If you’re a fan of social media and tech blogs, Mashable is doing some pretty aggressive hiring. They’re growing and looking to expand their roster of employees. If you are interested, you can check out a list of their open positions here. [Source: Mashable]
Archive for February, 2012
Tags: George Clooney, IPhone, Skype, SkyTeam, Star Alliance, TerraCycle, Tom Szaky, Wi-Fi
Over the past decade, I have gone from being an aggressive domestic traveler to being an aggressive global traveler, constantly visiting our various foreign locations and opening up new operations. I travel so much that I can relate to George Clooney’s character in the movie “Up In the Air.” (Last year, I traveled more than half a million miles!)
Rather than moan about having to go to an airport three times a week, I’ll share some of the tips I have picked up along the way.
By far, my most important rule — and one that too few people follow — is to pack lightly, in fact as ridiculously lightly as possible. After careful consideration, I have been able to get my baggage for any length of business trip down to one medium-sized backpack small enough to put under the seat in front of me. Not only does this free me from checking baggage (of course!), it also frees me from the overhead-compartment scramble — which can be especially important if you arrive late. If I have samples or something that I will need to support my presentation or meeting, I generally send it to my hotel ahead of time.
Here are my suggestions for getting everything into a backpack (along with a laptop):
- Take one pair of pants, one pair of shoes (black running shoes, comfort is key), one sweater (which, according to our general manager in Europe, Chris Baker, is a great way to hide an unironed shirt) and one jacket. None of these have to be packed since you just wear them.
- Take a week’s worth of T-shirts, socks and underwear. A week is all you need since every city in the world has laundry facilities. Throw in a few dress shirts.
- Other random items that I have found useful: sunglasses, international power converters, first-aid kit, gloves, hat, swimsuit, a few USB drives and toiletries.
- Hiking clothes are great because they are easy to clean, they’re classy enough to wear to most meetings, and they can work in almost any weather situation — from a Mediterranean beach to a Canadian snow storm.
Most important, of course, is to take only things that are critical and to remember that you can always buy things that you forget. Of course, this is much easier for men than for women and it also requires a certain disdain for fashion — but you’ll thank me if you can pull it off, as will your back.
A few other travel secrets that I have found useful:
- If the plane is not packed, look at the back and see if you can find an empty row. It’s a gamble, but if the plane is light you can often get the entire row. It’s one way of getting the “flat seat” comfort you’d be enjoying in business class for a fraction of the cost.
- Don’t rush getting on and off the plane. How many times does everyone jump up as the plane gets to the gate — only to wait in line for 30 minutes or more before the door actually opens.
- If you’re on the red-eye or dealing with time-zone changes, consider handling the time change on the plane versus on the ground when you need to be productive. That may mean sleeping right away or forcing yourself to stay awake – whatever the time change requires.
- I have become a fan of using Skype when traveling abroad. The program allows you to connect to various Wi-Fi hot spots without signing up and paying the typical hot-spot fee. Instead you pay a few cents per minute to Skype and you can upload and download e-mails quickly. Wireless modems are great, too. In the United States, my AT&T iPhone serves as a mobile hot spot. My Verizon-using colleagues use a Mifi, which lets up to five devices go wireless in hotels or on trains and taxis. If you require your staff to be on Skype throughout the day, you’ll be amazed at how effective you can be, connecting with people instantaneously — even when you are in remote locations.
- If you’re late to the airport and the check-in agent says that you’ve missed the 30-minute cut-off, don’t bother yelling. Instead, ask for a gate pass (the agents will usually give that to you) and if you can get to the gate within 15 minutes of take-off, the gate person will often get you on the flight. This has saved me more times than I’d like to recall. Of course, check in before you get to the airport, so that you already have your boarding pass.
- Book your tickets using Kayak and your rooms with Hotwire. You can save a lot of money if you explore the various options. Choose an airline alliance (Star Alliance, SkyTeam or One World), and try to stick with it. Ultimately, it will save you money and it sure helps to have clout with an airline when you need to request an accommodation. (Here are some other tech tips for power travelers.)
Please share any travel secrets you have.
Tom Szaky is the chief executive of TerraCycle, which is based in Trenton, N.J.
Tags: Bachelor's degree, Career, Colleges and Universities, Education, Full-time, Graduate school, Labour economics, Undergraduate education
By Maro Onokpise
The dilemma that faces most undergraduates as they finish up their degrees is the decision to pursue higher education or get their careers started. There are obvious pros and cons to each path, but ultimately the decision is up to the individual.
After I completed my undergraduate degree, I was fortunate enough to land a great job with the The Gap Company. When things didn’t work out, I tried my hand at graduate school until I could figure out exactly what it is I wanted to do.
If you find yourself in a situation where you’re debating whether to go on to grad school or jump in to the real world and find a full time job, there a few things to keep in mind as you make your decision. Keep the following in mind as you weigh your options.
Most people who favor going on to grad school typically recommend doing so right after you complete your Bachelors degree. One of the primary reasons being that you are still in “school mode”. You don’t have as many commitments and you can devote your time to your studies.
Given the fact that the economy has hit the 18-24 demographic harder than any other, the option to stay in school has become a more viable option.
The downside to continuing on to graduate school is the possibility of accumulating more student loans. In the past, we were always taught to go to school, earn your degree and you’ll have a job waiting for you. The reality is that is happening anymore. Graduates are saddle with more debt and student loans than ever before.
Full Time Career
One of the biggest pros for waiting to go back to school is that real world experiences can teach you things that you could never learn in a classroom. You have a better perspective on you can use your degree. If you graduated with the wrong degree, you can find ways to couple your experiences and your education to put you in a better situation to a get job that’s better suited for you.
Additionally, as you are beginning your career, you are making connections that you would not have made if you were still in school. These are connections that could help you down the road as you try to find job opportunities in a very competitive job market.
The further out you push going back to school, the less of a likelihood that you will ever go back. You may be well intentioned, and you may genuinely have a desire to go back to school, but life happens. You may find that you love your career so much that it becomes difficult to leave. You may have a family which could make it difficult to relocate to another city for a university that offers your desired program. You may also just be so far removed from academia that it’s just something that doesn’t appeal to you any longer.
There are certainly drawbacks and benefits to either option. I am huge proponent of higher education. However I say that with that caveat that college isn’t for everyone and graduate school is even less so. Weigh your options and do what’s best for you and your future.
Tags: Barbara Saunders, Business, Choice, Decision making, Income, Money, Self-employment, Successful (song)
by Barbara Saunders
Has your Solo Pro income been sporadic? Is it not growing as fast as it could? Are you working a lot more hours than you need to for the income you’re was generating? The choices we make most often determines what we have the most of in our lives. It also explains why so many Solo Pros are struggling to make money in their businesses. By choosing to place money low on your list of priorities – even though you say you want to make more – you subconsciously keep yourself in the feast or famine cycle. To make and keep more money, you must make it a priority – every day. That means making better choices.
Try this quick income generating exercise:
Write a list of all the things you do in a day. Estimate how much time each tasks takes. Include personal things like sleep, meal times, chatting with friends, and running errands. Now, estimate how much time you spend on email, social media, and surfing the Internet. Which activities are directly related – or resulting in – income.
Where is most of your time spent? Those are the areas you’re making a priority in your life. Here’s the point: Where you put your attention is where you’re creating your business and your life. What would happen if you gave money as much time and energy that you’re giving to the tasks you listed as your current priorities?
Shift Your Mindset to Make Money a Priority in Growing Your Business:
Money Priority Shift #1: DECIDE How Much Money You Want to Make
Don’t just say, “I want more money” or “I want to make six figures this year.” Being specific is essential to creating what you want. Choose an exact amount you want to earn and by when. Be clear about how much you truly want – not what you think you’re capable of earning. That’s a limiting belief. Beliefs impact choices and can cause you to sabotage yourself. The amount can make you nervous with excitement. That’s OK. It adds energy to the actions you choose.
Money Priority Shift #2: Give Yourself Permission to Be Successful
People have limiting beliefs because they fear success. Without money, you can’t keep help others. Some times we have a fear that if we’re successful, people that are important to us will be threatened or angry. Occasionally, others don’t like it when we change. It’s important to remember that that is their problem and we should not allow it to keep us from the success we deserve. When you’ve got a clear goal, it’s easier to let go of the false illusions and beliefs – or the limiting influence of others – that may be holding you back. Be open to the possibilities around you and allow yourself to think big.
Money Priority Shift #3: Let Go of PERFECTIONISM
Aim for “completion, not perfection”. Waiting for everything to be perfectly polished before offering them to clients is a choice you’re making to prioritize something other than your income. You need to consciously choose to stop the endless cycle of research and revision that puts you over deadline and under your financial goals.
Putting the Shift into Action
When you don’t know what actions to take daily you can feel like you’re at the mercy of money, with little control or influence over what you make. The major problem every Solo Pros faces is that they’re spending more time worrying about money than they are in taking the right actions to generate more money.
3 Key Everyday Actions to Make Money the Priority
Priority Action #1: Focus FIRST on Income-Generating Activities
We tend to want to organize things. We waste each day by cleaning out the inbox, straightening the desk, and taking care of “quick” tasks. Those activities aren’t going to produce income for you. Try starting each morning by taking action on your income generating activities. By focusing on income generating tasks early in the day, you’ll feel on track, every day.
Priority Action #2: Use Systems to Create Income
It’s important to take risks, try new ideas, and stretch yourself. Don’t do it in a random manner. For example: build your client list strategically. Create and launch your programs and products based on a formula that generates and maximizes sales. Money flows most easily through clear structures and systems. Systems streamline your work so you can spend time serving your clients and creating more income.
Priority Action #3: Abandon the “Dollars for Hours” Routine NOW
Sticking with this model will leave you burned out and unable to earn enough – let alone to break through into new income levels. It’s essential to learn how to easily and quickly add new income streams to your business by leveraging your time, serving more clients in less time and creating new opportunities. My business mentor is famous for saying, “It’s Easier To Make More Money Than It Is To Make Less.” By focusing on these 3 actions consistently, you’ll be able to expand your income – and your confidence in your own decision making ability – so you can create the kind of stability and reliable income you’d like.
Author Info: Barbara Saunders is a publication designer and has run a successful solo pro business for more than a decade. She is the Solo Pro Success Coach and the Director of the International Association of Self-Employed Communication Professionals and the Solo Pro Academy. She also hosts the Solo Pro Radio show everyday at 10am Pacific and 1pm Eastern It’s our mission to build community and help creative solo pros build and run successful businesses by providing support, innovation, tools, and strategies. Our goal is to liberate our members from the feast and famine cycle.