• Cool Corporate dot COM takes a look at the business world from the perspective of a young manager in the making. It offers posts, articles, and news clippings that cater to that young manager, but without being overly basic, so that it is still relevant to the seasoned business professional.
  • The Jazzy Cool One (aka, some guy named J.C. Payne), is a news producer with a news/talk radio station by day, and a passionate cheerleader for business and free enterprise the rest of the time.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cool Corporate dot Com is dying...

Cool Corporate dot Com is dying...

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Firemen & Vacation Days

One of early members of child was wanting to be President of the United States. Then, I wanted to be President of NBC. Then a DJ. Then a center for the Atlanta Hawks. Somewhere along the way I ended up going to college to be study to be an engineer, and ended up being an Air Force Acquisitions Officer, to give it all up to become a DJ.

Never once did the thought of becoming a fireman cross my mind. But that is main role with my company, despite every effort I take to make it otherwise. This becomes more apparent every time I take a true day off like I did Tuesday...then came back to mass insanity of half-projects yesterday...which lead to me working about 6 hours (so far) on work related project on this supposed day off...and will drive probably drive me insane as I am slated to take off every Tuesday and Thursday in the month of December to burn my vacation days.

Because the real reason I hate taking the day off and being to myself: I can effectively schedule a productive day for myself. I can also be flexible enough for interruptions and emergencies. In fact, I found I could make a list of things to do for the day, and then could chose to blow off every activity on the entire list, and would have found some way to accomplish something.

At work, I often begin with a long list of things to get done, and find myself quickly confronted with various ‘emergencies’ that take me away from my list that after completion didn’t pan out to be exactly emergencies. And I always end the day by leaving work late, and always leaving work frustrated from not making any actual progress in the job.

Unfortunately, I can not change my fate at work (oh, have I tried...) at this moment, and as I choose to continue showing up every morning, I am stuck with the weary and tireless (yes, I know they mean the same thing) life of a fireman, keeping a corporation from coming down on itself.

But for you, I offer some advice. If you find yourself stressed out at work by maximum effort but minimum, if any, progress, steal a moment to yourself and think about what your workday might be missing:

A Routine: the act of following a ritualistic daily routine will help you easily gage your progress in your daily tasks...unless you routinely never get anything done.

Proper Focus: the ability to focus on a single goal as you move toward it, or even focus on a single task as you try to finish it, will do wonders for your sanity and productivity.

A Score Card: I might not have mastered getting anything checked off my daily master list, but I still attempt it. Your to do list becomes your roadmap to success, or at least a way to gauge when you have finished something.

A System To Keep People Away: If you don’t plan out what you are going to do with your time, someone else will easily fill that time up for you. But if you have bosses that respect what you do for you company and themselves personally, they will find ways to divert some of the problem children and their problem projects far enough away from their office aces (you are an office ace, right?) to minimize distractions. If the boss can’t help, partner up with a co-worker to work a little misdirection for each other. And if you are lucky enough to be a supervisor, make sure you take good care of that assistant who is able to say “no” in just the right manner to get the point across.

MeritAid.com - $11 Billion in Scholarships

MeritAid.com - $11 Billion in Scholarships

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Job Motivations Must Be More Than A Paycheck

Even with the news of more and more layoffs, you CAN NOT lesson your professional goals.

If you are showing up for work with the sole purpose of trying not to get fired, you are selling yourself and your company short.

I work for a company that isn’t doing so well at the moment, but our mission is pretty clear, at least locally. Come to work today, learn a little more, innovate a little bit, keep kicking the competition’s ass, and chances are we’ll get to do the same thing tomorrow.

It IS NOT show up, lay low, and take home a check at the end of the week.

My personal goals are insanely high. That in itself is a personal problem with failure at times to reach expectations...

…but if my only expectation was to show up, lay low, and take home a check at the end of the week, what kind of existence is that? It’s not worth my time, and probably not worth the money my company or personal clients pay me. And they currently aren’t paying that much

I have recently finished the book Fire Your Boss by Stephen M. Pollan and Mark Levine, where the authors pretty much smack you in the face with the notion that your job is your job because they pay you, and you have every right to leave a job if someone offers to pay you more. But what’s going to motivate anyone to pay you more…or let you stay and keep your current paycheck. Marginal effort or massive effort?

The Fruit Company

The Fruit Company

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Keep A 'What Worked Journal'

This is a trick I learned from a farmer friend of mine. This person has learned to log everything--and I mean just about everything--attached to growing his crops. He says it’s a lot easier to do today than it was twenty years ago, with computers able to automatically record things as minute as soil temperature and weather condition from his tractor, but the result is the same as if he were taking a pencil to his ledger in the 80’s.

Because he records just about everything, the farmer ends up with an incredible amount of data. Much more that the farmer would seem to need for the normal season. Until he finds himself facing a problem with a growing crop.

Once the farmer stops getting a decent yield from a crop, he goes back to his logs and studies the data. Piece by piece, line by line, step by step. If there is anyway possible to correlate one factor that is not being done that could be the difference in his current yield, this farmer will find it. Just about any good farmer would find it, because they have plenty of examples and information to test to make sure you were doing it right in the first place.

From this example, I’ve come up with the suggestion of a different kind of journaling. I have brought up the power of a journal many times before, and often steal a phrase from Tony Robbins, ’any life worth living is worth writing down.' This time, I am proposing a mostly 'work' journal that will take a good bit of effort, but can save you time in long run in back research, and may prove to be the perfect tool to save you from a CYA situation.

This ‘What Worked Journal’ is simple in concept, but is a bit labor intensive. It requires writing down JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING that is relevant about a project as it happened and notating whether it actually succeeded or failed.

And then you let it sit for a while. You add a little more for you next project, and then it sits. New project, new inputs, then more sitting.

The usefulness of the What Worked Journal is the ability to go back to that place in time when you were working on a similar project, and compared what you are doing now to what you did then. If your current project is on a path heading for obvious failure, open up the journal and look back to the past, and see if you can find some step you missed that could have been the critical key to actual progress. If things going a little too well for you comfort, turn back to your similar projects that did end in failure, follow the road map backward, and find a way to not do it again.

Anthony Robbins. Personal Power II

Anthony Robbins: Personal Power II

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Three Reasons Why Your Customer is Your Best Advertisement

Written By Scott Oliver

While you might already know that your customer is always right 'and make steps to ensure that they know this too' did you realize that your customer can also be your best advertisement? It's easy to forget that customers interact with our businesses more personally than we ever will. And while we think we know our business inside and out, it's actually the customer that sees whether or not our business is doing the job it says it can do. Here are three reasons why your customer is your best advertisement ' and why you need to make sure they're always satisfied.

They Will Share Their Good Experiences

Nearly everyone has a story about a good customer service experience they've had with a business. Whether there was a problem that got quickly addressed or perhaps the business simply went above and beyond what was expected, nearly everyone has had one moment in which they wanted to sing the praises of their business transaction. So, if you had this experience, you told people and then they went to the business you did and then they told others of their experiences, etc. When something good happens, people are going to talk about it, letting you get more positive advertising than you could ever get on your own.

But at the same time, you need to remember that if there is a bad experience; customers are more than likely going to share that too. When things go wrong and you don't take the time to fix them, you are going to start a conversation between your customer and their friends ' one that ends up in you getting less business. Each experience that your customer has with your website or with your business should be as positive as possible. While you don't have to go out of your way each and every time, it's better to be more than they need than to be less than they deserve.

They are More Believable Than You Are

So, what makes these customer experiences so important to your advertising? Customers who talk to their friends and to their family are more believable than you will be. This isn't to say that you're not trustworthy, but people tend to believe things they hear from their friends more than they will trust things that come from a business that wants to make money.

Again, this is why treating the customer well is so important. Because whatever they share with their friends is going to be taken as the absolute truth, you aren't going to get a second chance to change their minds.

They Can Give Testimonials

When a customer does have a good experience with you, you might want to talk to them about writing a testimonial. This is simply a summary of the compliments they have about your business that can be posted on your marketing literature or on your website. In exchange, you might want to offer them a discount on future purchases, but many people will simply be excited to see their name and their picture on your business site. These testimonials should be verbatim of what your customer says, along with a release that says you can use the statement for your business. If you receive a testimonial that isn't written as well as you might like, as the customer if you can edit it and then show them the changes you made. If they agree to the final copy, then you have another marketing tool at your disposal.

Your customers are the best advertisements for your business and you need to make sure they are advertising well.

About the Author:

Scott Oliver offers free video coaching to help you build a profitable home business FAST. Get an hour of "Website Traffic Secrets" and "Minisite Creation Tactics" for FREE -- immediate access here: http://www.InstantWebsiteBusiness.com


Monday, October 20, 2008

Economic Downturns The Perfect Time For One Of Those Leaps Of Faith

Sure the economy is bad, but is that just an opportunity to get into business at bargain basement prices? That statement might be an exaggeration, but Paul Graham does have a great post on Why to Start a Startup in a Bad Economy.

Logo Design Guru

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Every Job Isn't Worth It

Do you take the time to evaluate just what you might be getting into when you accept a new project? You might want to check out this post from BusinessPundit.com on the 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Accepting New Work. It might save your sanity and a good relationship.

Advertising Jobs Central - 100+ Jobs Daily

Advertising Jobs Central

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