Barry Moltz is… a master of failure. From the inside cover of the book:
Barry J. Moltz has founded and run businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than fifteen years. After successfully selling his last operating business, he founded an angel investor group and an angel fund, and….
… and it goes on to tell about all the cool stuff Barry does. The emphasis on “with a great deal of success and failure” is a great description of what he’s gone through to get to the point where we could so passionately write a book about… failure.
Or, perhaps, how to react to, or deal with, or bounce back from failure.
Bounce. That’s where the name comes from. The image on the front of the book is a rubber band ball… you know, the ball you make by putting on more and more rubber bands? The one you could toss around, and it bounces, almost like a rubber ball?
Bounce is a book about the rubber bands… Barry shares 10 things which become YOUR rubber bands to help you bounce back from… well, life. He talks about the idea that we think our career and success trajectory is always up-and-to-the-right, but in fact, it is quite variable, and we need to learn how to deal with the variables/variety.
I LOVE this book for the hundreds (it seems like hundreds) of examples of people who succeed, people who fail, and people who have a nice mixture of failures and successes.
It’s a book that helps our paradigm shifting, gives us tools to manage, and inspiration to keep on doing things. I’m not going to put all the 10 bands, but I’ll put the last one:
Whatever our goals are, making better decisions leads to more success. The final building band is to value action – almost any action. Active decisions will lead to a bounce and natural flow of your business life. Anything that gets in the way of a person making better decisions should be tossed overboard.
I put that band on my bounce ball a long time ago. Leaving it off leads to analysis-paralysis.
Last week JibberJobber was the first thing mentioned on Fox News (My Fox Gulf Coast / Fox 10). Here’s the description:
On Monday’s Daily Dot Com, Charissa Cowart shows you a website to help you organize your job search materials. She also tells you that you can find video memories of Yankee Stadium on the Yankees website. Check out the websites here.
Yesterday at the National Resume Writers Association conference I heard a question like this:
“How do I get more people to read my blog?”
And an answer like this:
“Make sure you write great content.”
Unfortunately, I disagree. Having great stuff is not good enough.
If you have a blog and want more readers, having great content is not good enough.
If you have a Twitter account and want more readers, having great content is not good enough.
If you have a resume and want to attract hiring managers and recruiters, having great content is not good enough.
If you have a story and want to inspire, motivate, persuade, influence, or touch someone, having a great story is not good enough.
Having great content, even being interesting, is not good enough.
You have to market. Nike has to had to market. Coca Cola has to had to market. Job seekers have to market themselves. Bloggers have to market their blogs if they want other people to find and read the blogs. Twitter people have to let people know you have a twitter page, and show you have interesting thing to tweet. If you have a resume you have to get it in front of the right people, and differentiate yourself from the hundreds of other resumes a hiring manager might see. Storytellers (that’s all of us) need to get an audience, because telling that story again and again in front of a mirror isn’t inspiring anyone.
Marketing, for you, includes having a brand and letting others know about it (i.e., know that you exist). Marketing is not just limited to big (or small) companies. Marketing is key to your career success.
Check out Conversation Agent Valeria Maltoni’s recent post on In a Tough Economy, Branding Matters. She talks about how job seekers (and career managers) can use technologies for branding. She is a branding thought leader, and it’s cool to see her take on what we can do for our own careers.
If you listen to podcasts, you have to check out the Personal Branding Summit recordings… hours and hours of recordings on personal branding from very different perspectives, at NO COST.
If you have great stuff, move to the next phase and let people know about it!
I had an idea a few days ago, and my mind has been spinning since. Today I’m announcing Jibberjobber One Thing, which will help people who are interested in nurturing their careers, or even protecting their careers, and wondering what they can proactively do to salvage some idea of job security.
JibberJobber One Thing is a Yahoo Group (sign up here) that you can join to receive ONE email a day. The email will have ONE suggestion of something you can do for your career that day. It will be very, very short (one or two sentences) and actionable (something you can do that day). I brainstormed dozens of ideas, and will get more from my partners.
The idea is NOT to overwhelm you, rather to give you bite-sized things you can do, or at least think about, to move your career management in a positive direction.
JibberJobber One Thing will mature, I’m sure, but for now I see it as a very simple, non-intrusive tool to help you do what you need to do.
We’ll start sending the emails out on Wednesday, October 1, 2008. You can sign up here, and unsubscribe whenever you want.
his definitions of good politics and bad politics,
five characteristics of the negative polititians (those who practice bad corporate politics)
five ways to deal with these negative polititicans
This is a terrific post – leave your comments on Mark’s blog and share your experiences, or how you dealt with the loser bosses (peers, colleagues, etc.). I should mention, his post has one of the best pictures I’ve ever seen on a blog post.
In San Diego I’ll be attending the National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA) annual conference from Wed evening through Saturday. I really like NRWA – it’s an eye-opener for me to be in a room with professional resume writers who are all trying to improve their profession. At one time I thought writing my own resume would be the way to go, but as I have learned more about resume writers, and their passion, and how current they are on the job search and resume space, I became convinced I should hire a resume writer instead of writing my own resume.
Next month I’ll be in Seattle for the Career Directors International conference. This is another amazing conference, where I learn a ton about the career services industry. Emphasis is not on resume writing, rather, on all aspects of career coaching, including counseling, job search coaching, resume writing, personal branding, etc. I plan on flying in early (perhaps Sunday night (October 12)), and hope to do as many presentations before the call as I can, including some kind of LinkedIn and/or JibberJobber dinner. If you are in Seattle, please let me know so I can let you know where I’ll be, see if you can do dinner, and pick your brain about places I might be able to present.
Both groups are really, really fun. I’ve only been to San Diego once when I was little, and I’ve never been to Seattle… I’m jazzed!
A couple of days ago I got an email that made my entire day. Here’s part of it:
“I just signed up for Premium access to JJ, and I’ve got to tell you it’s cool as hell. You’ve done a great job….”
This email came from a friend in Austin who has known about JibberJobber for… almost two years! He’s been on my newsletter, has seen me write about the progress, and knows plenty of people I know.
Almost two years later he thinks it would be something to help him in a future transition, upgrades, and is impressed. That’s freaking cool.
Austin? Did I mention Austin?
I was going to move to Austin in 2000 when I graduated from college with a degree in Computer Information Systems. Instead, I got stuck in Pocatello, Idaho. My friend called it “poke-a-fellow,” and it was like a backward, small-town experience. And then the dot-bomb thing happened, and I was quite happy in Pocatello, at my corporate job, making decent money.
I didn’t feel the affects of the dot-bomb, but heard that many IT people in Austin were becoming servers at restaurants. I was happy in my backwards town making decent money, shielded from the dot-bomb.
Well, check this out. Thom Singer wrote on his blog “SmartMoney has named Austin one of the top cities in the country for job seekers.”
Maybe I should move to Austin? Na, not for now. But I’m very pleased to hear Austin bounced back
Lately I’ve watched a number of Kitchen Nighmares reruns on Hulu, and have been impressed with the process that Chef Gordon Ramsay goes through to turn a restaurant around, from brink-of-death to healthy-enough-to-survive (and even thrive). Here are some things that I’ve seen in most shows, and how they apply to your personal career management:
Change the menu – All menus get a makeover. Sometimes they are completely redone, going from a general restaurant to a steakhouse. Sometimes the makeover is a reduction in menu items, as the restaurant has spread itself too thin, and the huge menu is affecting profits, operational complexity, and overall food quality.
Career advice: Reevaluate your offering and consider changing it. Are your skills current, focused, and appropriate for the next few years? Are you spread too thin? Are your skills commoditized, or are they differentiated?
Change the environment – A few days into each restaurant salvation Gordon Ramsay’s design team comes in and completely redoes the restaurant – light fixtures, tables and chairs, colors, etc. Even the outside gets a facelift, at the very least a new sign. One owner said, kind of dejected, “I could have done that myself… I could have gone down to the sign guy and bartered, and gotten an awesome sign.” Yes, he could have, but he DIDN’T. What can YOU do but aren’t doing?
Career advice: What does your image say about you? Is it time to change something… your dress, hair style, accessories or even your briefcase or laptop bag? The first impression is so important, but so are ongoing impressions.
Change the attitudes – Amazingly, restaurant owners and chefs think Gordon is going to come in and tip-toe around their restaurant and food creations, and are very surprised when he starts cussing them out, yelling at them, and telling them they are running the business like it were a game they were not interested in.
It’s painful to watch, but he’s pulling some small grain of passion out of the abyss, a passion which has been hidden away for a long time. Only when the owner and/or chef gets that passion again are they ready to listen and focus on getting serious about their business.
Career advice: in this ever-flattening world, we need to be open to change, and not engrained in how things are, should be, or used to be. Many times this means we humble ourselves so that we can at least hear and consider what experts say.
Communication – in every episode I saw there were serious communication problems. The chef, under pressure, either doesn’t communicate at all, or shouts… and shouts… and shouts. Owners get into fights with staff, blame flies all over the place while no one is figuring out how to solve the problem, or get to the root problem. Panic and emergency feed combined with poor communication cause major grief.
Career advice: communication is the key to so many things, and it is kind of easy, but do we really communicate well? Do our writing skills (email, etc.) need help? Can we communicate under pressure, or do we lose it? This essential skill is something that merits an investment – improve your communication and perhaps you’ll change the trajectory of your career path.
The support team – I’m amazed as I watch the server staff and hosts support changes that the chef and owner think are crazy. The support team knows what’s going on, they can see the forest through the trees, they are not as hung up on pride, and they MEET WITH THE CUSTOMERS more than anyone else. More amazing than supporting the changes? Their loyalty.
Career advice: You have loyal fans, and people who wish to support you. Appreciate them for what they do, and for their loyalty to you. Consult with them frequently to see how you are doing, and find out what they think you should be doing differently. They might not always be right, but the different perspective will be invaluable. Who are your loyal fans? Rod Colon of the ETP Network says your Board of Directors include your spouse and kids.
Focus on quality of food – Gordon Ramsay slams almost every single dish he sees. The presentation (one restaurant used a funnel to shape their salads into a cone-shape … he burned the funnels with open flames!) doesn’t work, or there’s too much garlic, or too much salt, or any other thing. Know what? The resident chef always thinks their food is fine… as does the owner. And they are very offended that Gordon thinks their food is worse than dog food. Here’s one thing I love… when Gordon Ramsay goes into the kitchen to teach the chef new recipes, they are always excited to learn from The Master. The pride goes away for a while and they are like kids in a candy store.
Career advice: Every chef thinks their food is the bomb, and many professionals think their competency is as good (or better) than the next guy. But every chef had to step it up, and accept their final product was sub-par. How is your quality? You really, really, really should get outside assessments of this. One way to do it is through Reach’s 360 degree assessment tool.
Focus on profit – Gordon is not there to make the food better, or to make the ambiance nicer, or to fix personnel issues. Gordon Ramsay walks in the door to fix financial problems, and help restaurants that should be healthy become healthy. Whether it’s looking at inventory, making portion sizes smaller (even making plates smaller), or having the server staff sell more variety of the menu, it’s all about becoming profitable. WITHOUT APOLOGIZING FOR IT.
Career advice: you may want to chase your passions instead of a paycheck, which is noble. But passions don’t pay the bills – money does. Make sure you understand the role of money in your current situation, and what you’ll need to retire, and make that a priority. An added benefit? Once the restaurants turned around financially, an immense amount of stress melted away. Not that money will solve all of your problems, but it can’t be neglected.
Gimmicky things to get people aware of the restaurant – whether it’s organizing a bikers ride, giving away hamburgers or meatballs, or having a town BBQ party, Gordon got the staff OUT of the restaurant and into the town, to let them know there was something new, something worth coming to the restaurant for.
Career advice: The restaurant people had to get outside their four walls and get into the community and let them know they are there, and what they do. You have to do the same thing. How? Have a social marketing strategy. Write white papers. Speak at conferences. Start a blogtalkradio show. Volunteer in the community. Initiate “never eat alone” lunches. Help other people, without being asked. Get proactive about this… your “community” isn’t going to come to your cubicle to find you – you need to go where you’ll find them.
Brand and Tagline – Many restaurants go from one brand to another during the show. A hokey restaurant which specializes in serving people from a retirement home becomes the town’s premier steakhouse, an Italian restaurant on the brink of death becomes branded as serving the world’s best meatballs… In a number of shows Gordon walks around the neighborhood to see what the competition looks like, and where the opportunities are. Why go from retirement home restaurant to steakhouse? Because there was NO steakhouse in the entire town!
Career advice: Same as changing the menu, is it time to reconsider who and what you are? There were some huge branding changes in the show, and sometimes the hardest part was to swallow pride and accept the change, with a certain amount of faith and trust. Consider the idea that you might be branded completely wrong, and need help (and the guts) to change everything.
ASK THE CUSTOMER – the chef is usually in denial, and on many episodes they say “no one ever complains about the food,” leaving Gordon Ramsay with his mouth wide open in disbelief. The look on his face says “You serve crap, and are proud to do it just because no one is complaining??? Where is your professional pride??”
Career advice: The more you assume, the less you ask, the more trouble you’ll be in down the road. That 360 assessment is SO powerful because it allows you to see what other people think of you, and perception is reality. DO NOT neglect asking your customer what they think about you, and trust what they say. Even if you think they are not qualified to have a real opinion, they will certainly have their perception… and they might even talk to other customers about you!
The spouse knows the pain - the restaurant is usually the dream of the owner, and the spouse knows how much blood, sweat and tears went into it. They also know that things aren’t going so well, AND they are at risk of losing EVERYTHING (home, etc.). Gordon meets with the spouse to determine if the husband is really ready to change.
Career advice: in my last job I frequently asked my team’s spouses what they thought of the company. Responses gave me an idea of what my team really thought. What would your spouse say about your current career path? They will know if you are passionate about what you are doing, or if you are settling and unhappy. Take that spouse inventory, and you might learn something about yourself!
It’s been fun to watch Chef Gordon Ramsay, who tells it like it is, and says the hard things that most people don’t want to hear (but they need to hear it).
Wow, I don’t remember seeing anything like what I’ve seen in the last 24 hours with regard to job search bloggers. Two of my favorite job hunt bloggers have created posts that look like the cliff notes versions of what to do when you lose your job – and the comments on each post are OUTSTANDING.
What would I advise? I already wrote my advice for your first 30 days. Written for a friend who just got laid off, I give you ten things you need to do in the first 30 days of your job search so your search doesn’t suck as bad as mine did. You can read my 10 job search ideas in Job Search Tips: What I Should Have Done In The First 30 Days. Lest you think it sounds like all the other advice, at least read the first part to see my original, lame strategy… and if yours matches that, then you know you need to change it
So maybe we aren’t in a national recession (yet). There are tens of thousands of people, and their families, who entered a personal recession this week. What are YOU doing to prepare for your personal recession?