Multiple Revenue Streams and YOU

September 30th, 2016

A few days ago I wrote Job Creation in America. A comment I got from someone who apparently runs Bangladesh Government Job Circulars (a website) said (his comments in bold, my reactions not in bold):

Well yeah i totally agree with you that i am the one who is in charge of my lifestyle and income i generate

I’m glad we agree :)


Ah, the buzz killer…

when most of the people realize that they already invested their time and money in getting degree or in education sector after that all they left is just a good result in academic

I hope that going to school, investing time and money in, is something you proactively realize you are doing before you do it, and not just have this epiphany after you have done it.  And, you should probably figure out if the goal of your very expensive academic career is to “result in good academic” (or, be smarter, wiser, get a good education, etc.), or to prepare you to have a more upwardly mobile career (or, make you more marketable). In my opinion, these are two very different goals, and would require very different paths while in school.

so we all tend to get a job because which is most risk free

I would argue that neither is risk free, but getting a job is the next socially acceptable step on your career path.  But I run JibberJobber, and meet lots of people who have found risk in their jobs (and are now looking for other jobs).

and starting business need money which most of us don’t have

Some businesses require no money to start.  Others find ways to finance their business, even if they don’t have any (through sales, investors, ramen noodles, etc.).

Look, I’m not telling you that you have to be an entrepreneur, and be poor for the next 15 years of your life. Nor am I saying that starting your own business is all roses. I’m talking about creating multiple revenue streams, strategically, purposefully, and proactively.  That could mean you have multiple jobs (each of which would be their own revenue stream).  Or it could mean you consult, which has virtually no-cost to startup.

One reason I pound on the entrepreneur drum so much is that if you do things well, and have a fair amount of luck, the upside is pretty awesome. Generally, you won’t be laid off from your own business. Generally, your income is not capped by a percentage increase, like various jobs I have had. Or, your raises aren’t dictated by the whims of a boss. You’ll have more control over what kinds of people you work with.  There are other benefits, but yeah, it’s not all fun and games and cashing checks.  It’s HARD.  It’s WORK. You might even cry.  If you are married, your spouse will likely cry.

Let me share one of the reasons I started JibberJobber: I wanted to create a revenue stream of $100 a month. Then, when I got my next job, if I got laid off again, my employer would not be able to take away 100% of my income. I hated giving that power to anyone.  But if I could just make $100 a month, then no matter what, that was my $100!

Pros and Cons… but I don’t need to hear your buts. If you have buts, you probably aren’t ready :)

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When Job Search Is Not Job Search

September 29th, 2016

An analogy:

Yesterday one of my kids was “sweeping.” That was her assignment. It looked more like she was using the broom to lasso dust that was too far away… jabbing and jerking, but definitely not sweeping.

After she was “done,” my wife commented to me that it looked like she hadn’t even swept. Except that she spent a solid 15 minutes in that area, sweeping.

The act of sweeping – the mechanics of moving your arms a certain way while holding a broom – does not equal the job of sweeping – having swept an area to the point where there is no dirt or dust.

This reminds me of my job search.  I was in the act of a job search, doing “things” that job seekers should do. But my heart wasn’t in in, and I was really just superficially going through the mechanics of a job search. I did not really do “a job search.”

What that led to was frustration and depression.  What frustration and depression led to was no results in my job search, and further frustration and depression.

Why was my job search mostly heartlessly mechanical?

Perhaps because I got to the point where I thought I wouldn’t really get a real job.

Or because I didn’t think I was good enough, or deserved, a real job.

Or, like many of you that I’ve talked to, you are not excited about getting a job that you’ll only have for a few years, only to do this all over again.

That, I think, was the root problem: I wasn’t excited about the results, or I didn’t believe in the results.

Is that the case for you?

Let me encourage you to ask, honestly, if you are doing a real job search, or a mechanical, fake job search.  If yours is not real, then WHY?  What is the root issue, and what can change, so that you can do more than just go through the motions?

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Job Creation In America

September 27th, 2016

Well, the debates were about what I expected.  It will be interesting to see how the two change in the next two debates.

What’s more interesting is seeing people on Facebook who have been friends with respect towards one another practically go at each other’s throats.  Here’s a post I write back in August that is relevant today: Facebook + Politics + Personal Branding

The first topic was about jobs in the U.S. Keeping jobs here, adding new jobs, etc. There is an inherent idea that adding (or keeping) a job will give people a lifestyle career.  In other words, when a presidential candidate says something like “I’ll create 10,000 jobs,” what my brain hears is “10,000 jobs that will be enough to cover all my bills, so I don’t have to get another job. And I’ll like it, and it will have at least average benefits.”

But, all jobs are not the same.

Is an entry-level level job at a fast food restaurant going to provide the same quality of life as, say, a marketing manager making $80,000 with great benefits?


The difference between those two is grand. Supposedly, one worker will be healthier than the other.  One will generally not have to worry about being sick and missing too much pay (because of sick leave policies), or finding second or third job to make ends meet.

I’m not saying that entry level jobs aren’t good. They are good. What I’m saying is that even if we have 10k (or whatever the number is) new jobs doesn’t mean that we’ll have 10k career opportunities that will be personally or financially rewarding.

I got laid off from my career job 3,910 days ago, on Friday the 13th, in January of 2006. What I’ve learned since then is that if you want to have a lifestyle income, you and only you are in charge of your income, careers, and jobs. I started my own business, and figured out multiple revenue streams. I have seen friends and JibberJobber users bounce between jobs, not because they want to but because companies have let them go, or companies have been shut down.

In the 1900’s there was an idea that you took care of your job, and your company, and your boss and your company would take care of you.  Until you retired. And then you’d get retirement benefits, many times including pension and healthcare until you died.

Now, it seems uncommon to stay at one company for more than three years.

Here’s the main thing: don’t wait for the government to create your job. Don’t wait for anyone or anything to create your job.  Think about your income more than your job, or your title. Think about multiple streams of income. How can you create, supplement, and achieve your financial goals?

Find opportunities, create value, and be independent of what this party says, or that person does… let your “job security” be in your own hands.


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Simplify Your Job Search By Simplifying Your Message

September 26th, 2016

A while back I found a UX designer that helped JibberJobber get cleaned up and become more intuitive.  In our early conversations he said that he would probably end up taking out more stuff (links, icons, words, etc.) and not add much new stuff.

In a later conversation we were talking about a certain page, and he said that on that page there were too many choices the user had to make. Each form to fill out is a choice, and there were too many fields on the form.

Right now I’m spending time with my developers cleaning up and making more intuitive (= easier to use) a certain page in JibberJobber. It’s the page where you add a new Contact.  Right now it’s a big old form, with all the fields you could possible want to add.  What we are doing is, instead of adding more descriptions and “do this next” suggestions, we’re taking things away.

Don’t worry, you’ll still have all the functionality and options you have had, but at first glance, we are only leaving up the most important, most relevant things…. with the option to add/open the other fields.

This process is making me think about how we, as professionals, humans and job seekers, present ourselves.

When I was in my job search I wanted to put everything on my resume, and mention pretty much everything I could in my interviews. I wanted to communicate the awesome breadth and depth of who I was, so you could clearly see that I was the best person for you to hire.

In all of this over communication, I was burying the most compelling reasons for companies to hire me.  Burying means it was hard for the listener to pick out the information they should have easily figured out… but instead, it was like I was playing a game of hide and seek with my information. It was a lose-lose scenario.

Are you doing the same thing?  When someone asks you a question, are you giving them too much information?  Like this?

Interviewer: “Why do you think you would be the best person for this Quality Assurance job?”

You: “Because I’m really good at quality assurance, since I’ve been doing it for fifteen years.  And, I like to breed snakes. Snakes are very particular animals, and to successfully mate them you really have to know what you are doing… it’s not just anyone who is good at getting two snakes to mate. I make sure the mood is right, the humidity is just right, and even put on some romantic jungle music.  I also like to restore old cars, when my snakes aren’t mating.”

Okay, what the heck just happened here?  If you are a job seeker you’re shaking your head saying “oh my gosh, what a complete idiot! I would NEVER do that!”  But if you have interviewed a lot of people, you are probably thinking “I’ve got a story that’s worse than that!”

My point isn’t to dissuade you from talking about mating snakes (although, really, don’t talk about that unless it is a job about mating snakes!)… my point is to listen to yourself and how you are responding.  What is the question, and are you answering it?  After you answer it, are you adding more information that is just confusing, misleading, or distracting?

This concept applies to all of your communications: interviews, informational interviews, networking, written (resume, LinkedIn, etc.).

What can you do to stay on task, and keep from distracting your audience?





How To: Delete multiple records that you had imported

September 23rd, 2016

If you have imported a csv (or other) file to JibberJobber with a bunch of records, you can easily delete all of the records in just a few clicks if you need to start over.  If you want to delete multiple records, but not necessarily from one imported batch, check out this blog post: How To Delete All Of Your Contacts

Step 1: Mouse over Tools, and click My Imports.


Step 2: Find the import that you did.

Remember, when you import a file, you can actually name the import.  Otherwise, the default name will be a bunch of numbers… look closely and you’ll see that the numbers are the date you did the import.  Just click the delete icon to the right of that file to delete all of those imported records.


You can also click multiple checkboxes on the left, and delete multiple imports at the same time.

NOTE: if you delete your import, we cannot roll this back.  Once you delete them, they are gone… so make sure you really want to delete before you finalize the deletion!

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How To: Avoid Duplicate Entry in JibberJobber

September 22nd, 2016

Recently a user said, about JibberJobber (or really, any CRM): “it just takes too much time – I can barely remember to copy JibberJobber…”

In other words, the user is saying he doesn’t like to put infomraiton somewhere, and then have to remember going into JibberJobber and putting it in there, too.  In the CRM world this is called “duplicate entry,” and it really is a pain.

That is why we created the Email2Log function, which is part of the premium features.  Here are two scenarios:

Yucky Scenario

Okay, this isn’t totally yucky… but it is the way that requires more work, and more thinking.  It’s the same thing you would do with any system… a spreadsheet, a CRM, a spiral notebook.

You send someone an email saying “nice to meet you, can we meet for lunch on Friday?”  After you send the email, you go into JibberJobber and see if the person has a Contact record. If they don’t, you add it, and then you add a Log Entry to that Contact record.

This is “no big deal,” except for the fact that it takes more work (it is duplicate entry, since you put info in your email, and then put info into JibberJobber).  Sometimes you’ll do the JibberJobber entry when you have time, which for me means never.  It’s just mental clutter that nags at you. Who needs that?

This way works, but there is another way…

Delightful Scenario

You send someone an email saying “nice to meet you, can we meet for lunch on Friday?”  This person is not in JibberJobber, but don’t worry… you don’t even have to open JibberJobber to add the information you want to add.

In your email to that person, simply put your Email2Log email address so that when you send the email to your new contact, it also goes to JibberJobber… where we parse your email and (a) create a new Contact record (if we can’t match the recipient to an existing contact), and (b) take the email and make it into a Log Entry on that record.

Better yet, if you have multiple recipients, it does the same for each one (if the recipient correlates to a Contact record, then put the Log Entry on the existing Contact record… and do not create a duplicate Contact record, OR, if there is no Contact record, then create a new one). If you have 20 recipients on an email, it will do all of this, automatically, for you!

Better yet, you can create Job records and Company records, and even Follow-up (or, Action Item) reminders, all from your email.

This is very powerful, and helps you focus on doing a job search, and not populating a database.

Here’s the Email2Log getting started tutorial:

Here’s the Email2Log advanced tutorial:

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I Started My Business Ten Years Ago

September 21st, 2016

And I’ve learned a bunch of things. Here’s a post I wrote on LinkedIn that shares a bit of the story and learnings: I Started My Business Ten Years Ago.

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I’ve Got Some ‘Splaining To Do

September 19th, 2016

My last post was on the 6th.  Not too good for a guy who has said he has “blogged every day” since we launched.

Where have I been the last 13 days?

Well, we (my wife and I) decided to move.  Sell our house and move to another house.  There is a bit of crazy, a bit of urgency, and surprisingly, a whole lot of peace. We’re actually moving in with my in-laws, who are also selling their house.  This year they have needed a bit more care than they have before, which means my wife has been with them and I haven’t worked as much as I would have liked.  Living together will change that, and I’ll be able to focus more on work.

I know that living with family is unconventional, but hey… I’m an entrepreneur. Since when do we do things the conventional way?

Anyway, since we decided to put our house on the market now instead of “maybe next July,” I’ve been working from about 6am to 11pm getting the house ready for people to look at it. This mean finishing the finish work (doors/baseboard, etc.) in the basement, putting in carpet in the basement, painting 5 (kind of 6) rooms, and attacking about 100 small to medium jobs around the house.  It also meant getting boxes and packing tape an filling my garage with boxes filled with stuff we normally use in our daily lives so that my house is more appealing to people who walk through. All of this is stuff our realtor encouraged us to do.  Show more floor and more wall space. That means pack, dejunk, patch and paint holes… and then the house will appeal to others.

This very quick decision and weeks of work was not something I was planning on. But it consumed me. Luckily I have a team that has carried the ball for JibberJobber… all projects we’re working on have continued to make progress.  We have enough systems in place where the progress of the company doesn’t depend on my being here every minute, which is nice.

So… there’s my ‘splaining. If you have reached out to me and have not gotten a response, now you know why.

More importantly, let me draw this back to you. When you got laid off, where you planning for it? Had you prepared for it? We took 12 years of living in this house, and raising a family (which means beating up the house a bit), and tried to fix all of that in 2 weeks. That was what I did with my career…. I took years and years of work in my career, or, better said, neglecting my career management, and tried to fix what I had neglected in just a few weeks of my job search.

I didn’t know what I was doing, I decided to do it alone, and I failed miserably. To the point of depression. I worked about 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, but instead of working on the right things, the right way, I spun my wheels mostly looking for jobs on job boards, and applying online. What a misuse of my time.

When we decided to put our house on the market, we got a realtor, and he recommended a handyman to help with our huge list. The handyman even did things that I could have tried my hand at… but to have him work on his list while I worked on my list was awesome. Not only did we get more done, I didn’t have to learn the what and how that he had learned over many years. A job that took me two hours to do was something he was able to do in literally two minutes.

The correlation here is that the realtor is like a coach, who has been down this path before, and knows what I should do and how I should do it.  The coach is also the handyman, or knows who the right handymen are, and can get me the help I need (or can outsource) so that I can focus on the things that only I could or should do.  Like, figure out what exactly to pack, and what I need to leave unpacked.

I tried a DIY job search with me and my spreadsheet. It was a long, depressing mess.  If finding a job… even The Job,  is your goal, you really should get the right help, which will allow you to focus on the right things while you outsource the things that you really shouldn’t spend time on.

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JibberJobber Downtime: Why, and What Now?

September 6th, 2016

The last few weeks have been really exciting on the development side of JibberJobber.  One of my developers is rolling out a major enhancement to the job postings which should add considerable value to each user.  Another developer is working on a very cool enhancement to the video library which, of course, should add considerable value to each user. Another developer is fixing and tweaking little things here and there to make JibberJobber more intuitive, flow better, etc.  Why? To add considerable value to each user, of course!

While they are working hard, and our users are working hard on their job search, we’ve had some unplanned and unfortunate downtime that has been beyond frustrating.  Let me share with you what happens, and the why of the last few weeks, and what we are going to do about it.

When JibberJobber goes down at least four people, including me, QA, the developers, and the server admin team, get an email alert, immediately.  Shortly thereafter, I (and Liz) start to get emails from our users… some are very kind, some written out of sheer frustration.  Bottom line, we know it’s happening… we’re just not sure why it’s happening. But we jump in and work on figuring that out.  There have recently been three reasons why JibberJobber has gone down, which I share below. Note that we haven’t had any data breaches that we are aware of, and no user has lost any data. If there were a data issue, we’d revert to our backups, which run at least once every 24 hours.

Server software incompatibilities.  There is a certain software on our server that provides a necessary function. However, we’re pretty sure that this software, which I won’t name, has caused our server to crash multiple times over the last few years. This is kind of the worst scenario because the resolution is that you have to physically touch the server (which means, if it’s after hours, someone has to get out of bed, drive down to the server farm, and sit there and get it to reboot), and has sometimes taken hours to get back up.  We should be switched off of the software this week or next week, and have this issue behind us.  I really, really hope that this is the problem, and that the solution will give us long-term peace of mind (which we haven’t had for too long).

Bad guy users. Well, I’m not sure I would call them users. Maybe losers is a better word. These are people who get a free account, and then, as a “user,” abuse the system.  The latest, last week, which took our server down for 10 minutes (kudos to my developer who identified the problem immediately and resolved it) was posting multiple job postings per second.  It was too much activity and took the server down.  The resolution is to find things like that, and remove the ability for a user to abuse.  In this case, only allow someone to post X number of job postings every Y minutes, or something like that.  The immediate solution in this case was to terminate the user and block their IP address.

Horrible, horrible, people. The most frequent issue we’ve had lately has been hackers or spammers. They haven’t gotten JibberJobber accounts, they just set up servers from multiple places to attack our server. We have had this kind of activity coming from about 15 different countries, and have worked on blocking them when we see them… there are some automated server-side solutions that look promising, to handle this 24×7, without us looking and blocking all the time (which is exhausting, and very distracting).  We have applied one as a band-aid solution and so far it’s doing a pretty good job (although we have had some issues with regular users who were blocked). Once we get the server software incompatibilities fixed, we’ll move to a more long-term solution for this issue.

The bottom lines:

  • We are very sorry that downtime has happened,
  • We have been, and are, working on keeping JJ up, and reducing the unplanned downtime significantly,
  • We appreciate anyone who has reached out kindly and patiently, asking WHAT’S UP???
  • We understand the frustration, because we feel it too, from anyone who has reached out and said WHAT’S UP, GET JJ UP!!!

I’m hopeful that our strategy moving forward will make JibberJobber more reliable for you.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.



Funding Your Business Part II: The Benefit of Self-Funding and Sales-Funding

September 2nd, 2016

This week I wrote How much money do you need to start your new business? In the comments, Kim write that it was a liberating post that helped free her mind of the layers of reasons why she couldn’t start her own consulting business.

This morning I had another thought… kind of like a “and another thing!” that just came to me. It’s a simple concept but very, very powerful. Imagine two scenarios:

Scenario 1: Get $100,000 of funding. For whatever reason, you need a lot of money to get started. This could be for equipment, tools, clothes, staff, rent, salary, etc.

Scenario 2: Fund-as-you-go, or funding through sales. You can start today, looking for a consulting customer, and you have everything you need (your brain, a phone, an email account, and… that’s it).

Here’s the thought I had this morning: Stopping a business that you have funded, with your own money or someone else’s, is kind of hard.  Well, stopping it isn’t hard, but what do you do about the $100,000 that you borrowed?  You could sell the stuff you bought, but you might not get dollar for dollar.  What if you have a basement full of stuff (like a heat press machine for making custom designed shirts and hats and stuff), with a payment on them, or an investor that is expecting you to find customers and make sales… that is hard to end.

If you are funded through sales, then it’s easy to “stop.” You have no outbound financial obligations… you just stop working. Take a few days off. Take a few months off. Perhaps pick it up next year… no big deal.  And what’s great about this? It’s just as easy to start it up again as it is to stop it again. I’m not saying to be fickle, but when we are taking about freeing and liberating, having a business that doesn’t start out with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt is more flexible…

Pretty cool, huh?


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