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Yesterday, I was sitting at Sydney Airport, about to catch a plane to Brisbane. A well dressed man and woman sat down opposite me. Dressed in business attire, they looked like colleagues. It was 6pm, at the tail end of the day.
The woman said: “Well it’s been a successful few days Harry.”
The man replied: “Thank you for your involvement. I appreciate it.”
The woman (brushing aside his comment) said: “Oh I felt like a dead weight most of the time.”
I heard this and thought: “WTF?”
Admittedly, I have no idea about the back story on this. I don’t know how much the woman contributed to the “successful few days”. But I did know that the man thanked her for her involvement. And rather than say “You’re welcome” or take it as a compliment, she downplayed her contribution.
I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her.
But it’s a reaction that I see among many people …
“Oh what a delicious cake.”
“Oh no, it’s way too dry.”
“That blog post you published last week was great.”
“Really?… Read more …
When I was young, I use to go into the local bank and I’d notice that some of the tellers would decorate their work spaces with funny cartoons. Invariably, they were tongue-in-cheek jibes about the nature of work. The characters in the cartoons would complain about their bosses, the hours, and the mere fact that they had to be there.
Even as a child, I was puzzled as to why people would stay in a job where they found more to complain about than to enjoy. I assumed, that these cartoons were a reflection of what these bank tellers thought about their work.
Then, when I entered the workforce for myself, I worked with people who would say things like: “I hope your day is well despite the fact that it’s a Monday” or “It’s Wednesday! More than half the week is gone. Hooray!”
These same people always left work 15 minutes early, never went the extra mile and always gave the impression that they found work to be a chore.
I guess I’m really lucky because I love what I do but I found it confounding that people would stay in a job that they don’t enjoy.… Read more …
I’m fascinated by the world of blogging. Whether you blog about parenting, life, toy trains or business, the blogosphere is a wonderful way to connect with people in your community and beyond.
Many entrepreneurial bloggers use it as a marketing tool – a way to connect with customers through smart and helpful content marketing. Their posts position them as experts in their field; their articles become must-read content. As a result, they gain a loyal following.
But how much is too much?
Some other entrepreneurs use their blog more as a way to track their entrepreneurial journey. They chronicle the highs, lows and lessons along the way. But how much is too much?
The world of blogging is all about authenticity. And some business bloggers are comfortable about talking about their failures. There is nothing wrong with this at all. However, I have been following a particular founder’s blog for the past year. And, I have to admit, it’s compelling reading. But for all the wrong reasons.
She is always tired, always stressed and rarely writes about any good news in her business.… Read more …
For the last month, I’ve been in a (self-imposed) bubble. No, I didn’t decide to do a digital detox. I didn’t go to New Jersey to marry Jon Bon Jovi. And no one bought my business for a billion dollars so that I could laze on a beach in Bali, sipping cocktails for the rest of my life.
The bubble has been the result of the fact that I’m been immersed in two major projects which have consumed my life. Hence, the infrequent blog posts, the paltry number of Tweets, the intermittent appearances on Facebook and – shame of all shames – the failure to experience Christmas properly (and all the things that go with it – like writing Christmas cards, putting thought into gifts, and so on).
Forgive me, I was on another planet.
While I wish I could have been Superwoman – able to combine overseeing these projects with everything else in life in a single bound – this was simply not going to happen.
And I’m ok with that. Because I’ve realised that trying to be Superwoman is completely unrealistic.… Read more …
Many readers will already know that I’m in love with Evernote. It’s a tool that I use every single to day to take notes, write articles and store information that I need to keep for future reference. However, I now have another love: Penzu.com
It’s ok. I’m not cheating on Evernote. They both now have a firm place in my heart.
Evernote helps me collate and create.
Penzu helps me think and process.
If you’re not familiar with Penzu, it’s an online journal. Its website describes it thus: “Penzu is an online diary and personal journal that is focused on privacy. With a unique and compelling user experience, it makes writing online as easy and intuitive as writing on a pad of paper.”
For fellow Latin geeks, it’s derived from “pensare” which means to ponder, examine or be full of thought.
When do I use Penzu?
You know those days when you have so many things to do, or so many ideas to pursue, that you just don’t know where to start. It’s when you feel so overwhelmed that you just don’t know what to do next.… Read more …
When it comes to choosing the right role model, I see too many people choosing … the wrong one. It’s a trend that’s been exacerbated by the online world.
That’s because if someone is smart about building an online profile, they get exposure and visibility. However, it’s so important not to confuse “profile” with “success”.
Here’s an example. I was talking to my friend, Alice (not her real name). She talked about how inspired she was about the journey of a famous blogger/startup entrepreneur who has managed to carve out an enviable lifestyle travelling the world and running his business from his laptop. We’ll call him John.
As a result, Alice modelled her blog and her business on John’s. She wrote headlines, just like John’s. She talked about creating products, just like John’s. And I began to notice certain graphics and phrases creep into her blog that looked eerily like those I’d seen on John’s blog.
Alice aspires to have a healthy income well in excess of six figures. (You know, closer to seven figures.) She wants to make enough money to invest in long-term assets, and she has plans to create a mini-empire.… Read more …
The one thing that government should change about superannuation.
I’m generally a calm person. But if there is one thing that gets me fired up, it’s insane tax laws and dumb regulations.
One of the dumbest relates to the way we have to treat our superannuation. Don’t get me wrong. I think the concept of super is awesome. But the regulations on how we can invest these funds border on moronic. Superannuation laws are among the smartest and dumbest in Australia…… Read more …
I’m on a bit of the productivity roll at the moment. Admittedly, I’m always looking for ways to streamline my workflow and become more efficient in the way work.
So I really resonated with this productivity chart from Funders and Founders.
You can print out a bigger version here.
It features the 80/20 Rule, of which I’m a big fan. The other strategies I’m particularly fond of include:
* No meetings unless they are decisive
There is nothing more frustrating than talking for hours without achieving a definite outcome. To avoid suffering from “death by meeting”, start each meeting by determining how long it’s going to take and what decisions you want to make by the end of it.
* Start an “Idea Dump” book for genius ideas you can’t work on right now
I love this – and it’s a must. I used to write down all of my ideas, but they were never collated in one spot. So I would have ideas on post-it notes, notebooks, Evernote, on the notes function in my phone – all over the place!… Read more …
You want to be productive. You want to get more done. But you seem to be falling into a never-ending spiral of tasks, emails, projects and so on. You don’t feel like you’re ever going to get on top of everything you need to do. Obviously, this causes stress. And one of the main drivers of stress is the feeling of overwhelm, that you’re drowning in a sea of tasks that never seem to stop flowing.
So you work like crazy but feel like a hamster running on a treadmill that just seems to get faster and faster. And your only option is to keep going because, if you take a break, you’re only going to have an even longer “to do” list when you get back.
I get it. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re never going to get on top of things.
You end up compromising. After all, you’ve actually been told NOT to strive for perfection, otherwise you’ll never complete any tasks. You’ve learnt that you just need to get your projects to “good enough” because that’s better than not getting them done it all.… Read more …
So you’ve been inspired by someone you admire. Maybe you want to achieve what they’ve done in their life or business. Perhaps you simply think they’re awesome.
You would love to connect with them. You dream of them endorsing your book, blog or business. Or you would give your right arm for the opportunity to pick their brains for 15 minutes. But you have no idea how to make this happen.
Linda Coles is the author of Start With Hello. She says her book reveals how you can master the skills of talking to strangers. I don’t mean about chatting to the cute guy on the bus in the hope you exchange phone numbers. Linda means engaging with strangers to turn them into valuable professional clients or contacts.
I specifically wanted to get Linda’s advice on how to approach your heroes. Maybe you’ve always want to reach out to Seth Godin, Sheryl Sandberg, or Richard Branson. How do you make this happen? Here’s Linda’s advice.
Hello. You are my hero, let’s connect!
Have you ever thought about reaching out to someone who is high profile but have never taken it any further because you don’t know the best way to approach them?… Read more …