Everyone Has A Story

I subscribe to the Pigg Pin because I need help in the garden.  Kevin dispenses in an understandable way, and I don't have to spend crazy amounts of time implementing the advice.

His post is more about his journey in life and entrepreneurism.  It's rooted in accidents and attraction, but one that I share on a different path.  I believe we all have something in common with Kevin.  Shame that so many spend a lifetime denying it.

Cheers to you if your living the dream, and to Kevin for the gardening and entrepreneur advice.

How Perception Can Lead To Reality

The above is a speech from Rory Sutherland.  He gives some veiled (pay close attention)advice on how to take what you are and do to a new level.

Have you thought about the implications of how you or your service/products are perceived today?  Have you asked anyone (customer, employee, vendor)?

The speech is about 20 minutes in length, but it will feel like 10.  The quote from G.K. Chesterton is powerful too.

How Social Media Can Save Customer Service Training

Was doing some research for a friend/client on customer service training materials this week.  I decided to use Twitter (my top choice for social media portals) as a tool to do some research on the matter.  A simple search on the term "customer service training" is all it took to create a hmmm moment.  And though my research was not very scientific, it did reveal some things I knew instinctively.

First, customer service is a very popular discipline for a number of companies/consultants.  Must mean that bad customer service is more the norm than the exception.  I agree with that on its face.

Second, I don't think the customers (organizations) of the customer service training product are fully aware of what's going on inside their own walls. 

Here's what brought me to the above conclusions:

  1. My typed search "customer service training" revealed that for every two consultants offering training, there were an equal number of employees who were referring to customer service training as a boring event, a cure for insomnia, or a pain in the rear.  Again, this wasn't a scientific result, but it seems that many employees are nodding yes, but thinking and feeling no.
  2. Employees, especially those in larger entities, feel like their targets for cost cutting and lay-offs.  Creates a jaded, if not callused view of things.  Wonder how these folks treat customers who have legitimate needs/issues?
  3. Why the disconnect?  Leadership.  Some managers may think they're leading well, but have yet to look behind them to find no one following.
  4. Fixing conclusion #3 creates a bridge for change.
  5. Employers are missing out on the power of social media.  See this article for more on that.  But I'm speaking of finding out what's REALLY going on with the employee base.  Might save them some money and go a long way in reinventing how they serve-employees and customers.

The Execution Of Making Money

Read these great insights from Marshall Goldsmith's blog.

More and more, reality should play a significant role in your business plan.  You might say; "of course."  But you might be surprised how often emotion plays a part in your forecast/plan.

Let's all ask the tough questions regarding our work-our lives too..

Everybody’s Self-Employed

As I caught today's announcement of December job numbers, I began to think about how serious things are.  Mind you, I didn't just start thinking about the seriousness.  But I thought about it differently today.

We are self-employed…whether we know it or not.

The fairy tale of retirement, security and prosperity has truly been the poison pill.  What's tragic is the pill was given to us slowly (intravenous like) over time.  Makes you wonder how careerists will find a new life.  A new life that looks different from the one they know today.  Your employer is moving on even if your office chair is still warm. 

Shouldn't you do the same?

I see things as permanently changed.  What looked stable yesterday has now been disrupted.  I'll save you the analysis of what I consider to be the catalysts/disrupter's (mind-numbing government debt, the over supply of money, leadership voids, fear) of what we've come to know.  I used to think life would be better is it were predictable.  I even, in a past life, tried to manipulate circumstances to try and block the threats (change).  The reality is we're better for a life that sometimes gives us smelling salts.

So how do you if you're a self-employed careerist?  Consider the following:

  • When you get to the end of your story, who will stand beside you and give a detailed report?  I have the answer; not your company, just you.
  • On the whole, who is paying/paid for all of that schooling you took?
  • Your employer requires some type of at-will agreement/contract.
  • Your share of health insurance premiums has grown significantly over the last 20 years.  This trend will continue, or your employer will get out of providing this benefit all together.
  • You carry a lot of risk working for your company.  This applies whether unemployment is 5 or 7%.

I could go on, and maybe you have some other ideas as well.  But one of the biggest reasons we're all self-employed is the implication of ownership.  You should be the owner of your career because you already are.