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Archive for November, 2012

Archive: Career, Not Complaints — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

November 30th, 2012 Comments off

Career Opportunities podcast logoTypically, discussions about jobs and careers consist of people complaining about their jobs and careers. We seem to have no problem griping about our managers, customers and CEO. When it comes to discussions about how to improve our careers, though, we fall silent. We seem to revel in the horrors of our jobs, but feel embarrassed to admit that we are unprepared to do anything to about it or to even discuss what can be done. Complaining takes the place of useful action but we end up just where we started.


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I encounter this problem wherever I go. Whether I am talking to people online or face-to-face it can be almost impossible to move people beyond the complaining stage. There is too much inertia, too much to say, too many people to blame. Of course, the reason most people find it so difficult to move forward is because the process requires deep thought, honesty and introspection. Complaining, on the other hand, takes little effort.

So, how do you get beyond the complaints and start doing something about your career? First, you have to deny any embarrassment you might feel in discussing career issues with others. Even the most successful people face career problems. In fact, the more you strive to improve your career, the more problems you will face. You want more out of your life, so you will be taking more chances and stretching yourself in many ways. This will bring you up against challenges that others will never face. This is why it is so important to develop a healthy attitude about your career, regardless of how happy you are with your current situation.

Next, you need to banish any tendency to complain about your work. It can be difficult to break such a long-standing habit, but it has to be done. The worst problem is, we are often surrounded with others who are even deeper into the complaint pit than we are. Nothing fuels complaining like a group of dissatisfied workers hanging out in the break room. We enable each other in a never-ending cycle. You need to break the cycle.

Of course, this can be extremely difficult because those around us might not want to move forward. When one person in a group starts to improve their career, the others see this as a reminder that they are stagnating in their current jobs and, worse yet, doing nothing about it. You may find that long-term relationships will fall by the wayside. You will have to find others who are truly interested in improving their careers as you are. With these people you will find little complaining and no embarrassment. You all understand that this job is only one stop in a long career and not the end of the line.

Early in my career, I noted how computer support people would often complain about their clients, sharing their best “stupid user stories” over the cubicle walls. Eventually I realized, though, that this was clouding my opinion of my customers and effecting my work. I needed to distance myself from these attitudes. Initially, I just refused to participate in these discussions, but eventually distanced myself from particular co-workers. The change in my work was dramatic. Instead of being seen as someone who was aloof, short-tempered and arrogant, I gained the trust of my customers, developing more of a partnership with them rather than a employer/employee relationship. It was direct proof of how a career might benefit from a relatively small change.

Today, whenever I speak with someone about their career, I listen to their complaints for a while, but then I attempt to show them that no matter how bad they might think their career, there are ways to make it better. It is in action that we find the hope to move forward, even when things are going badly. Taking one simple step leads to the next and the next. Sometimes, though, people will not be moved. They have convinced themselves that their career is written in stone and will never, ever change. What a depressing place to live — trapped in a job with no hope of escape.

Every one of you, reading this column or listening to the podcast, has the power to make your career better. If you didn’t have the desire to change, the will to move above complaining and the power to take action, you wouldn’t be spending your time with me. You would be hanging out with all the complainers, trying to make it through another lousy day.

***

Categories: Audio, Podcast, Show Tags:

2012 Gift Guide: Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace

November 30th, 2012 Comments off

Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace

Not just an enlightening book, but also beautifully designed, too. I read this when I was immersed in the corporate world and it helped greatly in weathering my days there.

From Amazon.com…

“Creativity is crucial to business success. But too often, even the most innovative organization quickly becomes a “giant hairball”–a tangled, impenetrable mass of rules, traditions, and systems, all based on what worked in the past–that exercises an inexorable pull into mediocrity. Gordon McKenzie worked at Hallmark Cards for thirty years, many of which he spent inspiring his colleagues to slip the bonds of Corporate Normalcy and rise to orbit–to a mode of dreaming, daring and doing above and beyond the rubber-stamp confines of the administrative mind-set. In his deeply funny book, exuberantly illustrated in full color, he shares the story of his own professional evolution, together with lessons on awakening and fostering creative genius.

Originally self-published and already a business “cult classic”, this personally empowering and entertaining look at the intersection between human creativity and the bottom line is now widely available to bookstores. It will be a must-read for any manager looking for new ways to invigorate employees, and any professional who wants to achieve his or her best, most self-expressive, most creative and fulfilling work.”

More 2012 Gift Guide Items:

  1. Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
  2. Bulb Planting Tools
  3. Blue Snowball Microphone
  4. Seagate Backup Plus 500 GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive
  5. Logitech C920 HD Web Cam
  6. We Are All Weird by Seth Godin
  7. Sunset Western Garden Book – New Edition for 2012
  8. The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings
  9. Garden Mysteries by Anthony Eglin
  10. The Creative Habit/The Collaborative Habit by Twyla Tharp
  11. Moleskeine Journals
  12. Pat Welsh’s Southern California Organic Gardening (3rd Edition): Month by Month
  13. Podcasting for Dummies/Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies
  14. Wacom Bamboo Splash Pen Tablet
  15. Radical Careering by Sally Hogshead
  16. The $64 Tomato
  17. Blue Yeti Microphone
  18. BioLite CampStove/HomeStove
  19. Getting Things Done by David Allen
  20. The Curious Gardener
  21. Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
  22. GoPro HD HERO 3
  23. Flower Confidential by Amy Stewart
  24. The Starfish and the Spider by Orj Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom
  25. Microphone Boom Arms
  26. The Information by James Gleick
  27. Handy Farm Devices And How To Make Them (1909)
  28. Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas
  29. Apple iPhone 5
  30. Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod
  31. Killer Ratings by Lisa Seidman
  32. Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon
  33. Zoom Portable Recorders (H1, H2, H2n, H4n)
  34. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
  35. My Teenager’s Favorite Games
  36. The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness
  37. In a Mexican Garden: courtyards, pools and open-air living rooms
  38. Fields of Plenty: A farmer’s journey in search of real food and the people who grow it
  39. Apple iPad/iPad Mini
  40. The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
  41. Cucina Rustica
  42. The Great Potato Book
  43. Rode Podcaster Microphone
  44. High-Tech Fitness Monitors
  45. Books by Douglas E. Welch
  46. Tribes by Seth Godin
  47. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  48. The Italian Slow Cooker cookbook
  49. The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need
  50. Classes from The Institute of Domestic Technology
  51. Olympus PEN E-P1 12 MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera
  52. Backyard Giants: The Passionate, Heartbreaking and Glorious Quest to Grow the Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Susan Warren
  53. Cocoon GRID-IT Organizer Packs
  54. Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
  55. Podcast Solutions by Dan Klass and Michael Geoghegan
  56. The Craft and Business of Songwriting by John Braheny
  57. Dexim Visible Green Smart Charge & Sync Cable
  58. Wells Lamont Wet and Muddy Latex Coated Gardening Glove
  59. Rosanne’s Top 5 Books for Film Buffs
  60. Bon-Aire HN-10C Original Ultimate Hose Nozzle
  61. Microphones from Giant Squid Audio Labs
  62. Re-Imagine by Tom Peters
  63. Razer Gaming Mice
  64. Garden Hod harvest carrier
  65. Nest Learning Thermostat
  66. Aha! 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas
  67. Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too: The Modern Step-By-Step Guide to Preserving Food
  68. A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative
  69. Fiskars 7936 PowerGear Pruner
  70. Chi-qoo Solar Power Pack Kit from Bootstrap Solar
  71. Read This Before Our Next Meeting by Al Pittampalli
  72. Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone
  73. DollarSeed.com – One Stop Seed Shop
  74. 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
  75. Desktop Microphone Stands
  76. Logitech Harmony 650 Remote Control
  77. Maple Sugaring Startup Kit from Tap My Trees
  78. Sennheiser HD-280 PRO Headphones

 

Categories: Books, Business, Education, Leadership, Products Tags:

2012 Gift Guide: Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive

November 29th, 2012 Comments off

Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive

While some might read a book like this for tips on manipulating others to do what they want, I found some great insight into what drives people to make the choices they do. As an organizer of events like CareerCampLA and others, finding ways to persuade people to sponsor and attend these events is critical. Yes! has many great ideas on how to use people’s own desire to be persuaded to work in your favor, and hopefully their favor as well.

More 2012 Gift Guide Items:

  1. Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
  2. Bulb Planting Tools
  3. Blue Snowball Microphone
  4. Seagate Backup Plus 500 GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive
  5. Logitech C920 HD Web Cam
  6. We Are All Weird by Seth Godin
  7. Sunset Western Garden Book – New Edition for 2012
  8. The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings
  9. Garden Mysteries by Anthony Eglin
  10. The Creative Habit/The Collaborative Habit by Twyla Tharp
  11. Moleskeine Journals
  12. Pat Welsh’s Southern California Organic Gardening (3rd Edition): Month by Month
  13. Podcasting for Dummies/Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies
  14. Wacom Bamboo Splash Pen Tablet
  15. Radical Careering by Sally Hogshead
  16. The $64 Tomato
  17. Blue Yeti Microphone
  18. BioLite CampStove/HomeStove
  19. Getting Things Done by David Allen
  20. The Curious Gardener
  21. Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
  22. GoPro HD HERO 3
  23. Flower Confidential by Amy Stewart
  24. The Starfish and the Spider by Orj Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom
  25. Microphone Boom Arms
  26. The Information by James Gleick
  27. Handy Farm Devices And How To Make Them (1909)
  28. Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas
  29. Apple iPhone 5
  30. Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod
  31. Killer Ratings by Lisa Seidman
  32. Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon
  33. Zoom Portable Recorders (H1, H2, H2n, H4n)
  34. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
  35. My Teenager’s Favorite Games
  36. The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness
  37. In a Mexican Garden: courtyards, pools and open-air living rooms
  38. Fields of Plenty: A farmer’s journey in search of real food and the people who grow it
  39. Apple iPad/iPad Mini
  40. The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
  41. Cucina Rustica
  42. The Great Potato Book
  43. Rode Podcaster Microphone
  44. High-Tech Fitness Monitors
  45. Books by Douglas E. Welch
  46. Tribes by Seth Godin
  47. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  48. The Italian Slow Cooker cookbook
  49. The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need
  50. Classes from The Institute of Domestic Technology
  51. Olympus PEN E-P1 12 MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera
  52. Backyard Giants: The Passionate, Heartbreaking and Glorious Quest to Grow the Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Susan Warren
  53. Cocoon GRID-IT Organizer Packs
  54. Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
  55. Podcast Solutions by Dan Klass and Michael Geoghegan
  56. The Craft and Business of Songwriting by John Braheny
  57. Dexim Visible Green Smart Charge & Sync Cable
  58. Wells Lamont Wet and Muddy Latex Coated Gardening Glove
  59. Rosanne’s Top 5 Books for Film Buffs
  60. Bon-Aire HN-10C Original Ultimate Hose Nozzle
  61. Microphones from Giant Squid Audio Labs
  62. Re-Imagine by Tom Peters
  63. Razer Gaming Mice
  64. Garden Hod harvest carrier
  65. Nest Learning Thermostat
  66. Aha! 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas
  67. Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too: The Modern Step-By-Step Guide to Preserving Food
  68. A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative
  69. Fiskars 7936 PowerGear Pruner
  70. Chi-qoo Solar Power Pack Kit from Bootstrap Solar
  71. Read This Before Our Next Meeting by Al Pittampalli
  72. Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone
  73. DollarSeed.com – One Stop Seed Shop

 

2012 Gift Guide: Read This Before Our Next Meeting by Al Pittampalli

November 28th, 2012 Comments off

Read This Before Our Next Meeting by Al Pittampalli

We all face deadly meetings all the time, but still we do little about it. Like most, we suffer in silence, waiting for the meeting to be over so we can get on with our “real work.” Instead of wasting all this time and energy, why not take control and make your meetings infrequent, short and useful.

From Read This Before Our Next Meeting by Al Pittampalli

One mediocre meeting after another quietly corrodes our organization, and every day we allow it to happen. Culture change occurs when a transformational idea spreads to enough people. Like a virus that makes its way from person to person, spreading exponentially faster, so can the Modern Meeting. The status quo must go. Now. Before it’s too late.

1. Meet only to support a decision that has already been made.

2. Move fast. End on schedule.

3. Limit the number of attendees.

4. Reject the unprepared.

5. Produce committed action plans.

6. Refuse to be informational. Read the memo, it’s mandatory.

7. Work with brainstorms, not against them.

CUT THIS OUT AND BRING IT TO OUR NEXT MEETING.

More 2012 Gift Guide Items:

  1. Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
  2. Bulb Planting Tools
  3. Blue Snowball Microphone
  4. Seagate Backup Plus 500 GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive
  5. Logitech C920 HD Web Cam
  6. We Are All Weird by Seth Godin
  7. Sunset Western Garden Book – New Edition for 2012
  8. The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings
  9. Garden Mysteries by Anthony Eglin
  10. The Creative Habit/The Collaborative Habit by Twyla Tharp
  11. Moleskeine Journals
  12. Pat Welsh’s Southern California Organic Gardening (3rd Edition): Month by Month
  13. Podcasting for Dummies/Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies
  14. Wacom Bamboo Splash Pen Tablet
  15. Radical Careering by Sally Hogshead
  16. The $64 Tomato
  17. Blue Yeti Microphone
  18. BioLite CampStove/HomeStove
  19. Getting Things Done by David Allen
  20. The Curious Gardener
  21. Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
  22. GoPro HD HERO 3
  23. Flower Confidential by Amy Stewart
  24. The Starfish and the Spider by Orj Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom
  25. Microphone Boom Arms
  26. The Information by James Gleick
  27. Handy Farm Devices And How To Make Them (1909)
  28. Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas
  29. Apple iPhone 5
  30. Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod
  31. Killer Ratings by Lisa Seidman
  32. Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon
  33. Zoom Portable Recorders (H1, H2, H2n, H4n)
  34. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
  35. My Teenager’s Favorite Games
  36. The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness
  37. In a Mexican Garden: courtyards, pools and open-air living rooms
  38. Fields of Plenty: A farmer’s journey in search of real food and the people who grow it
  39. Apple iPad/iPad Mini
  40. The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
  41. Cucina Rustica
  42. The Great Potato Book
  43. Rode Podcaster Microphone
  44. High-Tech Fitness Monitors
  45. Books by Douglas E. Welch
  46. Tribes by Seth Godin
  47. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  48. The Italian Slow Cooker cookbook
  49. The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need
  50. Classes from The Institute of Domestic Technology
  51. Olympus PEN E-P1 12 MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera
  52. Backyard Giants: The Passionate, Heartbreaking and Glorious Quest to Grow the Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Susan Warren
  53. Cocoon GRID-IT Organizer Packs
  54. Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
  55. Podcast Solutions by Dan Klass and Michael Geoghegan
  56. The Craft and Business of Songwriting by John Braheny
  57. Dexim Visible Green Smart Charge & Sync Cable
  58. Wells Lamont Wet and Muddy Latex Coated Gardening Glove
  59. Rosanne’s Top 5 Books for Film Buffs
  60. Bon-Aire HN-10C Original Ultimate Hose Nozzle
  61. Microphones from Giant Squid Audio Labs
  62. Re-Imagine by Tom Peters
  63. Razer Gaming Mice
  64. Garden Hod harvest carrier
  65. Nest Learning Thermostat
  66. Aha! 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas
  67. Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too: The Modern Step-By-Step Guide to Preserving Food
  68. A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative
  69. Fiskars 7936 PowerGear Pruner
  70. Chi-qoo Solar Power Pack Kit from Bootstrap Solar
Categories: Announcement, Books, Special Tags:

What You Need: Presenting Yourself Well — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

November 27th, 2012 Comments off

Career Opportunities podcast logo

With this column I am starting an ongoing series entitled, “What You Need.” These columns will highlight what I consider the fundamental foundations of any career. These foundations often deal with the, so-called, “softer” side of jobs, work and careers, but I have always considered this the most important part of any career. These foundations are the underpinnings of everything else that you do in your career and without tending to them you put yourself at a severe disadvantage.



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In this first column of the series, I discuss the importance of how you present yourself to others. Whenever you are looking for a job, spending your time networking with peers and others or just mingling with friends and family, how you present yourself is of fundamental importance. As humans we use first impressions as a strong indicator of the who, what and why of a person. It isn’t always accurate — and it isn’t always fair — but it is a fact of human nature of which you must be aware. First impressions can be overcome, but it is always better to start out on the right foot instead of having to repair something that shouldn’t have been broken in the first place.

Demeanor

Perhaps it is my training (and love) of the theater, but I think your demeanor is one of the most important parts of presenting yourself well. You should be able to converse with people of all backgrounds easily and comfortably. You shouldn’t fear interacting with others — or even giving public presentations or speeches. I know that many people find this one of the most stressful activities they can undertake, but I have found that being comfortable speaking to — and in front of — people dramatically effects your career. If you need help in this area, I highly suggest you get involved in some theater classes or perhaps join a local Toastmasters group to help you gain some level of comfort speaking in front of others.

You also need to be able to communicate your thoughts and ideas clearly to those around you. If you can’t, you are at a great disadvantage. It is so important that I credit my theater experience as probably the single most important factor of success in my career. How do I know this? People tell me so. They praise my ability to “translate” complex technological topics into something the average person can understand. They praise the clarity of what I am saying when I communicate. They praise my personable nature, with many becoming personal friends over the years we have worked together. Certainly I don’t get along with everyone I meet or work with, but I like to think that those people are the minority of my career experience. Take the words of praise from others and acknowledge what you are doing right. Sure, we all have areas that could use improvement, but too often we ignore the praise we receive from others and focus too much on the mistakes.

Treat others as you wish to be treated

No matter who the person might be. No matter what their station in life, their status, their celebrity — or lack thereof, you should treat them as you wish to be treated. Too many people in today’s society seem to think it is acceptable to abuse, ridicule or otherwise dismiss others. You need to carefully guard against this. People are very perceptive and can easily tell when someone sees them as unimportant or ignorant. They might not say anything about it, but if you treat someone badly, they will remember it — for a very long time. Instead of creating enemies — both major and minor — as you go through your life, why not start from the position of equality. Why not treat everyone as you wish to be treated.

Sure, there will be those who don’t reciprocate such behaviors or seek to take advantage of you. It doesn’t matter. You can always start from a position of acceptance, even if you have to change your opinion later. The fact is, though, that treating others well is often the best way of having them reciprocate. It is a rare person who doesn’t meet your acceptance with their own. If they don’t, there is probably some much larger problem of which you are not aware. Even then there is no reason to treat that person badly, although you will probably want to avoid working with them in the future.

Dress

It is my belief that if your clothes are clean and neat, it really doesn’t matter how formal or informal you dress. Sure, you may wish to dress more formally depending on the occasion, but I prefer this to be my choice and not one dictated by others. Take some time to research what looks best on you and what exhibits the most important parts of your personality. What you wear should be a reflection of who you are as much as possible. That said, I firmly believe that your actions and demeanor — what is “inside” of you — are far more important than what you wear on the outside.

Present yourself well. Present yourself clearly. Treat others as you wish to be treated. These fundamental aspects of a well-lived life apply to everything we do and especially our careers. Use them to build the career you deserve.

Look for more columns in this “What You Need” series in the coming weeks.

***

Next in the What Your Need series:

Categories: Audio, Podcast, Show Tags:

2012 Gift Guide: A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative

November 27th, 2012 Comments off

A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative

One of my perennial recommendations and a book that truly does “whack you on the side of the head” with great ideas on lateral thinking. The whole point is to get to see in new ways and think new thoughts. It can be a bit crazy and a bit silly, but the truth is most ideas come from a bit of fun, a bit of silliness. Whack yourself out of your thinking rut today.

More 2012 Gift Guide Items:

  1. Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
  2. Bulb Planting Tools
  3. Blue Snowball Microphone
  4. Seagate Backup Plus 500 GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive
  5. Logitech C920 HD Web Cam
  6. We Are All Weird by Seth Godin
  7. Sunset Western Garden Book – New Edition for 2012
  8. The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings
  9. Garden Mysteries by Anthony Eglin
  10. The Creative Habit/The Collaborative Habit by Twyla Tharp
  11. Moleskeine Journals
  12. Pat Welsh’s Southern California Organic Gardening (3rd Edition): Month by Month
  13. Podcasting for Dummies/Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies
  14. Wacom Bamboo Splash Pen Tablet
  15. Radical Careering by Sally Hogshead
  16. The $64 Tomato
  17. Blue Yeti Microphone
  18. BioLite CampStove/HomeStove
  19. Getting Things Done by David Allen
  20. The Curious Gardener
  21. Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
  22. GoPro HD HERO 3
  23. Flower Confidential by Amy Stewart
  24. The Starfish and the Spider by Orj Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom
  25. Microphone Boom Arms
  26. The Information by James Gleick
  27. Handy Farm Devices And How To Make Them (1909)
  28. Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas
  29. Apple iPhone 5
  30. Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod
  31. Killer Ratings by Lisa Seidman
  32. Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon
  33. Zoom Portable Recorders (H1, H2, H2n, H4n)
  34. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
  35. My Teenager’s Favorite Games
  36. The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness
  37. In a Mexican Garden: courtyards, pools and open-air living rooms
  38. Fields of Plenty: A farmer’s journey in search of real food and the people who grow it
  39. Apple iPad/iPad Mini
  40. The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
  41. Cucina Rustica
  42. The Great Potato Book
  43. Rode Podcaster Microphone
  44. High-Tech Fitness Monitors
  45. Books by Douglas E. Welch
  46. Tribes by Seth Godin
  47. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  48. The Italian Slow Cooker cookbook
  49. The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need
  50. Classes from The Institute of Domestic Technology
  51. Olympus PEN E-P1 12 MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera
  52. Backyard Giants: The Passionate, Heartbreaking and Glorious Quest to Grow the Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Susan Warren
  53. Cocoon GRID-IT Organizer Packs
  54. Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
  55. Podcast Solutions by Dan Klass and Michael Geoghegan
  56. The Craft and Business of Songwriting by John Braheny
  57. Dexim Visible Green Smart Charge & Sync Cable
  58. Wells Lamont Wet and Muddy Latex Coated Gardening Glove
  59. Rosanne’s Top 5 Books for Film Buffs
  60. Bon-Aire HN-10C Original Ultimate Hose Nozzle
  61. Microphones from Giant Squid Audio Labs
  62. Re-Imagine by Tom Peters
  63. Razer Gaming Mice
  64. Garden Hod harvest carrier
  65. Nest Learning Thermostat
  66. Aha! 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas
  67. Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too: The Modern Step-By-Step Guide to Preserving Food

 

Categories: Books, Creativity, Education, Products, Special Tags:

2012 Gift Guide: Aha! 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas

November 26th, 2012 Comments off

Aha! 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas

Creativity is an important part of every career, so for the next few days I am going to focus on some of my favorite creativity books. Aha! is all about freeing up your thinking and allowing yourself to think and act creatively. Too often we restrict and confine our own thinking just when we need to be coming up with new, wild, crazy (and sometimes extremely useful) new ideas.

“Aha! is a joyful, upbeat survey of ideas for enhancing creativity. Jordan Ayan’s enthusiasm is hard to resist, and every reader will find personally suitable strategies. Aha! is an inspiring yet practical guidebook for freeing the creative spirit.” –Betty Edwards, author of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

More 2012 Gift Guide Items:

  1. Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
  2. Bulb Planting Tools
  3. Blue Snowball Microphone
  4. Seagate Backup Plus 500 GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive
  5. Logitech C920 HD Web Cam
  6. We Are All Weird by Seth Godin
  7. Sunset Western Garden Book – New Edition for 2012
  8. The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings
  9. Garden Mysteries by Anthony Eglin
  10. The Creative Habit/The Collaborative Habit by Twyla Tharp
  11. Moleskeine Journals
  12. Pat Welsh’s Southern California Organic Gardening (3rd Edition): Month by Month
  13. Podcasting for Dummies/Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies
  14. Wacom Bamboo Splash Pen Tablet
  15. Radical Careering by Sally Hogshead
  16. The $64 Tomato
  17. Blue Yeti Microphone
  18. BioLite CampStove/HomeStove
  19. Getting Things Done by David Allen
  20. The Curious Gardener
  21. Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
  22. GoPro HD HERO 3
  23. Flower Confidential by Amy Stewart
  24. The Starfish and the Spider by Orj Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom
  25. Microphone Boom Arms
  26. The Information by James Gleick
  27. Handy Farm Devices And How To Make Them (1909)
  28. Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas
  29. Apple iPhone 5
  30. Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod
  31. Killer Ratings by Lisa Seidman
  32. Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon
  33. Zoom Portable Recorders (H1, H2, H2n, H4n)
  34. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
  35. My Teenager’s Favorite Games
  36. The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness
  37. In a Mexican Garden: courtyards, pools and open-air living rooms
  38. Fields of Plenty: A farmer’s journey in search of real food and the people who grow it
  39. Apple iPad/iPad Mini
  40. The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
  41. Cucina Rustica
  42. The Great Potato Book
  43. Rode Podcaster Microphone
  44. High-Tech Fitness Monitors
  45. Books by Douglas E. Welch
  46. Tribes by Seth Godin
  47. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  48. The Italian Slow Cooker cookbook
  49. The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need
  50. Classes from The Institute of Domestic Technology
  51. Olympus PEN E-P1 12 MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera
  52. Backyard Giants: The Passionate, Heartbreaking and Glorious Quest to Grow the Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Susan Warren
  53. Cocoon GRID-IT Organizer Packs
  54. Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
  55. Podcast Solutions by Dan Klass and Michael Geoghegan
  56. The Craft and Business of Songwriting by John Braheny
  57. Dexim Visible Green Smart Charge & Sync Cable
  58. Wells Lamont Wet and Muddy Latex Coated Gardening Glove
  59. Rosanne’s Top 5 Books for Film Buffs
  60. Bon-Aire HN-10C Original Ultimate Hose Nozzle
  61. Microphones from Giant Squid Audio Labs
  62. Re-Imagine by Tom Peters
  63. Razer Gaming Mice
  64. Garden Hod harvest carrier
  65. Nest Learning Thermostat
Categories: Books, Creativity, Education, Products, Special Tags:

Archive: “Magic Words” from the Career Opportunities Podcast

November 25th, 2012 Comments off

 Career Opportunities podcast logo

There is a long forgotten secret of the business world, but it also applies to volunteer work and life in general. While we might encounter it on occasion, for the most part, this secret has been abandoned like the concept of wearing spats or holding doors for women. In an effort to improve your lives and your careers, I am going to re-introduce you to the secret. Even in today’s world, there are some magic words that can smooth all waters, inspire those around you to great heights and even convince people that they have a purpose in the world. What words could possibly hold such power? Thank you.


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That’s right. A simple thank you can do wonders for every aspect of your life, whether you are giving or receiving. In today’s hyper-accelerated world, though, the quaint niceties that served our parents so well have fallen into disuse. Now requests have become orders and we begin to assume that no thank yous are needed. Doesn’t that person work for you, after all. They are only doing their job. Why should you thank them? As you will find, there are a host of reasons.

Satisfaction

The most important part of job satisfaction often has little to do with the money we are paid or the perks we receive. While people may tolerate a good paying job with little satisfaction, they will jump ship whenever something better comes along. What they are really seeking is appreciation. An almost indefinable sense that their work is important and that they are contributing to some larger cause.
Offering a thank you to those around you, and receiving them yourself, can mean the difference between a great career and no career at all. If, as a worker, you fail to receive honest appreciation for a job well done, you will quickly become disenchanted with any job, not matter how high the pay. There is a void that money cannot fill and trying to do so only leads to larger problems.

If, as a manager, you fail to give honest appreciation for the work of those around you, you will find your career stunted, your initiatives stalled and your projects slowed. You rely on others to bring your ideas to fruition and meet, if not exceed, your goals. If you do not appreciate the work of others then you will find no loyalty from your employees, no desire to go beyond the basic requirements of the job and general dissatisfaction on both sides of the relationship.

An example

Last weekend I spent both Saturday and Sunday acting as a sort of host for the LA Podcasters during an arts event. I was meeting and greeting visitors, explaining podcasting and managing the day’s schedule of live recordings. While I was doing this to promote my own podcasts, as well as those of the other members, it was the numerous thank yous I received that kept me going through the long days. I would have still had some satisfaction of a job well done, even if no one said thank you, but it is amazing how much effect those two small words can have. It let me know that I was spending my time in a useful and productive way and that those around me took notice of that.

Of course, there is no need to limit this sense of appreciation to just your co-workers. If someone does a good job for you — the waiter at the restaurant, the checker at the hardware store, the clerk at the DMV — say thank you….and mean it. A few, well-applied, moments of appreciation can change your life. You just might notice better service next time you come in. You might unexpectedly get a discount or special deal. Don’t try to fake it, though. An unfelt thank you does more damage than good and can leave people with a worse opinion of you than when you started.

Can the power of thank you be overestimated? I think not. In fact, it can give us the energy and inspiration to do some truly great things. When there is appreciation all around, teams begin to think and move as one. Old animosities are forgotten and new friendships are formed. Everything just seems to come together and amazing things can happen. What does it cost? A few minutes of connection. A few moments of appreciation for a job well done. Imagine such a large reward from such a small investment.

***

Categories: Audio, Podcast, Show Tags:

2012 Gift Guide: Re-Imagine by Tom Peters

November 25th, 2012 Comments off

Re-Imagine by Tom Peters

An older book, but a master work and a must-read regardless of your profession. Peter’s brings together all of his business insight over the last 20 years into a book that seems to touch on the past, the future and everything in-between.

More 2012 Gift Guide Items:

  1. Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
  2. Bulb Planting Tools
  3. Blue Snowball Microphone
  4. Seagate Backup Plus 500 GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive
  5. Logitech C920 HD Web Cam
  6. We Are All Weird by Seth Godin
  7. Sunset Western Garden Book – New Edition for 2012
  8. The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings
  9. Garden Mysteries by Anthony Eglin
  10. The Creative Habit/The Collaborative Habit by Twyla Tharp
  11. Moleskeine Journals
  12. Pat Welsh’s Southern California Organic Gardening (3rd Edition): Month by Month
  13. Podcasting for Dummies/Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies
  14. Wacom Bamboo Splash Pen Tablet
  15. Radical Careering by Sally Hogshead
  16. The $64 Tomato
  17. Blue Yeti Microphone
  18. BioLite CampStove/HomeStove
  19. Getting Things Done by David Allen
  20. The Curious Gardener
  21. Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
  22. GoPro HD HERO 3
  23. Flower Confidential by Amy Stewart
  24. The Starfish and the Spider by Orj Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom
  25. Microphone Boom Arms
  26. The Information by James Gleick
  27. Handy Farm Devices And How To Make Them (1909)
  28. Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas
  29. Apple iPhone 5
  30. Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod
  31. Killer Ratings by Lisa Seidman
  32. Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon
  33. Zoom Portable Recorders (H1, H2, H2n, H4n)
  34. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
  35. My Teenager’s Favorite Games
  36. The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness
  37. In a Mexican Garden: courtyards, pools and open-air living rooms
  38. Fields of Plenty: A farmer’s journey in search of real food and the people who grow it
  39. Apple iPad/iPad Mini
  40. The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
  41. Cucina Rustica
  42. The Great Potato Book
  43. Rode Podcaster Microphone
  44. High-Tech Fitness Monitors
  45. Books by Douglas E. Welch
  46. Tribes by Seth Godin
  47. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  48. The Italian Slow Cooker cookbook
  49. The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need
  50. Classes from The Institute of Domestic Technology
  51. Olympus PEN E-P1 12 MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera
  52. Backyard Giants: The Passionate, Heartbreaking and Glorious Quest to Grow the Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Susan Warren
  53. Cocoon GRID-IT Organizer Packs
  54. Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
  55. Podcast Solutions by Dan Klass and Michael Geoghegan
  56. The Craft and Business of Songwriting by John Braheny
  57. Dexim Visible Green Smart Charge & Sync Cable
  58. Wells Lamont Wet and Muddy Latex Coated Gardening Glove
  59. Rosanne’s Top 5 Books for Film Buffs
  60. Bon-Aire HN-10C Original Ultimate Hose Nozzle
  61. Microphones from Giant Squid Audio Labs

 

Categories: Books, Career Tips, Education, Special Tags:

2012 Gift Guide: The Craft and Business of Songwriting by John Braheny

November 24th, 2012 Comments off

 

The Craft and Business of Songwriting by John Braheny

Especially for those of you contemplating a career in the music business.

The highly successful music industry book, The Craft and Business of Songwriting by my good friend, John Braheny  is in its 3rd edition. This edition contains a substantial amount of new content, including a podcasting sidebar written by yours truly.

I was honored when he asked me to write the podcasting sidebar for his book. As he prepared this latest edition, podcasting was just starting to enter the public psyche and, even then, I sensed its effects on songwriters and the music industry as a whole were sure to be profound. Since I was an experienced computer consultant, there at the very beginning, (and not a bad amateur guitarist) I was in excellent position to help his readers understand this new technology.

For more information on John and the book, visit JohnBraheny.com

More 2012 Gift Guide Items:

  1. Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
  2. Bulb Planting Tools
  3. Blue Snowball Microphone
  4. Seagate Backup Plus 500 GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive
  5. Logitech C920 HD Web Cam
  6. We Are All Weird by Seth Godin
  7. Sunset Western Garden Book – New Edition for 2012
  8. The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings
  9. Garden Mysteries by Anthony Eglin
  10. The Creative Habit/The Collaborative Habit by Twyla Tharp
  11. Moleskeine Journals
  12. Pat Welsh’s Southern California Organic Gardening (3rd Edition): Month by Month
  13. Podcasting for Dummies/Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies
  14. Wacom Bamboo Splash Pen Tablet
  15. Radical Careering by Sally Hogshead
  16. The $64 Tomato
  17. Blue Yeti Microphone
  18. BioLite CampStove/HomeStove
  19. Getting Things Done by David Allen
  20. The Curious Gardener
  21. Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
  22. GoPro HD HERO 3
  23. Flower Confidential by Amy Stewart
  24. The Starfish and the Spider by Orj Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom
  25. Microphone Boom Arms
  26. The Information by James Gleick
  27. Handy Farm Devices And How To Make Them (1909)
  28. Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas
  29. Apple iPhone 5
  30. Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod
  31. Killer Ratings by Lisa Seidman
  32. Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon
  33. Zoom Portable Recorders (H1, H2, H2n, H4n)
  34. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
  35. My Teenager’s Favorite Games
  36. The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness
  37. In a Mexican Garden: courtyards, pools and open-air living rooms
  38. Fields of Plenty: A farmer’s journey in search of real food and the people who grow it
  39. Apple iPad/iPad Mini
  40. The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
  41. Cucina Rustica
  42. The Great Potato Book
  43. Rode Podcaster Microphone
  44. High-Tech Fitness Monitors
  45. Books by Douglas E. Welch
  46. Tribes by Seth Godin
  47. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  48. The Italian Slow Cooker cookbook
  49. The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need
  50. Classes from The Institute of Domestic Technology
  51. Olympus PEN E-P1 12 MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera
  52. Backyard Giants: The Passionate, Heartbreaking and Glorious Quest to Grow the Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Susan Warren
  53. Cocoon GRID-IT Organizer Packs
  54. Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
  55. Podcast Solutions by Dan Klass and Michael Geoghegan
Categories: Announcement, Books, Education, Products, Special Tags:
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