Carmaggedon is a reminder to all of us that we need to make the most out of the challenges in our lives. For those of you not in Los Angeles – this is a weekend where they’re going to shut down a portion of the 405 freeway. People will be effectively stranded in some areas!
But look at how JetBlue tackled this challenge head on by seeing it as an opportunity to get their brand out there:
They’re offering $4 LA area flights. And look at all this free publicity they’re getting!
Where others see challenges, you should see opportunities. And if you ever forget, just remember the weekend of Carmaggedon and Jet Blue!
I had the chance to talk with a friend over drinks this past weekend.
I asked him what he valued most. Thinking his answer would be money, friends, family, recognition, or work, I was really surprised by his answer: Time.
His reason? You can never get the time back that you lost – so that’s why you’ve got to make the most of every single day.
The more important question is – What do you do with your time?
If you’re upset about your career path, are you dedicating that time to becoming better at your job or working on your resume?
If you’re feeling like you haven’t spent enough time with the family, are you setting aside time to make plans with them?
If you’re feeling tired, are you making enough time to exercise in the gym?
Everyone gets 86,400 seconds. 1440 minutes. 24 hours.
What do you do with yours?
“I’m so good at building partnerships”
“I’m the hardest worker in my class”
“I’m definitely smart and can learn quickly”
Yada, yada, YADA…
Stop talking about yourself.
A better way to paint a picture of how great you are, is to have OTHER people tell the story for you.
Build a one pager or a website that lists out what your bosses, peers, and partners have said about your work. Use concise quotes that talk about the value and impact you’ve had on the organization.
Let THEIR words do the talking.
How many of you include a one pager of references/quotes with your resume?
Most of you don’t. And that’s why it’ll help you stand out from the crowd.
The one exception to the rule of self promotion: If, during the interview, you have to talk about your great attributes (and you inevitably will) – back it up with real life stories and examples.
Everyone loves a good story.
You walk into the doctor’s office. He doesn’t even glance at you and tosses you a box of medicine. “Here, that’s all you’ll need,” he says.
And then he walks out the door.
Would you trust his advice?
Here’s my point – in order for your to prescribe a solution, you must first diagnose the problem.
When you first interview with companies, think first of what their top goals and challenges are and THEN come up with the solution that you can offer them as a prospective employee.
Don’t create a “one size” fits all solution for all interviews – it shows you haven’t taken the time to “diagnose” them. And it shows you don’t truly understand or care to take the time to understand their business.
Diagnose before you prescribe!
Man I love a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The salty and sweet flavors just WORK in combination. There’s no denying it. Putting them together just makes sense.
I bet you’re craving one right now aren’t you?
Well, I’m not blogging about this to talk about food…I’m blogging to talk about the SYNERGY these two ingredients have…
Integrity and business have this same synergy.
When you interview with companies, when you’re discussing a contract, or when you’re diving into a marketing plan always remember to do it with integrity.
The key to building great and meaningful long term relationships is to build a platform of trust and you have to have integrity to do that. Trust and integrity go hand and hand.
Having integrity means:
1. Being honest
2. Doing the right thing
Sounds simple doesn’t it? Simple – yet so important.
Just like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…
Everyday we’re faced with decisions.
They range from the mundane (plain or argyle socks?) to the vastly important (is today the day I propose?).
Each decision you make becomes a reflection of the life you live.
Eat burgers every day and it’ll reflect in your health.
Study 100 interview questions a day and you’re that much more prepared.
Give 110% of yourself at work and you’ll see the impact you make on your teammates.
Here’s the secret – it’s never too late to make the RIGHT decision.
So – what decisions do you have to make today?
Being good isn’t good enough this day and age. Almost everyone can be “good enough” or “not bad” or “pretty good.”
If you want to be noticed, if you want people to talk about you, if you want employers to think of you first before everyone else, you’ve got to be excellent.
Think about it – when’s the last time you recommended a restaurant that was just “ok”? Or the last time you told someone about a product that was “decent”? Or the last time you raved to someone about a co-worker that did a “somewhat of a good job”
People only take notice when it’s excellent.
Pushing yourself to become excellent takes commitment. It takes will. It takes persistence. It takes discipline. It takes courage.
Each and every day is an opportunity for you to push yourself one step closer to being excellent.
“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life.” – Steve Jobs
Choose to be excellent.
Keith Ferrazzi’s “Never Eat Alone” book about networking hits home with a simple concept:
Eating is always better with friends. Yet, why are there countless professionals eating alone during lunch time? Don’t miss the opportunity to broaden your network by being one of those people.
Make a point to ALWAYS have lunch with a friend (be it a client, mentor, friend, family member). Great networks and relationships (both personal and professional) are built when you share experiences with them.
Breakfast/lunch/dinner is a great chance to do so because:
1. It gets them out of their usual environment
2. It could be a “new” shared experience together
3. Face to face meetings are almost always more impactful and meaningful than over the phone
Plus – you’ll have more fun. Eat with friends (both old and new) and watch your network grow!
Interviewing is both an art and a science.
One art that you should master is the art of story telling. It makes an interview compelling, entertaining, and riveting. People connect through stories.
Don’t believe me? Try having a conversation about only facts. Then try having a conversation about a story that starts with, “I can’t believe this just happened today…” Guess which one makes people eyes light up.
Here’s a quick experiment you can try on story telling:
Tell a story for the first time.
How did it go?
Now tell the same story again.
Was it better? (it usually is).
The moral of the story – practice. Practicing story telling in a genuine manner – over and over and over until it becomes second nature. You want the story “burned” into your head where you can deliver it on cue.
Captivate, inspire and win over your interviewer. All with the power of story telling.