Sat.Feb 04, 2012 - Fri.Feb 10, 2012

Have You Found Your Calling in Life?

Dumb Little Man

One of the questions I tend to get asked frequently by people who start reading my blog is “How do I find my passion?” or some variation of that question. It’s a tough question to answer because there’s no real formula for it. It’s not “if you do A, you’ll find B.”

2012 124

Busting a few blogging myths for small businesses

The Small Business Blog

When I speak to business owners, whether to a group or one on one, about social media and, particularly, blogging, I often get a sense of unease in the room. A lot of that is to do with people’s fears about writing, being wrong, being creative, having enough time, criticism from others etc etc. This…

Trending Sources

The Rise of Small and Micro Manufacturing

Small Business Labs

manufacturing is on a roll.   The New York Times recently called manufacturing a " Surprising Bright Spot in the U.S.

2012 56

The Solopreneurship Self-Assessment Test

The Solopreneur Life

“I s solopreneurship for me?” ” “Am I ready to launch my business?” ” “Do I possess the traits that are common to successful solopreneurs?” ” Those questions are very common, and the frequency of the questions motivated me to create the Solopreneurship Self-Assessment Test for aspiring and new solopreneurs.

2012 49

Inspire Your Team, and Everybody Wins

Step It Up VA Coaching

by Donna Toothaker. As a Virtual Assistant, it’s likely you have team members that help you in supporting your clients. . And, for many of you, you may also have a team to support YOUR OWN business! What does your team mean to your business? If your business is running optimally, your team is likely RUNNING your business! Having a team has allowed your business to expand, offer a wide variety of services, take on more clients, and bring in more income.

2012 44

More Trending

How to Conduct Small-Group Meetings

Ian's Messy Desk

One approach to ensure effective decision making in small, informal meetings is to develop motions and decisions through consensus. Consensus occurs when there is general agreement by the group on the decision being made. Well managed meetings allow all participants to be part of the decision making process. Here are some techniques a chairperson can use to encourage and support group participation and discussion: The chair solicits views.

2012 43

Competitive strategies for small business

The Small Business Blog

The danger of trying to undercut competitors. How can we add value in different areas? This was a question posed on Twitter last week and my immediate response was: “Don’t compromise & undercut competitors, offer something special/better in areas such as customer service, added extras…” My thinking behind this reply was that all too often…

7 Ways to Tell a Story That Makes Employers Crazy About You

On The Job

Career experts often advise job seekers or networkers to “tell your story.” But what does that mean? Should you share how you won the school science fair in third grade or how you once locked your keys in the car with the engine still running?

2012 34

Why You Should Ditch Your Blogging Schedule

Men With Pens

For several years now, you’ve been given advice from probloggers (and not-so-probloggers) that just wasn’t very good advice at all. The advice made sense. The analogies were understandable. But the theory was wrong. I know, because I dished out that advice and followed it strictly for years.

2012 48

Tips for leaving a good out-of-office message

Ian's Messy Desk

Whether it’s time to get away from the office on vacation or business takes us on the road, the influx of email or phones messages rarely stops. A little bit of preparation before you leave will ensure less to worry about on return. A good out-of-office message is a must. A well-prepared message can go a long way to decrease the backlog of messages waiting for you when you get back to work. A good out of office message has three parts: Dates of your absence.

2012 35

Top 5 Tips for Small Business Videoconferencing

The Small Business Blog

The top 5 tips weekly post is always full of hints and tips for small, home & micro business owners. When preparing for a video call, check your background. Try to broadcast without any distractions or movement in the background as this may affect the quality of the call. It is tempting to…

2012 33

Want to Win "How to be a Finance Rock Star" - Then Help Find Fluffy!

Productive & Organized

My good friend Nicole Fende is really excited about her new book and so am I!    She is running a fun promotion to bring exposure to her book and you could benefit! Don’t miss your chance to win a copy of Nicole’s new book How to be a Finance Rock Star. All you have to do is help Nicole find Fluffy the Finance Feline, who is currently MIA, gallivanting around the globe.

Freelancing and the 3 Laws of Future Employment

Small Business Labs

New Geography's The Three Laws of Future Employment looks at a mix of issues around future employment with a focus on whether or not we need more STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) graduates. The part of the article I'm most intrigued by are the 3 laws of future employment.  These are: Law #1: People will get jobs doing things that computers can’t do. Law #2: A global market place will result in lower pay and fewer opportunities for many careers.

2020 31

A Quiz About Parenthetical Punctuation

Daily Writing Tips

Em dashes are woefully underused and misused. Here are five sentences that would be much improved by their proper use, or by proper use of other punctuation in cooperation with them. Determine how each sentence would benefit from changes in punctuation and compare your revisions with my suggested solutions at the bottom of the page: 1. Not in years, like more than ten years, have I seen someone so committed to owning the stage.”.

2012 28

Guide to Winning New Clients

The Small Business Blog

Your business will only succeed if you have a healthy client base. In that respect any business, big or small, faces two continuing tasks. Winning new clients and keeping existing clients. Both are as important as each other and together they will ensure the success of any business. In the current economic climate, winning new…

2012 30

Kobe System: Expansion of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Productivity Bits

Have you seen Kobe Bryant’s “Kobe System” advertisement ? In the ad, Kobe facilitates a seminar for highly successful people on how to achieve greater success. His audience includes Tony Robbins, Kanye West, Richard Branson, and Serena Williams, among others. I am fascinated by Kobe Bryant’s latest Nike advertisement mainly because I look at it as expansion of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

What is a Cash Flow Projection?

Office Organization Success

One important area of your Financial Management System is that of a Cashflow projection. Put simply, a Cashflow projection shows whether your anticipated income will be able to cover your expected (projected) expenses and this report is very beneficial to you in your business. It is an annual report and, if set up correctly, will show you how cash will flow through your business throughout the current financial year. It’s a critical business tool that every business owner should be using.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Powerpoint Presentations

Ian's Messy Desk

You would think in this day and age of Garr Reynold and Presentation Zen , Seth Godin and Really Bad PowerPoint or Cliff Atkinson and Beyond Bullet Points , there would be no excuse for poor quality PowerPoint presentations. Unfortunately, people continue to churn out ineffective presentations. Here are some links and resources for improving presentations: Joseph Sommerville provides a list of common presentation sins. Slide Transitions And Sound Effects. Standard Clipart.

Three Strategies To Deal With Interruptions

Simple Productivity Blog

Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog. One of the challenges to staying focused is interruptions from others. Being pulled off task can result in anything from loss of train of thought to major interruptions that pull you off task for hours.

2012 23

50 Synonyms for “Idea”

Daily Writing Tips

What’s the big idea? Or, more appropriately, what kind of idea is it? Many ways of expressing the idea of an idea await your consideration; here’s an extensive but not necessary comprehensive list (including other connotations and meanings of the various synonyms): 1. Abstraction : a theoretical idea; also, the process of abstracting, the condition of being disassociated, an abstract work of art, or the quality of being preoccupied.

2012 23

Want to know how to leverage the new signups to YOUR list?

Office Organization Success

One of the very first systems you need to create for your online business is a way for you to capture your website visitor’s details. And to do that you need to offer them something of value in exchange for them parting with their name and email address (this is also known as pink spoon marketing).

Employer Embraces Older Workers

On The Job

I've heard plenty of horror stories about age discrimination in job interviews, so it was really refreshing to hear something positive about an employer who not only actively seeks out older job candidates, but older workers who say they've found new careers that inspire and rejuvenate them.

The road to business hell: Why your good intentions don’t get you anywhere

The Shrink for Entrepreneurs

Imagine if you followed through on every good intention. Wouldn’t life be incredible? We’d all be Calvin Klein model billionaires. We’d be the most dutiful, giving partners to our spouses. We’d eat more greens. We’d probably meditate, daily. Life would be amazing.

2012 19

90 Verbs Starting with “Ex-”

Daily Writing Tips

Ex- marks the spot. Go beyond, go out on a limb, go outside your comfort zone. Get some extra excitement by using these vivid verbs starting with the syllable ex- : 1. Exacerbate : to make worse. Exact : to call for and obtain (“exact revenge”). Exaggerate : to overemphasize or overstate. Exalt : to glorify or intensify. Examine : to inspect, investigate, or scrutinize. Exasperate : to aggravate or enrage. Excavate : to remove or expose by digging or as if by digging.

2012 19

The Global, Human, Strategic Accountant

Small Business Labs

The CPA Success blog has a good article on the new Chartered Global Management Accountant designation. This is a joint effort between two large accounting associations, the AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. This is interesting for several reasons. First, the accounting profession realizes businesses of all sizes are increasingly global.  This means accounting professionals need to have the skills to advise their clients on global issues.

2012 19

Interview with Rob Siefker of Zappos – Part 3 of 4

Service Untitled

This is the second of a four part interview with Rob Siefker, the Director of the Customer Loyatly Team at Zappos. In this part of the interview, Rob talks more about the service metrics that Zappos tracks, how the company empowers its Customer Loyalty Team Members (and has avoided bureaucracy), how escalations to managers work at the company, how the Zappos compensates its employees, and the extensive continuing education programs employees have access to at Zappos and how they work.

RepKnight creating a storm in social media monitoring


RepKnight is an exciting Belfast-based software start-up in the reputation monitoring, crowd-sourced news and public opinion space.

A Quiz About Missing Connections

Daily Writing Tips

Writing is often compromised by a writer’s failure to think a sentence through to its logical conclusion. Often, along the way, a small but crucial word or phrase is omitted that leaves a gap in a parallel construction, thereby contributing to the reader’s confusion. In each sentence below, determine the missing element, then check my revisions at the bottom of the page to see how our solutions compare: 1. The corporation runs hydropower plants from Maine to Montana.”.

Santiago Peak Calling…Our Readers!

The Marq

Climbing Mount Whitney You may recall from the First Long Hike Complete post that a friend and I hiked up to the highest point in Orange County, Santiago Peak, in November of 2011. The post created quite a number of comments via email, a few on the post’s Comments section, and a number on Facebook.

Does America run on “Dunkin’ Donuts”?

Service Untitled

Brands Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index sets Dunkin’ Donuts as number one in customer loyalty for the coffee category. Second only to oil production, coffee is the largest commodity sold. The coffee category included ratings on consumer preferences, the consistency of meeting customer expectations for taste, quality, service, and brand value. This is the sixth year in a row the quick food coffee shop has been recognized with the award.

Developing Real Skills for Virtual Teams


The Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina recently published a useful white paper on the topical area of developing skills for virtual teams. It is available online and in PDF. What I found most interesting was the section on Virtual Team Challenges. Virtual Teams

PDF 10

Book Review: “Writing Down the Bones”

Daily Writing Tips

I was reading Natalie Goldberg’s 2005 edition of her classic writing guide Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within , and as I worked my way through its sixty-four short chapters, I became less and less enchanted by her ruminations and suggestions as a sort of fatigue set in. Then I realized I had been doing it all wrong. Writing Down the Bones is not a book to be absorbed in one sitting, or even sequentially in a handful of reading sessions.

2005 12

Super Bowl Weekend

Office Organization Success

For those of you in the States, it’s Super Bowl weekend this weekend … not particularly my favorite weekend of the year! However, one of the teams that Mat and the boys follow are the New England Patriots and, as they’re in the final, we’re having a Super Bowl Party on Sunday! Also on Sunday, I’ll be spending a couple of hours helping out at the Funday Sunday Event at the University of Findlay.

I Miss the "Mail Moment"

Small Business Labs

Bell tolls for the U.S. Mail, as we know it is a wonderful story from USA Today on the end of a great American traditional the postal service calls "the mail moment"   This moment occurs when we collect, sort and open our mail - and do so with a bit of excitement and anticipation.   Younger readers will wonder what I'm talking about.