of your very, very special
day here in Midland.

Congratulations, Graduates!
Editors note:
I was honored to receive the Distinguished Business Person's Award in 2007 from Northwood University and Kristine Westman our first researcher on this e-book is a graduate of Northwood University. She did an internship, then followed up last year with a summerlong project for the New New World of Work.