Some people describe me as “a freelancer who works from home,” but I like to think I’m a “stay-at-home mom to my dog.” Everyone thinks their dog is the cutest creature on earth. On Facebook, we all click “like” politely, knowing our dog is just a little cuter than our friends’ dog. Well, I’m not saying that Alfie is the cutest (even though he is), but he is definitely “special.”
I’ve always gravitated towards dogs with strange personalities. I was told my last dog was like Woody Allen trapped in a small terrier body. This one is more like Matthew McConaughey in a shaggy-blonde mutt. He always seems about three bong hits into his day, and he’s perpetually happy and wagging his tail. Except when it comes to the bathtub drain. It infuriates him. I have been on a work binge lately, so he’s been left to entertain himself as I sit glued to my laptop.
I was wondering why an hour had gone by without a squeaky toy being tossed my way, so I went to go find out what could possibly be occupying him for this long. There he was, standing in the tub, growling at the drain.
“Ya see something down there, buddy?”
I left him to defend the fort as I went back to attack my pile of work. Two hours later, I went to check on him. He was fast asleep in the tub with his paw dutifully covering the drain. The drain monster had successfully been kept at bay. I love my dumb dog.
Today, as always, a big part of successful marketing is about telling stories that resonate with customers and business prospects. What’s changed is that the method for telling those stories is increasingly becoming based on data. In fact, Google recently started publishing a book (with companion website) on that very subject.
Ask yourself: where has the Internet created real value? It’s mainly been in data analysis. The technology platforms for social media, music downloads, movie streaming, ad serving, and site analytics all generate huge amounts of data. Buried inside this data are valuable business insights, if you can tease them out and package them in a way that people understand. In fact, it’s this move towards data insight and analysis that may end up saving some old-school industries. The New York Times in particular does a nice job showing how the 2011 federal budget is allocated and spent. It’s a lot easier to be shown how much money is tied up in non-discretionary spending than to be told about it, and it foretells the role our most important newspapers may play in the future. Read More →
Our newest blogger is Brooke Alpert, MS, RD, CDN, a nutritionist and the founder of B Nutritious, a private nutrition counseling practice based in New York City. She’ll be bringing advice on how to stay healthy, fit, and centered during even the craziest of work weeks. And because every few days seems to bring new headlines about wellness and nutrition, Brooke will also help us separate the truly worthwhile discoveries from fads and questionable findings.
I have a two-year old, so I watch a lot of Nick Jr. on TV. There’s a promo I’ve seen more than my fair share of that has me thinking.
It has a few sections, but the best one starts in an operating room, with all the beeping and other noises you’d expect. A bunch of doctors and nurses are all huddled around what seems to be a patient. Once you get in closer, you see that everyone is playing with the swabs, the wooden sticks, the Q-tips, and the rubber gloves. Then you hear an announcer ask, “What if life was more like preschool? You’d have arts and crafts time.” Others parts show a bunch of rough-looking mechanics pausing for a story and office workers with eyes closed for nap time.
Maybe this commercial is on to something. Let’s break down what happens in preschool: play, snack, recess, and a nap. It got me thinking about what I recommend to my clients. I want them to sleep more, make healthier choices, exercise, and enjoy life. Not so different, right? Read More →
You’re not going crazy! If your job hunt is stagnating, it might be because you’re spending way too much time applying via online job boards. Why?
According to The Aberdeen Group’s latest study, Challenges in Sourcing Six-Figure Talent, hiring managers and recruiters are just as exasperated by the ineffectiveness of job boards as you are. The boards deliver way too big a haystack of candidates, making it darn near impossible for in-house recruiters to find you–even if you are the perfect needle.
In the study, 70% of respondents said that job boards deliver too many candidates per post and 59% of indicated that they don’t have enough resources to review all applications when they do come in.
So what’s a smart Gun supposed to do? Use the job boards to figure out who’s hiring, and instead of applying into the black hole, hustle to figure out if you can find another way into the company through your personal contacts. Remember: 80% of all jobs are still landed through old-fashioned networking vs. 11% on the job boards. Networking is a learned skill; while it may be time-consuming at first, the ROI overdelivers every time. [via Breitbart]
A print designer who now finds herself in a digital world, Homegirl blogs about the perils and joys of freelancing. They both involve wearing pajamas all day.
If you’re going to work from home, you must be disciplined. Like me. OK, unlike me. It’s hard to be your own boss and an exemplary employee at the same time. A few nights ago I went to bed swearing I would get up early, go to a yoga class, and get all my work done at a reasonable hour. Next thing I knew, I opened my eyes and it was 10:00 a.m. What is wrong with me? Oh, yeah. I don’t like alarm clocks.
I grabbed the dog and rushed him out the door to get a power walk in before buckling down to work. Believe me, I gave myself a stern talking to on that walk. I need to become more motivated, I thought to myself. Stop procrastinating. Keep normal hours and get in sync with the outside world.
I walked by my favorite bakery and bought myself a cappuccino and the most delicious cookie on the planet. Oh, how can I stay mad at me when I do such nice things for myself? Caffeine combined with a sugar buzz? I’ll finish my work in no time. Which means I could knock off early and treat myself to a movie. You know, as a reward for being such a good boss.
Reinventors wanted! The editors of a general-interest business magazine with 1M + circulation are working on a story about hope and why it’s never too late to evolve in your career. Naturally, they figured that some of the folks from The Hired Guns network would give good back story.
The editors are looking to speak with people who reinvented themselves after being “digitally disrupted”– meaning that they bounced back after technology changed the nature of their jobs to the point where they were laid off or jumped ship because they could see their skills becoming a commodity.
In short, they want to meet middle managers and up (100K+ folks) who made it through the storm–were baptized by it–and are ready to evangelize about their experiences. If you went to work in another company in a brand new field or completely redesigned what you’re doing within the same vertical and are making at least 80% of your former salary (and are extremely happy with your new work life), they want to talk to you.
Email us if you fit the bill.
“The Good Guns” is a series of volunteer opportunities put together by The Hired Gun community; its members serve as active sponsors. Today’s entry is from Josh Webb, a global mobile media expert, digital product manager, and entrepreneur who is currently based in New York. He is heading the mobile and global outreach efforts for the Telethon for Christchurch, New Zealand; he’s working closely with the offshore team to bring the message to the world through digital and social means.
The organizers of a global telethon are looking for a digital/mobile project manager who can quickly help organize a global charity campaign for the victims of the Christchurch earthquake. The February 22 earthquake caused an estimated US$15 billion in damage to the New Zealand city, and there’s a huge need to reach the Kiwi expat community and others throughout the world.
Good Gun Profile:
You’ve got a strong background managing projects across international borders–and knowledge of what it takes to successfully execute across multiple platforms. Ideally, you have some mobile experience working on messaging, web, and apps, but a general digital background may suffice. You’ll be collaborating with a team based primarily offshore. Although you will have some guidance from other experts, you will need to be self-directed and take the initiative to pull the campaign together quickly, with minimal supervision. You need to have immediate availability and be able to dedicate the next 2-3 weeks to the project. Read More →