Expert Author Michael R. Burns
An association's lifeblood is its membership. Without its membership, associations would cease to exist. One of the most important functions of an association is communications, both up and down the organizational structure. The national headquarters has a need to communicate to its state and local chapters and to its members, and the members need to communicate back up to the chapters and national headquarters. One of the best forms of communication is through conference calls, including audio, web and video conferencing. Over the last decade, several specialty apps have been developed using conferencing services to accomplish associations' goals, enhance the quality of communication to its membership, generate new revenues and reduce costs. Here are six specialty conferencing apps that associations can deploy now.
Administrative Meetings. Associations can utilize plain old audio conferencing to hold administrative meetings up and down the association hierarchy. The national headquarters can hold conference calls with the state and local chapters and all of the organizational levels can hold conference calls with the membership. These calls can be recorded and saved for later playback by conferees, who missed the call or by participants that just want to replay the call for specific references. One new feature with the saved recordings is that a link to the recording can be sent out to the moderator of each call in the post conference report email. When the link is clicked, the audio recording is automatically replayed, either on a desktop or mobile device. The moderator can share the email with the link to all of the conferees of the call so that anyone can listen to an instant playback of the meeting at any time. Operators from the conference service can also be utilized in these administrative conference calls to implement Question & Answer sessions and polling.
Individual Billing. Conference service providers typically send out a monthly invoice for all of the conference calls to the moderator or the accountant that pays the bills for the association. However, some of these conference calls, such as lobbying calls, can be composed of conferees that are from other associations, which can cause a problem for the moderator, who set up the conference call. This moderator would get the one invoice for the call and then would have to either pick up the cost for the entire call or divide up the costs of each other participant association and collect from each of them. This is time- consuming and a royal pain in the shorts. One new app for associations and other non-profit organizations is called individual billing. With this new app, the service provider can divide up the invoice, based upon the total minutes spent on the conference call by each organization. Then the service provider can send out the specific individual bills and collect from each organization. This completely eliminates the need for any association staff to waste their time dividing up bills, billing and collecting them.
Sub Conferencing. Sub conferencing is an operator assisted function that allows the operator to divide the main call into sub groups that can be partitioned into separate conference calls. After the sub groups have finished their specific business, they can ring the operator, who can then put them all back into the main conference call. An example would be a national association that would begin the large conference call with all of the participants from the entire United States. When the moderator of the call was ready, the operator would be summoned and then the call would be divided up into four sub groups, one subgroup for each section of the country. After the subgroups have finished conducting their regional business, then the operator would rejoin the subgroups back into one large call again. Sub conferencing is a feature or app that needs to be scheduled in advance with the service provider so that an operator will be available and knowledgeable to handle the call.
Continuing Education. Many professional associations have a requirement to provide continuing education in the profession that they represent. In addition, many of these professionals are required to take so many continuing education classes each year to meet their continued certification in the industries that they work. Initially, these classes were held in person, which required time and travel. Next, these classed started being help via conference calls. As conferencing technology developed, these classes have now moved to the Internet and are utilizing web and video conferencing. Typically, associations have to develop the curriculum content, do all of the marketing and promotion, take all of the registrations, hold the webinar,send out the invoices, collect the monies for the courses and then send out the certificates that verify the course completions. One of the new conferencing apps, developed by conference service providers, allows for the association to focus entirely on the content of the course and who will teach the class, and allow the service provider to do all of the registrations, marketing, sending out the collateral materials, conduct the webinar with professional operators supervising the class, collecting all of the monies and sending out the course certificates. At the conclusion of the webinar, the service provider would provide a billing summary to the association along with a check for the difference between the total revenue for the class minus the costs of the service provider. Every webinar should be a revenue generator for the association.
Market Research. Another app developed by service providers over the past decade is focus group interviews conducted via audio or video conferencing. In the past, focus groups were conducted in person and involved renting a facility and travel expense required to get to and from the event, both for the moderators and possibly for the research subjects. With the advent of conferencing technology, these focus groups can now be accomplished by using audio or video conferencing services, which greatly reduces facilities rental and eliminates travel expenses. These sessions can be recorded and taped for future playback by the researchers.
Affinity Programs. Affinity programs are designed to give certain associations an additional source of income. Many associations generate additional revenues by providing and selling products and services to their membership. Some conferencing providers have established affinity programs that allow the service provider to market conferencing services to the association's membership. Basically, the association gives the service provider permission to market its services to the membership and assists in promoting the services through the association's publications and communications to the membership. The service provider then develops the program materials, markets its services to the membership at a discount and then remits a monthly royalty to the association headquarters based upon the revenue generated by the program. An affinity program can provide a serious influx of new revenue to an association, providing that the membership be an appropriate user of conferencing services.
There you have them, six apps that have been developed for associations to assist them in accomplishing their objectives, generate new revenues and cut their costs.
Expert Author Michael R. Burns
The goal of most religious organizations is to provide spiritual and family guidance to its members. In support of this goal, these organizations are sustained through contributions from its members. Religious organizations can now look to new technologies to assist them in accomplishing both goals. One of these technologies is audio conferencing. Here are five new apps using audio conferencing that can provide spiritual and family guidance to the organization's membership, in addition to increasing new contributions to their coffers.
Administrative Calls. Religious organizations are composed of a formal structure of hierarchical levels within the denomination, starting from the local church or parish, continuing up to the state, regional of diocesan level and then up to the national headquarters and ultimately to the world headquarters or the Vatican, as in the Roman Catholic religion. Each religious denomination has constant communication needs up and down their respective hierarchies. Audio conferencing can be used to provide instant meetings without having to travel, saving both time and money.
Dial A Sermon. One of the most popular apps for audio conferencing is the Dial A Sermon application. Local churches and parishes would like to have their sermons heard by as many members and guests as possible. At any one time, there are several members that are homebound, ill or out of town and cannot make it into church. Consequently, these members cannot hear the sermon. With voice conferencing, the pulpit microphone can be attached to a phone line and the conference bridge can be dialed up, enabling the pastor to give the sermon over the bridge, in addition to the members, who are present in church. Now the homebound and out of town members can dial into the bridge using their home or mobile phone and listen to the entire worship service. Each sermon or worship service can be recorded and stored for later playback by members, who were unable to listen to the service live.
Prayer Line. Another popular conferencing app for religious organizations is the Prayer Line. With this app, a scheduled date and time (usually in the evening) is published for prayer service using the conference bridge. The Prayer Line schedule is then published in all of the church's written and online publications. A dial in telephone number with a pass code is published with directions for the members to dial in at a specific date and time to pray along with a pastor or priest for each occasion. The pastor or priest would lead the participating members in the prayer session, which usually lasts an hour.
Fund Raising Appeals. Teleconferencing can also be used to raise contributions from the membership. Whether a church is raising money for a parishioner's family member, who is in crisis, missionary work overseas or a capital campaign for a building addition, conference calls can be utilized to get the appeal out to many members at one time. An operator from the conference service provider can be used to hold a Q&A session with the members on the call to answer all of their questions and concerns. The appeal call also can be recorded and played back later by members, who missed the original call.
Affinity Programs. Affinity programs can be developed to promote the use of conference calling services throughout the religious organization in order to drive down the conferencing costs by increasing the volume of minutes. With conferencing services, the more you use, the less expensive your costs are. Therefore, in negotiating your pricing with a conference service provider, inquire about affinity programs and what discounts are available through increased volume.
There you have them, the five conferencing apps that religious organizations can utilize to get the message out to the membership and to raise additional funds for special projects.
Expert Author Michael R. Burns
The lifeblood of multi-level marketing organizations (MLM's) is its downline or membership. It is a constant activity to recruit, train and motivate the downline in order to sell product and build the organization. Many MLM's have found that utilizing conference calling to accomplish these objectives has produced extremely vibrant results. Therefore, here are five applications that use teleconferencing to build your MLM and make it a successful and thriving venture.
Recruiting - Conference calls can and should be used to recruit new downline. These calls should be the responsibility of the existing downline so that they can continue to build their own downline. Each member should take out their own twenty party conference account. They should schedule thirty minute conference calls in the evenings from 6-9 PM in as many days as they can get potential members to attend.
A typical call would work like this: The moderator or current member would host the call and invite at least ten potential members to the call. To get ten attendees, you might have to invite thirty potential prospects. You can get prospects through email, online and personal marketing. You have all of the parties dial your conference telephone number and input their pass code. After everyone is connected, the moderator would begin the call. The first part of the call is dedicated to introducing the organization and the opportunity for income to the new prospects. Examples are then given of how much money has been made by existing members and how successful they are. Sometimes, testimonials are given personally by these members. The conclusion of the call is to close the new prospect on buying into the MLM with the initial purchase of a sales kit. An example of results for each conference call of one successful organization follows: Ten parties attend and listen to the call, three to four parties are interested and one to two parties purchase the $165. sales kit. This organization through this conference calling procedure recruited thousands of new downline over a two year period.
The conference call accounts would be the responsibility of each member and each member would hold their own calls and do their own marketing.
Motivational Meetings - The headquarters and the various regional heads of the MLM should hold motivational conference calls to stimulate the downline and inspire them to action. These calls are typically large 60 minute calls, from 100 to 5000 parties and they involve much hoopla and celebration. After the introductions, the inspirational success stories are personally related to the audience, followed by awards and much applause. Typically large bonus or commission checks are handed out to impress the downline. At the conclusion of the call, a challenge with incentives is made to the downline to motivate them to sell more product for the MLM.
These large calls should be attended by a conference company operator that can place the call in "listen only" mode when the hosts are talking and then place the call in "interactive" when everyone can hear the applause and excitement of the group. The operator can also mute any lines on the call that are trying to interfere or disrupt the call. The operator can do polling and perform "Q&A" sessions. The use of a conference company operator is recommended for their experience with these calls and costs only an hourly fee for the labor. Also note, for these large conferences that free services should not be used because of the contention problems. During the busy hours in the evenings when these large calls are held, the number of people using free services are so large that they busy out the conference bridges. You can't afford to have half of your conferees not being able to attend the call. You should use a flat rate, monthly service, where you pay one fee per month for all of your calls and get a reassurance that the conference provider can handle the large volume of your calls.
Sales Webinars - One of the best methods to sell the products and services of the MLM is by the downline using sales webinars. With the advent of web conferencing services over the Internet, MLM members can hold webinars with their prospects and never have to leave their home. They just need a home computer/laptop and a good Internet connection and they are in business.
With the use of web conferencing, the host can show PowerPoint slides, display websites and forms, play videos and use the whiteboard to illustrate principles and calculations. Q&A can be done with the web tool and individual chat can be used to communicate with individual conferees.
The webinar services can be purchased on a per minute basis or a prescription basis, i.e. one flat rate per month based upon the number of seats needed for your typical webinar. A conference company operator can be employed at an hour rate to run the controls of your webinar while you and your co-moderators focus on the content.
Heckler Line - The heckler line is the use of a conference company operator to monitor any or every conference call in an effort to eliminate any hecklers or persons who are trying to disrupt the calls. For a simple hourly fee, an operator can quickly identify which line is making the noise and mute that line. On large calls, it can be multiple parties generating the disturbances. The operator will quickly put an end to such distractions.
Sub Conferencing - MLM's can utilize sub conferencing within their large conference calls to break out different subgroups based upon geography, product line or organizational divisions so that they can have their own internal discussions that relate specifically to that subgroup. After the subgroups have finished their separate discussions, they can all be rejoined back into the one large call to proceed on to the next topic.
The sub conferencing feature is accomplished through a conference company operator, who would be summoned at the appropriate time by the host to initiate the division of the large call into subgroups. At the conclusion of the subgroup conferences, the host would be summoned again to restore the call back into one large group.
There you have them, five teleconferencing applications for MLM's that can help them recruit, motivate and sell products and services, leading to building an extremely successful and profitable organization.
Expert Author William A. Edwards
Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday; unless you have to do all the cooking. The culinary responsibilities are even more labor intensive, costly and complicated when your holiday feast has many mouths to feed as is often the case when everyone decides to have their holiday meal at your place. It is not just deciding on a menu that has to take into account specific dietary needs such as accommodating those who may be allergic to certain foods or lactose intolerant, you also want to WOW your guests with a memorable feast that everyone will enjoy.
Let's face it: You're stuck with the duty of preparing a huge meal for many guests. Whether that is fair or not is a matter to be discussed while planning next year's Thanksgiving holiday. For now it seems reasonable to create a meal that people will talk about in a positive way for years to come. The best way to accomplish this goal is to start by contacting those on your guest list at least a month before Thanksgiving to find out what, if any, dietary restrictions or preferences they have. This should be done by email so that you have everything in writing. Social media is also an option if that works better or faster for you.
Once you have a good idea of what can and cannot be served during your feast, wait about another week and contact your guests again. This time mention the fact that most everyone has a menu item that makes Thanksgiving special for them and ask what that item would be? It might be an appetizer, entree, side or desert item. Whatever the case encourage your guests to each bring that special item with them, prepared just the way they like it. It could be homemade or store bought. The point is that if each guest brings a special food item with them that immediately takes some of the pressure and expense off you and provides a nice sense of culinary diversity for all.
Send another email about two weeks before Thanksgiving to anyone on your guest list that you know is a good home cook. Mention that you really want your Thanksgiving feast to be special and request their help in preparing the meal. In the case of preparing a large holiday feast it is rarely true that too many cooks spoil the broth. Ask if they can come by a day before or early on Thanksgiving to help out? Mention that you would not be offended if they brought any prepared or raw food items with them that might help enhance the overall meal. There is always that one friend or relative that bought a turkey early and now has no immediate use for it. Tell them to drop it by the day before Thanksgiving. You can never have too much turkey or fresh bread for sandwiches later in the day or evening.
Take some advice from Chef Gordon Ramsey who says that turkeys should be cooked as early as possible, turned upside down once out of the oven and allowed to rest for hours. After all as he points out, most people prefer perfectly cut, moist and flavorful turkey served at room temperature, smothered with hot gravy and surrounded by warm sides to slices of poultry that has been hacked to pieces because it was cut too soon after coming out of the oven. It has been my experience that guests also like warm bread served with an assortment of flavored butters and chilled veggie dishes available as soon as guests begin arriving. It is not bad manners to serve these items on linen-style throw away plates, although glass salad plates are the norm (and also responsible for many pieces of glass scattered everywhere after people accidentally drop them on the floor).
Guests tend to ungraciously brag about their own "special" ethnic food choices, stuffing, dressing, spices for the meat, appetizers or deserts while woofing down your holiday meal. Asking guests to bring something special makes them put their time, effort and money where their mouths are while taking some of the effort and expense of creating a large and memorable holiday feast off of you. Keep a careful list of who is bringing what and which guests have agreed to come early and help prepare the meal. Always have a backup plan just in case some of your volunteers chicken (or turkey) out and decide not to come.
Send a final email, social media message or make a phone call a week before Thanksgiving to be sure everyone who has said they will come to your holiday feast is still coming. Since it is likely that most of the men coming will sit and watch sports while kids, tweens and teens will want to watch other TV programs or play video games, don't be afraid to ask your guests to bring any sort of special entertainment items with them that will make your gathering unique and fun. These could be musical instruments (if they are willing to play and perform), a complete collection of a popular TV or cable series or even magic tricks. The idea is to move your event from the mundane to the marvelous.
People are used to being entertained. It is sad to say that the art of conversation so often practiced by people over fifty years of age is simply not something that younger people enjoy. Gone are the days of telling tales about those funny holiday moments of years past, dragging out the latest photos of the kids or grandkids for all to see or playing trivia games. Adults are more likely to enjoy binge viewing a popular series that most everyone enjoys and can talk about or watching someone who is very talented (or not very talented) play a musical instrument or perform a magic act. Whatever you do for this holiday, try to make it special and encourage your guests to be more than just couch potatoes by helping you to turn your Thanksgiving feast into a festival.
Expert Author William A. Edwards
In 2015 the world of sports and entertainment lost a legend who passed away far too young. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper died of a heart attack at just 61 years of age. Born as Roderick George Toombs in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1954, Piper was a professional wrestling superstar whose "Piper's Pit" interviews were as legendary as his antics in and out of the ring. He was able to morph his career into many areas of entertainment including acting. He appeared in a number of on-screen roles and did cartoon voices, but Roddy is probably best known for playing John Nada in They Live, the John Carpenter science fiction classic that has developed a cult following over the years. Never one to remain in one persona very long Roddy began as a villain wrestler, but often crossed over to being a bit of a hero or good guy of sorts. He also performed as a comedian as late as 2014 and had an impressive following as a podcast show host.
Roddy was primarily of Scottish decent and proud of it as evidenced by the garb he wore into the ring. Although he became expertly adept at playing the Bagpipes at a young age, Piper says he cannot recall how that came about. Roddy does recall how he got his wrestling name. Early in his pro career he walked into the ring wearing a kilt and playing bagpipes. When the announcer forgot the last name he was using, he simply introduced the wrestler as "Roddy the Piper" and the name stuck. Piper's life was always filled with controversy which began when he was unceremoniously kicked out of Junior High School. He later left home as a young teen after a number of arguments with his father. His dad was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and always concerned about the family's reputation. A natural athlete who worked out regularly, Piper managed to find work in any number of gyms which gave him the cash to live in Hostels.
Roddy had a very competitive spirit and began his athletic career as an amateur wrestler, boxer and judo competitor. He eventually won the prestigious Golden Gloves Championship and received a black belt in Judo from American pro wrestler, judo expert and champion Gene LeBell. By the time Piper was just 15 years of age he was ready to turn pro and joined the American Wrestling Association where he gained a reputation as a "bad guy" wrestler. He moved on to the more affluent National Wrestling Alliance in 1975. This organization was huge at that time and produced a number of super stars which included Buddy Rogers, Killer Kowalski, Bobo Brazil, Gene Kiniski, Dory Funk, Dory Funk Jr., Harley Race, Jack Brisco, Dusty Rhodes, Great Malenko, Buddy Colt, Eddie Graham, Sting and Bobby Shane to name just a few.
In the late 1970s to 1983 Piper moved through various pro wrestling territories and went up against top stars like Ric Flair, Jack Brisco, Chavo Guerrero and many others. He was often compared to Freddie Blassie and the two actually met in Madison Square Garden when Piper was given a match in the WWF by Vince McMahon. Blassie stuffed toilet paper in Roddy's Bagpipes so that he could not play them for the crowd. In 1984 "Rowdy" Roddy Piper moved to McMahon's Worldwide Wrestling Federal and instantly became a pro wrestling super star due to all the TV coverage the WWF garnered. One would think he was at the top of his career, but this was just the beginning. Piper became so popular and adept at interview skills that he was given his own TV segment called "Piper's Pit" which became a favorite of WWF fans.
Piper was involved in all sorts of orchestrated mayhem which included feuds that involved WWF stars Captain Lou Albano, Hulk Hogan, Bruno Sammartino Greg Valentine and even Cyndi Lauper. Lauper was allegedly kicked in the head by Piper during an interview and that lead to a major row with Hulk Hogan and Lou Albano (who appeared in Lauper's "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" music video). That blew up into a major grudge match at WrestleMania. Piper also somehow managed to get into a dispute with Mr. T (from the "A Team" TV Show and the "Rocky 3" film). The two eventually settled their differences by facing off during WrestleMania II. Piper lost after being disqualified for an illegal move. Like many pro wrestling super stars, Roddy Piper was beginning to feel the pain of a few too many injuries and took a year off from the WWF. He returned in 1986 with a revenge when he discovered that his "Piper's Pit" had been replaced by a show hosted by Adrian Adonis called "The Flower Shop". Piper appeared on the show, destroyed the set and all this lead to several very popular grudge matches that WWF fans really enjoyed.
By 1989 Roddy was more popular than ever and even hosted a live "Piper's Pit" during WrestleMania V. An appearance on the show by once popular TV host Morton Downey Jr. turned into a big mess when Piper pointed a fire extinguisher at the always smoking Downey and sprayed him down. As Piper's popularity continued to grow he began co-hosting Prime Time Wrestling along side pro wrestling legend Gorilla Monsoon. After replacing Bobby Heenan as co-host for the Prime Time show, Roddy and Heenan became fast enemies. Heenan enlisted "Ravishing" Rick Rude and Brother Love to get revenge and several entertaining encounters between the four followed. Brother Love (pro wrestler Bruce Pritchard, manager of The Undertake). Love wore a while suit and had a wrestling character based on some of the more outrageous tele-evangelists of the day. Love took over the TV spot once occupied by "Piper's Pit" which angered Roddy so much that when he appeared on the show he told Brother Love that he smelled and had bad breath. Piper threw mouthwash and toothpaste in his face.
Although he began scaling back his actual pro wrestling matches, Roddy Piper managed to stay in the thick of things by getting involved in more feuds with competitors like Ted DiBiase (the Million Dollar Man), Jerry "The King" Lawler and Brett Hart. Piper was a regular at the WrestleMania events from 1989 to 1996 and even served as a celebrity referee. Roddy moved to the World Championship Wrestling organization in 1996 and joined in the much watched "Halloween Havoc" and "Starrcade" shows with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and Brett Hart. Roddy later served briefly as the WCW Commissioner. During that reign he had major disputes with Rick Flair, Sid Vicious and Scott Hall. After peaking with the declining WCW, Piper found himself back with the WWF which in 2003 became Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment. That stint included a popular match with Hulk Hogan who, even after he was attacked with a steel pipe by Roddy, won the event.
During an extremely controversial appearance on HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" Piper admitted that he had taken drugs to remain in the ring over the past twenty years of his career. He also intimated that all or most other pro wrestling stars did the same so that they could continue competing given the injuries they all sustained and pain they felt. This got Roddy fired from Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment. The TAW (Total Action Wrestling) group which included NWA stars, grabbed him up in 2003 despite all the controversy. The move quickly proved to be a good deal for both Piper and the TAW. So much so that Vince McMahon could not ignore Roddy's new found popularity and soon brought him back to the now huge and still growing Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment in 2005. During that time Piper hosted yet another "Piper's Pit" live show at WrestleMania 21. That same year he was also inducted into the Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment Wrestling Hall Of Fame. Piper often appeared on the much watched "RAW!" and "SMACKDOWN" Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment TV shows which brought his talent and craziness to the attention of a whole new generation of pro wrestling fans.
From 2003 to 2014 Piper continued to build his popularity with more "Piper's Pit" shows and various matches and feuds with Ricky Steamboat, Zac Rider, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler and many others. Roddy had a few rough patches during this time which included some injuries he sustained from an auto accident in 2005 and a diagnosis of Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2007. He recovered from the accident injuries and was said to have been in remission from the lymphoma in 2008 after receiving treatment for nearly a year. As his appearances on the major pro wrestling TV shows wained, Piper still appeared at a number of popular independent pro wrestling events like WrestleReunion joining other famous veterans like Bob Orton Jr. and Terry Funk. Popular MMA and UFC female star competitor Rhonda "Rowdy" Rousey (12 wins, 0 losses as of this writing) met Piper and told him she was a huge fan. She asked if she could use his "Rowdy" moniker and he happily gave her his blessing. She recently dedicated her match against Bethe Correia at UFC 190 to Piper after hearing about his death. She won the match in 34 seconds.
Piper's final years were spent appearing on various TV shows including "Celebrity Wife Swap" while doing voice overs for popular cartoons, making comedy club appearances and taking on a few more acting gigs along with his pro wrestling duties. He never faded from from public view and even appeared on "Celebrity Ghost Stories". During that episode he admitted having seen the ghost of his friend and fellow pro competitor Adrian Adonis in 2013. Roddy most recently lived in Portland, Oregon, with his wife Kitty. He had four children: Three daughters and a son. Piper became a Grandfather after his daughter Anastacia recently gave birth. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper passed away as a result of a heart attack on July 31, 2015. This is a common cause of death among former pro wrestling stars. After a lifetime of pushing their bodies to the limit I suppose that their hearts just eventually give out. Regardless of the cause of his death, Piper will be missed by the millions of fans who thoroughly enjoyed his skills and rowdiness in and out of the ring.

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Expert Author Loy Machedo
Desperation does not work in the Job Market. Build your network before you need it. Just as you will be offered a loan in high amounts when you do not need it - you will be offered good jobs when you do not need one. Grab one when you are at the top.
Are you a loyal employee to the company? Yes? Then you are an idiot. The only loyalty you must have - is to yourself and your brand. Remember this much - the day you are useless - you will be replaced. If you are good - you will be kept as an star employee forever.
What do you think your Boss & your Colleagues would really say about you behind your back? That is the reality the world speaks about you.
Tell me - What is your WOW Factor? Now. Right Away. Right this moment. And then elaborate on it for the next 5 minutes. If you cannot or could not do this - chances are - you are fooling everyone including yourself that you can sell yourself.
If you want to make an evolve - it will only happen if it takes place with a sense of urgency and importance. Want proof? Lets assume - your child met with an accident. What would you do? Would you give excuses? Would you say you 'do not know' what to do? Would you ask others for their opinion? Would you simply plan things out? Or would just 'get things done'? Compare the same with how you are approaching the most important goal of your life - your career, what you earn and how much you earn per month.
6. ARE YOU #1 AMONG 4000?
In the Middle East - In any given week - for a given vacancy, around 4,000 people apply for the position. Ask yourself - out of 4,000 people who are competing for the same position, package and promise - where do I stand? If you are not number 1 - then it is a game of lottery winning.
Get a new job before you get into shaky grounds with your old employer. The best time to being - is when you are at your peak in the existing job. The only other time I would recommend is - Now.
Make sure the image, updates, personal & professional information and photographs Online & on Social Media is the one you want your potential employer to notice. Also - Update your Resume & LinkedIn Profile regularly.
Make sure you read the top 10 publications of your industry, network with the top 10 clients of your industry, make friends with the top 10 experts in your industry, make sure that the top 10 decision makers have your Resume and yes, you make 10 new contacts every year related to your industry!
Learn the art of writing articles, offering suggestions & ideas on LinkedIn & its various groups. How can you become a leader if you cannot communicate your ideas both verbally and in writing?
Most people spend more time on Facebook than on LinkedIn. Guess where do Industry Professionals spend more time on? Also - ensure LinkedIn is your advertising platform through the value you offer its readers, users and viewers.
Update your professional contacts frequently. Do you know that within a span of 12 months - anything from 10% to 20% of all your contacts have either changed their jobs or are not longer available on the same contact details?
It may sound rude - but do away with people who are useless and time wasters - even if they are members of your own family. Surround yourself with only those who add value to your life. Remember this much - sometimes the ones who are the closest to us - become the reasons for our success. Or failure.
Have an A-List of contacts whom you get in touch with at least once a month. It's who you know and not what you know that would bring opportunities into your life.
Make & Network with new contacts every single month. The more 'right' people you know - the better it is for you. There are countless possibilities and probabilities. You do not know what you are missing - until you go out there!
Ensure you use keywords in LinkedIn to describe you, market you and promote you. They become the foundation on which others connect with you. What are your keywords?
Don't think you can outsmart the system with shortcuts. People assume by just re-creating their Resume at the last minute or putting in some fluffy words or just trying to squeeze in a Resume at a job opening will land them a super-high paying job. Wrong. Think again buddy!
Ensure you can grab people's attention all the while. Everyone is competing to be noticed. So in a crowded competitive room of professional- how noticeable are you? Remember - it is better to be noticed, than to be ignored!
Ensure people endorse you and recommend you. BUT here is a thumb rule! The bigger the names, the bigger the positions, the bigger the brand - the more valuable your Profile becomes. For instance - getting 3 recommendations from the CEO of 5 different multinational companies would do more wonders than getting 50 recommendations from middle line managers.
Dare to do things differently - in every possible area and avenue of your life (Dress Sense to how you use Social Media).
Get yourself a Professional Mentor & Coach. I wish someone had told me this secret when I was just 7 years old. The magic I have achieved in 6 years - imagine what more could I have done had I been practicing the amazing techniques all my life! Self-Study does help. Self-Help to a certain limit. But there is nothing in the world that can replace being guided by a Professional Mentor!
Read and Educate Yourself with the latest Industry Trends. The more you read, the more it opens your mind to what is happening around. Can't read?. Fine. You can watch YouTube videos? You can listen to MP3's instead of listening to the nonsense that plays on the Radio? Today the oppotunities to study and learn are endless. Stop giving excuses.
Practice 3 Key Skills - Self-Marketing, Self-Promotion & Self-Sell. However, keep in mind - there is a way in how you do that. It is not just about posting photographs and pictures of yourself online or being limited to smart posts and quotations that you get from the Internet. Do you know what the Gift Economy Is? Read and find out!
Communication (which includes listening as well) & Negotiation are two key skills that will help you anywhere and everywhere where connecting and making the deal is concerned.
If you go into a room filled with 60 people and you have 2 hours - do you know what has to be done? Do you know how to break the ice with strangers? Do you know how to get the information you are looking for? Do you know how to make the guy listening to you or meeting you for the first time - want to know you more? If you don't - its time to learn this skill now.
Forget it. Ideas are worthless. And if you wonder why no one else is implementing your idea -chances are - many already did it and it didn't work out. Want something better? Take an existing idea or product - and make it better. If in doubt - remember Steve Jobs, the iPod, iPad and iPhone.
Remember the quote "Stick and Stones may break my bone but words never hurt me?" Between thinking of a great idea and implementing an not so good idea - Implementation is everything. It's only when you start doing or working your idea - will you come to know what works & what doesn't. And yes, how you can improve on it.
Wrong! The Grass is always Greener on the other side. So remind yourself this when you assume that changing country or company will solve all your problems. Most probably - the biggest problem - is YOU. And yeah - just because people are doing something in large numbers - doesn't mean they are probably right. I don't want to get into any controversies here - but think of all the Atrocities committed throughout history. You will always see people committing these crimes in large numbers!
Evolution is the key. How have you evolved since the last year? Or the year before? Or the year before that?
30. BHAG!
Do you have a BHAG? (Big Hairy Audacious Goal courtesy James Collins and Jerry Porras). If not - set one up.
31. THE P'S & P'S
Keep in mind everything is a process. And every process has procedures. However, if you are smart enough - you would know where the loopholes are and how to maximize on them.
Likability is a key factor when being selected. So when you are facing unfair competition from those who are even more attractive than you - focus on this Trait! So the question is simply this - On a scale of 1 to 10 - How likeable are you?
At the Red Carpet Event, every single celebrity tries to outdo the other in some crazy way or another. It can be an amazing dress, almost naked dress, crazy dress or something as ridiculous as what Shia Labeouf did one evening on the 12th of February 2014. He sported on a paper back stating "I Am Not Famous Anymore". Uniqueness is what would help you get noticed. Although I wouldn't recommend you to follow what Mr. Shia Labeouf did, I would recommend you stand out always. So - Do you stand out from the rest of the crowd?
Personal branding is what would help you position yourself. Are you a Brand? Do you know how to make yourself one? In fact, do you even know what is a Personal Brand? If not, you better get to speed with reality!
As human beings, temptation is what makes us finally cave into what we shouldn't. That is why no matter how hard people try - McDonald's with its burgers, Snickers with its Chocolate Bar, and even Nike with its over-priced Shoes - ensure its customers keeping spending their hard earned money on stuff they don't actually need. The message = Desirability. It is what you should communicate to the potential employer. Do you know how to make yourself desirable like these amazing brands?
36. THE 4-7-30-3 PRINCIPLE
Sell-ability is what makes you from being 'employed' to 'employable'. Do you know how to sell yourself? I train my students how to do it in 4 Seconds, 7 seconds, 30 seconds & 3 minutes - time slots. Why? Because that is what works in order to succeed!
How well do you know the art of Blogging, Video Blogging & Social Media Marketing? This skill alone will make or break your brand.
How well do you know yourself? Rather let me rephrase it. How well do you know yourself to market yourself to stand out from the rest of the crowd so that when the employer hears about you - he jumps the gun and immediately decides - you are the one he must employ. Do you know yourself that well? If no is the answer - you seriously better stop everything and learn this skill first!
Do you know the art of how to think, communicate and negotiate from the Employers point of view? Almost every employee or job search candidate thinks from his point of view. If you can walk in the shoes of those whom you are dealing with - you will always succeed no matter what happens!
Have you practised, rehearsed and absolutely mastered the art of the interview? Now before you become Dirty Harry and get ready to fire bullets of confidence in my direction - ask yourself this simple question - is your presentation so good that you could absolutely impress Mark Cuban or Sunder Pichai to employ you immediately? If your answer is still a resounding yes - Trust me - I would want to contact you for tips!
Is your Resume perfect? Let me give you a method to evaluate if your Resume is perfect or not. Do this - Ask yourself - what is the salary that would keep you happy? Once you get this amount - Multiply this amount with 12 (12 months in a year). So for instance - if the salary you are looking for is USD $10,000, then multiply this with 12 months = USD $120,000. So now ask yourself - is this Resume that you are using to promote yourself - worth being paid USD $120,000?
In the Middle East, especially the United Arab Emirates, there is a magic word. It is called "Vastaa". All it means is knowing the 'God-Father' who can help you get you what you want - anything from the job of your dreams to the promotion you assumed you deserve. So what is the point I am trying to make here? Simply this - Do you know the right contacts i.e. the decision makers who can make a decision and ensure you get the job right now? If you have only 5 - you will never be unemployed in your life. However, even after knowing 5, if you are still unemployed - it means you are unemployable.
Do you have a circle of trust worthy, like-minded people who can add value to your brand? If not, create one. They are what Napoleon Hill once called 'The Mastermind Group'. Here is an article by FORBES that would shed some light into what The Mastermind Group is all about.
Do you dedicate at least 1 hour a day Sharpening a Key Skill that will make you employable? Don't know what that means? Read Stephen Covey's Sharpening Your Saw Principle.
What am I talking about? The ability to be absolutely and totally Obsessed about something. Now I am pretty aware that this would be looked upon in a negative light. After all - don't we preach having a 'balanced life' and 'keeping life in balance'? Fine. No arguments there. Do you assume any of the great legends of our world had such a luxury? Well, I have to be the bearer of bad news. It doesn't work. So the question here is - Are you totally and absolutely obsessed about your Professional Growth? On a Scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest) where do you rate yourself? And now - where do you think you should rate yourself if you had to get the job of your dreams?
When was the last time you took a Professional Wellness Vacation - To Focus Strictly on your Professional Growth and Development? When will you plan to take it? What will you choose to develop during that time?
No matter how strong a chain - do you know where it breaks off during pressure and stress? At its weakest link. Do you know the 3 key areas that need the most development and growth - the ones that can literally break you and cause hindrance to your career growth? (or are you assuming you know?)
Are you aware of the fact that Your Immediate Boss can make or break your career prospects in your company? So is he on your side? Or rather - ask yourself - Is your boss someone whom you would like to be - one day? If not - you better change your boss and your company!
Study your company management structure, hierarchy and history. Do you think there is a place for you to move, grow and evolve into? Or are you wasting your time for the next many years in the same position with the same package? And no matter how hard you work or how many hours you put in, the reality is - you will never grow further? If so, better change jobs and change it fast!
Hope is NOT a strategy. In the same way Praying, doing Charity, or lighting candles to your favorite gods may give you a spiritual sense of fulfilment. However, it is NOT what will work in the real world. Be practical.
Do you assume you are really good? Then apply to the top 5 competitors of your company and see their response. If they are ready to employ you and your services without a moment's hesitation - you are indeed an Industry Leader. However, if they report you to your employer - chances are, no one wants to employ your sorry behind!
How much money do you have stored for a bad day? The thumb rule is to have 12 months salary kept in your bank account untouched - so that if and when you do lose your job - you can sit back, relax and regroup yourself after being laid off. And only after you have relaxed for a few days or weeks - go into an all out assault to finding your new job and position. They say money is not everything? Yeah Right. On the day you are without a job - you will take refuge knowing you have enough and more money resting in the bank for your access!
Remember the key rule - Its not what you know. Its who you know. Read this again and again and again!
Do you know how to Mass Unfollow everyone on Twitter? Do you know how to remove ALL your inactive friends on Facebook with a single click? Do you know how to increase your Google rankings in relation to your blog? Ask yourself - how much more you do not know - which you should be spending time learning!
Do you REALLY seriously, absolutely and vehemently love your job and what you do? If you don't - PLEASE do yourself a favor - make a change. You just have one life to live. Stop living it doing what you do not love.
Its tempting to save money and redesign your Resume by yourself, practice interview skills by yourself and learn new skills by yourself. Right? Good strategy to save money - right? If Usain Bolt needs a Coach, If Floyd Mayweather needs a coach, If Mark Zuckerberg needs an Advisory Board - what about you? Oh yeah, I get the argument - you do not want to be "so great" like the rest. Then, please do me a favor. Stop reading this article all together and be happy being mediocre. Just as your job as a professional cannot be done by an amateur - stop assuming that you can suddenly wear the hat of being an Industry Professional that too in an industry you have no experience or expertise in.
Affirmations, Assertions, Positive Thinking - yes, this helps to a limit. However, when it crosses a certain limit - then it becomes an absolute liability. It serve no purpose being negative. Its okay to be positive. However, you must be realistic! An honest assessment of your situtation is very important. Stop lying to yourself. If wanting to change and improve is just a hope, wish, dream but you do not have the drive, desire and determination to do whatever it takes to put thought into action - then all you are tying to do - really hard - is create an illusion of change and feel good about it.
58. 3+3 COMBO!
Time. Money. Effort. Three things you need to make change happen. Oh yes, did I mention Strategy, Consistency & Coaching?
Why do Global Brands need to constantly reinvent themselves? Why do Software Companies keep updating their software? Why does Facebook, Google and YouTube keep coming out with new features, products and services? Think about it. And then ask yourself - what about you? What new products or services can you come out with that will make you relevant to the market?
Facebook, Google, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat - None of these must-have necessary addictions existed in your college days. Today's youngsters are being introduced to this world as young as 6 years old. So the question here begets - how future proof are you for the next 5 years? 10 years? 15 years? Are you ready to face tomorrow's generation when they compete with you head along?
Social Media & Software Mastery - Do you have it? No? Seriously No? OMG! Are you for real? Given that today our entire lives are under the microscopic lens of the world - how can you choose to ignore this avenue?
Proud Of Your Educational Qualifications & Degrees? Really? Go show them to a few potential employers and ask them - "Hey Boss - Isn't this impressive? Based on this - how much salary increase or promotions can I get?"... Remember - Unless of course it is from an Ivy League School - The answer your potential employers will give you - will give you a reality check you need.
Want to know how searchable or noticeable you are? Google your name. See what you get. If someone cannot find you easily and in large numbers - how exactly would be you noticeable or credible?
Follow the law of averages. If you connect with 100 new contacts - chances are 5 to 10 will become the pivotal reason for your success. So what is your current target per month?
Look at your past - say for the past 5 years or 10 years in any particular endeavor and evaluate yourself. Chances are, you will repeat the same pattern for the rest of your life.
If you were to resign from your company - would your employer accept it or fight & negotiate with you to ensure you stay? The answer to this question would show how important you are to the Industry at large. Or in a micro sense - how valuable you are to your own company.
Maybe you need to change everything about and I mean everything. Have you thought about how that can impact your life - if you changed everything? However, keep this in mind - its not just external that has to change - you from inside also must.
They say - Live your life according to your values. However, if you are not happy with your life right now - its time you had a serious look into your own life and ask yourself - which values you need to change.
Have you noticed the World Wresting Entertainment? For every Undertaker, there is a John Sena, for ever HHH, there is The Rock. Did you notice - all of them have a different costume, walk-in music, storyline, finishing move, style of doing this and presentation? Ever asked yourself why? The day you get the answer to this question - and yes, implement the answer - you will become the most successful person in your industry.
The 1st 3 hours of your life after you wake up - are the most productive ones in your life. How do you spend the 1st 3 hours of the morning after waking up? Dressing Up + Staying stuck in Traffic + Reading Emails? And you expect amazing changes to take place in your life?
Do you have a target for yourself this year? Do you have a master goal? Have you broken this goal for the next 12 months into breakable, achievable chunks? In fact - do you know what you are supposed to achieve this week? If not - what are you doing? Where are you headed? What do you want in life? Can you quantify it, measure it and evaluate it?
Practice taking small risks early on in life and take them frequently. The more risks you take, the better you will be at knowing what works and doesn't work. Never ever ever be happy just being and doing the same.
This year I have invested in one of the top online coaches for my online presence, Graphic Designing Course to learn how to digitally animate my photographs (which I use rampantly on Social Media), Video Animation Course (as I use YouTube frequently) and also enrolled for a language school in Koh Samui to learn Thai. All this cost me a lot of money. So what are you striving to learn? How much money are you planning to invest?
Without Sacrifices you can achieve nothing. With prioritising your time to focus on your goals - you cannot achieve anything. So what are you ready to prioritise and sacrifice in order to reach your goals?
My friend Dave Ross (1991 World Champion of Public Speaking for Toastmasters International) said this one quote "I will never let anyone outwork me." This is a principle I have followed to heart which has been the foundation to my success. Apply it and trust me - it will work wonders for you.
Never Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Give Up. When you keep at something - you will succeed at some point. Agreed there will be ups and downs - but if you are truly committed to achieving your goal - chances are - you will succeed it at.
There is one danger I must warn you about - Early Success. Or Succeeding in itself. It can give you a false sense of confidence and infallibility. I have seen it happen to many people. Do not assume that just because you have succeed once or a few times or in a particular endeavor - you will succeed at everything or always.
Remember - when choosing a job, salary is only one part of the equation. The other factors may make or break you completely. Most importantly - read in between the fine lines. Especially - when things don't go so well. In fact, evaluate the place where you are planning to work or apply - check out the people who work there. Evaluate them. Check out and find out what happened to those who left. Most probably - the same story may repeat itself with you.
What key decisions have you taken after reading this article? If you have read it all the way to this point - it means you surely want to change and improve. So now the question remains - what will you do, when will you do it and how will you do it?
The World's #1 Personal Branding Coach
Resume Rebranding | Interview Training | Job Search Coaching
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