By k | November 30, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

I’m starting a new contract gig today
(going from insanely busy
to unmanageably busy).

The employer hated my resume.
She didn’t like how I answered the interview questions.
I failed the personality test.
I am unavailable for half the contract dates.
There was a lot of competition for this role.

Yet I got the contract.

Why?
Because they felt I could do the job
and because they liked me.

I met with a senior editor on Thursday.
She told me that voice was important,
style was important,
but what really decided
the signing of a new author
was if she felt they could work well together.
Everything else could be fixed.
Personality… not-so-much.

Nice people do NOT finish last.

BTW… nice does not equal indecisive or meek.

By k | November 29, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I received an email
advertising a one day sale
at a major department store.

There was no date mentioned.

I assumed it was that day
and went to the store.
Nope, not that day.
The sale was two days from then.

I never went back.

If there is no date mentioned
on email marketing,
consumers WILL assume it is that day.
That day being when the email is delivered,
not when the email was sent.

As most messages go through filters,
the delivery day could be
the same day as it was sent,
two days from then,
two weeks from then.

Prevent confusion.
Outline the sale dates
on email blasts.

By k | November 28, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

It is that time of year again.
Time for trends to watch in 2010.

Trendwatching.com has their list

1. Business As Unusual
2. Urbany
3. Real-Time Reviews
4. (F)Luxury
5. Mass Mingling
6. Eco-Easy
7. Tracking & Alerting
8. Embedded Generosity
9. Profile Myning
10. Maturialism

On Thursday, some author buddies and I
were talking about mass mingling.

A decade ago,
authors were very isolated.
Some would hold day jobs,
not only for the money
but for the social aspect.

Now, Twitter mimics the banter
found in an office.
I suspect that is one reason
I could happily retire from business gigs.
I don’t miss the chatting
because I can do that online.

By k | November 27, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

This week,
I announced to the world
that I will write for Harlequin Presents
in 2010.

I don’t have a manuscript ready yet.
I don’t have an editor waiting for a manuscript.
I’m starting from the slush pile.
But the goal is out there
and now I’m hustling to make it happen.

I do this with all my key goals
(that can be public knowledge).
I know that I have
a big enough ego
that I will move heaven and earth
to prevent looking like a jacka$$.
That is what will happen
if I don’t achieve what I set out to do.

Make your goal public.
Let your friends, family, and yes,
even your enemies
help you achieve it.

By k | November 26, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

I completed a personality test today.
That test was a requirement
from my prospective employer.

I don’t have a problem
with personality tests
IF they are used to
help a manager manage her staff.

I DO have a problem
with personality tests
as interview screeners.

In this case,
the employer told me
she was going to
compare my results to that of a senior staff accountant.
The thing is…
I’m a project accountant (in this role).
Project accountants and transactional accountants
traditionally have VERY different personalities.

A human resources department
of a Fortune 500 company I once worked for
proposed using personality tests as screeners.
The V-P of Finance flatly refused.
To provide backup for his refusal,
he had his cracker jack staff complete personality tests.
Not one set of results was the same.
Some ‘announced’ that the employee
should work anywhere other than finance.
Each of these employees excelled
in their positions.
The idea of using personality tests
as screeners was thrown out.

Just because a tool is available
doesn’t mean it works
and doesn’t mean you should use it.

By k | November 25, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Yesterday,
during an interview,
the interviewer asked me for
more and more specifics
regarding what I’ve done for other clients.

I skated around her questions
until finally
I bluntly stated
that I kept all client information confidential.
Sharing specific information
meant sharing confidential information.
I was uncomfortable doing that.

They didn’t understand my thinking.
(And that concerns me
but that’s a whole other post)

Did they really want me
to tell competitors/vendors/the entire world
that the reason I was brought on board
was to find a couple million dollars
that has been missing since January?

Think about what you ask in interviews
and then imagine
your greatest business threat
asking that question of your former employee.
Would you want that question to be asked?
How specific would you want your employee to be?

By k | November 24, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

I don’t have enough hours
in the day
to do everything I want to do.

A big time suck
is, of course, travel time.

There are ways of taking advantage
of travel time…
audiobooks,
voice to text software,
handhelds, blackberries,
writing blogs offline
while on buses, etc

But it is even better
to reduce travel time
all together.

That means
grouping your outside office appointments
by day
(if you’re out, you’re out)
and by location
(if you’re in the west end,
see everyone in the west end).

I also sneak in shopping time
while I’m out
(especially during the holiday season).

Take advantage of all the hours
in your day.

By k | November 23, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Innovation is messy
and dealing with failure
(again and again and again)
is a huge part of innovation.

Everyone has their tricks
on how to deal with failure
and restore confidence.
(Forbes has a great list of 12 ways)

My favorite method
is to complete a simple yet significant task
that I know I can excel at.

For example:
I have a travel blog
where I load photos and short travel tips.
I know that the more photos/tips I load,
the more traffic/revenue I earn
and the more value I give back
to other travelers.
Since the tips are basic and the work easy,
after a failure,
I’ll spend a couple hours
loading posts.
I accomplish something
and my confidence is restored.

A friend of mine paints a room
in her house
to restore her confidence.
The fresh color on her walls
is visual proof
that she is not a failure
in, at least, this task.

Make a list of methods
to restore your confidence.
Without confidence and optimism,
innovating is challenging.

By k | November 22, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Critics are tearing apart
The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

The thing is…
the average critic is not
a 15 year old girl.

From the squealing I’ve been hearing,
15 year old girls,
the target for this film,
LOVE New Moon.
They can’t get enough of it.
They’re seeing the movie
multiple times.

If you listen to critics,
the movie is a bomb.
If you listen to the target audience,
New Moon is a smash hit.

This is a wonderful example
of why
innovators should listen to their target
over industry critics.

By k | November 21, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I get about 3,000 emails a day.
3,000.
Much is reading only.
About 10% of that that requires a response.
About 1% is time sensitive.

The happy thing about getting
3,000 emails a day
is you HAVE to develop a way
of managing the email.
If you don’t,
that’s all you do.

What I do
is set aside certain times
to respond to email.
I often use it as a treat
for having accomplished something.
I never start the day with email
because I am my most creative in the morning
and reading email kills creative brain cells dead.

I also do as Amber Naslund suggests
and never use my “inbox as a to-do list”
You manage email.
Email does not manage you.