Favorite Friday: How To Blog Without Blogging

September 30th, 2011

I wrote this post within a year of launching I had been blogging for about 10 months and was totally consumed with it.  I had seen considerable value out of my blog, and was actively encouraging others to blog.

March 7th, 2007 I wrote How to Blog Without Blogging, which was for those who were afraid of the commitment you get yourself into when you start a blog.

The gist of the post is to leave real comments on relevant blogs… it’s a great networking strategy.

Check out the post, and the 33 responses.



Huge Networking Mistake: “That Guy”

September 29th, 2011

Check out this post from John Touey titled Don’t Be “That Guy.”

He’s talking about the guy who only reaches out when he needs help (like, during a job search), and then “seems to forget you exist the moment he finds his next job.”

This happens WAY too much.

Networking really has to become a part of what we do regularly, not just when we NEED.

Change the word “networking” to “relationships,” and this type of behaviour seems much more disrespectful and rude, right?

Maybe you do it because networking is hard and uncomfortable, and when you have a job you are consumed by that job.

But if you think of it as a real relationship, it is pretty lame to only show up when you need, and then to never be around to give thanks or help in other ways.

I agree with John Touey: Don’t Be That Guy.



When Should You Manage Relationships?

September 28th, 2011

Last week I was talking to my cousin who had recently been laid off.

I said “You are on JibberJobber, right?”

He said, “no, not yet.”

He’s known about JibberJobber for years.

He never got on because he didn’t need it.

Many people (perhaps you?) don’t get on because they think they don’t need it, yet.

And then they get a surprise layoff notice, and start to look for fixes, bandaids.

The thing is, JibberJobber isn’t a bandaid.  It’s a tool that you use to manage relationships.

When you are in a job search you use it to organize your job search.

But before your job search you should start preparing for a transition, and make sure you are networking (or at least prepare to network).  You can do this with JibberJobber.

After you land your job you should… prepare for the next transition.

Continue to network, and keep using JibberJobber.

During your job search you turn it up, and really use it a lot.

But neglect your networking, and the stuff you do in JibberJobber, and when you get laid off you’ll probably spend a few weeks trying to ramp up.

Right now I’m thinking of some of my “power users” who practically use JibberJobber daily, whether they are employed or not.  Their unemployment periods are much less painful than it is for others because they prepare for it.  It is shorter, and more fun, and more purposeful, for many reasons, including that they have JibberJobber going at full steam!

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Unhappily Employed? Underemployed? Join the club!

September 27th, 2011

X percent of the country is unemployed.

Y percent of the country is unhappily employed.

Z percent of the country is underemployed.

And there there are those who are left, about 48 people somewhere in the country who are in an amazing job making amazing money and are just elated with what they have :p

Okay, I realize more than 48 people are happily employed, but I’ve thought a lot about the unemployed, unhappily employed and underemployed.

I’m guessing most people think they are underemployed.

What can you do about it?

Quit and get another job?

Start your own gig?

I’m not sure, but I’ll tell you, people who are unemployed, underemployed or unhappily employed have similar needs.

They need to network.

They need to track their target companies.

They need to be proactive.

They need to use JibberJobber to help them with this stuff.  Seriously.

Here’s the kicker: if you are unhappily employed, chances are your employer is unhappily keeping you there.  That’s what I’d call “writing on the wall.”

Get ready, now, for a change.

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How Can I Help You? A Very Hard Question!

September 26th, 2011

Friday I wrote a post about my biggest mistake when going to network meetings.

Inevitebly, once I fixed my mistake, I got this question:

“How can I help you?”

My answer? I didn’t know!

I didn’t know for months.

And then I realized I was leaving opportunities on the table.  There were people who wanted to help me, but I didn’t know what to tell them so they could help me!

I started to come up with a better answer.

Check out this awesome post from January 2008 titled The Other Hardest Question: How Can I Help You? In it you’ll see my response, in an email, to that question.

How do you answer the question?

If you answered like I did, I invite you to think of a better answer.

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Job Seeker Networking Mistakes

September 23rd, 2011

Yesterday I shared a post I wrote about my first networking meetings as a job seeker.

It made me think about my biggest mistake trying to “network.”

For a long time I didn’t get much out of the meetings, until I changed something.

My mistake wasn’t that I didn’t have business cards, or that my 30 second commercial was as bad as everyone else’s.

My mistake was that I went to those meetings with the wrong purpose in mind.

I was hoping to get filled, and get questions answered.

Week after week I went, hoping to get.  And I didn’t get as much as I needed, and I felt unfulfilled.

Then, I realized I should go to those meetings and GIVE.  I listened for opportunities to give leads, or introduce contacts.  I looked for chances to help, and strengthen, and encourage.

When I switched from hoping to GET to wanting to GIVE, the meetings, and the results, completely changed.

I finally looked forward to going to those meetings.

I made more meaningful contacts (since I was a giver).

I always left feeling fulfilled.

And I started to get more. I got leads, and ideas, and encouragement, in a way that I wasn’t getting before.

I don’t know what your mistakes are right now, but if you are networking to GET, I encourage you to take a few months and concentrate on GIVING, and see how that goes… see what’s different.

For me, it made all the difference!



Networking meetings for professionals in transition: GO!!

September 22nd, 2011

This week I wrote on the Career Resumes blog a post titled Go To That Network Meeting for the Unemployed!

I started with:

I remember the first time I “tried” to go to a networking meeting for people in transition.

Somehow, I didn’t make it there, and went home. At least I “tried.”

The second time I did the same… I “tried,” then went home.

I was embarrassed and nervous, and I really didn’t think I’d get any value out of going to that meeting.

The third time, fortunately, was a charm. I got there, went inside, introduced myself, and the rest was history.

I needed to be there. I really, really needed to be there. Why?

I learned that …

I learned at least three major things, which I put on the post.  I also linked to Job Hunt’s that helps you find your own local network meetings.

Read the entire post here. And for Pete’s sake, stop “trying” to go! Just go, and immerse yourself!!



Question: How do you self-publish?

September 21st, 2011

When I was speaking on my last trip, in the Bay Area, I talked about writing a book.

Here are two questions I got from one of the attendees, via email:

How does one go about self-publishing? and Why is this better than attempting to get one’s book published by a well know publisher?

There’s another, bigger, question that needs to be answered first.  That is: what do you hope to accomplish with your published book?  Is it book sales ($$), or is it fame, or is it a stronger brand (as an expert)?  Or something else?

Knowing that might affect how you approach your own book plans.

But back to her two questions:

First question. How does one go about self-publishing?

I had an eye-opening moment when my publisher (Happy About) told me he does around (or over) 250 tasks for an author.  The obvious include copy editing (the words) and layout editing (preparing it for the printer).  He has his distribution channels (mainly Amazon, I think), and he does fullfillment (he ships the books when people order).  He handles money, and taxes, and refunds, etc.

And over 200 other things. (hear a podcast interview he did with me on why you shouldn’t self publish :))

When I was towards the end of my second book I had totally planned on self-publishing.  However, by the time I was done, I was ready to hand it off and have someone else do all of the rest of the work. I was tired, having put heart-and-soul into that big project, and I wanted to essentially outsource the rest.

My plan for my next books is to self-publish, and right now that feels right. I am getting all my ducks in a row to do this, and know I’ll spend time getting my ISBN number, working with designers and editors, the printer, etc.  But it’s a challenge I think I want to undertake right now :)  We’ll see if that changes, like it did last time.

Here’s a high level overview on self-publishing:

  1. Write the manuscript.
  2. Have it edited (copy editing)
  3. Have it prepared for the printer (layout editing)
  4. Have all book cover stuff ready and designed (including ISBN, UPC bar code, inclusion of testimonials and foreword, etc.)
  5. Send order to printer (assuming you’ve gotten bids and picked one)

Now, you have at least 100 books in your “inventory.”  Good luck with that.  What you do with those is for another blog post :)

Second question: Why is this better than attempting to get one’s book published by a well know publisher?

I’ll never forget when a Dan from Wiley, a major publisher, reached out to me to pitch me on a book proposal.  It was very exciting at first, but after a while the whole thing fell apart. He reached out to me, and then they rejected the idea, after I put hours into the proposal.

Some of those hours were at the hospital while my wife was in early stages of labor.  Yep, I wasted my freaking special time on a stupid book proposal because “we’re meeting in the morning and I really want to take this to my team.”

I got sucked into that.

It would have been worth a $15,000 advance, and some nice royalties if the book sold well.

But HIS idea was rejected by his peers, after I did a lot of legwork for it.

Our final conversation was not very cordial, to say the least, and he’s tainted the way I look at Wiley, or other big publishers.

What do you get from a big publisher?  Lots of expectations.  They expect YOU to market it. Completely.  No matter what they say, if you don’t market it, you lose, period.

I remember Dan saying “but if you publish with us, you could then say you have a Wiley book!”

Big flippin’ deal.

Can you tell I’m still miffed about it?

The last straw was when he suggested I buy 2,000 copies in advance.  I’m no math genious but isn’t that about $40,000, out of pocket, just so I can say I have a Wiley book?


I’d rather self-publish. It might cost me about $2,000 out of pocket, and some time, but I got time, and I got $2k, especially if it means I don’t have to deal with a book factory that only cares about their bottom line.

I want to do it on my own terms.

I want to keep certain things in the final manuscript (I’ve heard from other authors that their editors took stuff out).

I want to make more than 25 cents per book sale (I’ve heard from authors that they might get “a few bucks,” but I know one who gets 25 cents per sale. You have to sell a LOT of books to make any money that way.)

I want to do it on my own schedule.  Timelines are good, but book writing isn’t the only thing I do for a living… and if they are riding me on a deadline I’m not sure that will be good for me.

I have friends who write books for big authors, and I think they love it.

I am simply choosing to do it on my own for now.

Will I ever do a big publisher?  Sure, if I get a sweet deal, a la GaryVee (supposedly got a $1M book deal to write 10 books). Why?  Because he has an audience (aka, platform).  He has almost 1M people following him on Twitter.

Do you have a platform?  If you do, you can take the money upfront (like he did), or you can self publish (like Seth Godin chose to do (MUST READ)), and make it on the back (and maybe make more, if you are good at hawking your books).

So we go back to the question: what is the purpose of your book?

Then, will a publisher help you accomplish that goal, or is the work really still in your lap?



Book: I Want To Work In An Association – Now What??? (Nonprofit Jobs)

September 20th, 2011

Another “Now What???” book rolled off the press: I Want To Work In An Association – Now What???, by Charlotte Weeks.

I met Charlotte at a career conference a few years ago and we immediately connected.  Her enthusiasm for the career space was contagious.  She later became the president of the National Resume Writers Association, which is a two year volunteer term.

Charlotte Weeks lives in Chicago, which is a hotbed for associations.  In my uneducated mind, this includes nonprofits, societies, etc.

As I travel the country and speak to professionals and executives in transition, I hear many people who are interested in the nonprofit space.  Many are interested because they want to have a “more meaningful” job, regardless of the money.

From what I hear, though, nonprofits can pay pretty good!

If you are interested in this space, get Charlotte’s book digitally for 9.99 or 11.95, or a physical copy for 16.96.  Click here for the options.

Great job Charlotte – I know it’s a huge task to get a book out, and YOU DID IT! :)

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Are People Talking About You?

September 19th, 2011

Last week I was talking with a friend who is going through a divorce.

I asked her “do you feel like you constantly have to defend yourself?”

She said “every minute.

In a divorce, it seems like friends and family choose sides… which means they have to evaluate which of the two is “right,” or “more right.”

That means there is one side that is “more wrong.”

And both husband and wife feel like they are continually judged as “more wrong,” and “if they only would have” then they wouldn’t be in this mess.

I see the same thing with job seekers.

Especially at the beginning, we are continually trying to defend ourselves.

It could be jaded: My boss was a jerk.  The company was so messed up.

It could be respectful: My company had downsizing and I got caught in that.

Whatever it is, it usually sounds hurt and defensive.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t analyze what happened… I think it’s good to do that (but not too much).

What I’m suggesting is that you realize that not everyone is judging you, and guessing that if you only did this more, or that more, or only if you were a better employee, then you wouldn’t have gotten laid off.

One of the best things I got out of going to network meetings was sitting by some amazingly accomplished professionals, and realizing that this unemployment thing affects so many people, even the great, hard-working, totally qualified people.

At first I thought I was a great, hard-working, totally qualified person.

As time went on, and I struggled to defend myself from the bad thoughts I had, I started to think I was a scrub, and perhaps I was laid off because I sucked.

When I saw those people, though, I realized it was bigger than that.  It didn’t matter how great a job I did – it affects everyone.

And then, I felt like I didn’t have to defend myself as much.  Over time, I felt like I had to do it less and less, until it almost became something to be proud of.

Yes, I got laid off.  So have millions of others.  It’s not about us, it’s about other things, outside my control.

I was finally able to put on a brave badge of courage, that of being laid off and SURVIVING.

Change happens.  Don’t internalize and blame yourself for something that was out of your control.

Survive through it, and be proud of how you survive.


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