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A Record-Breaking Beehive Business Idea

Flow Hive Image

If you have not heard of Crowdfunding yet, you will understand a little more at the end of this post. For a father and son team from Byron Bay, Australia, who had a revolutionary beehive concept, crowdfunding has turned out to be a far more lucrative path than they had planned. You see, in less than 10 minutes they had raised their target goal of $70,000 and, as of the time of this post, they have raised over 11 million dollars, with 3 days left! Yes, you can still contribute if you want to get in on the action.

So what is Crowdfunding? Here is list of key points that you need to know: [click to continue…]

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Come in we're openThe answer to the question, “Should you consider construction work as a career?” is a resounding, YES! I am very enthusiastic about this career choice, especially for young people, but for anyone looking for a new start. The demand is incredible right now and the starting wages are going up. Here are some examples of what I am talking about. [click to continue…]

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How Does Amazon Build Great Teams?

How Does Amazon Build GreatTeams_I had a great conversation with the General Manager of an Amazon Distribution Center the other day. He was an inspiring man with a great story, but that is for another post. What I would like to share with you today is what I learned about how Amazon hires and then builds a team of great employees.

So how does Amazon build great teams? The General Manager that I spoke with talked about these things:

Attitude – So when I spoke this GM, he told me that the first thing he looks for is a great attitude in the applicant that he is interviewing. Attitude is everything. How engaged are you in the interview? Do you show enthusiasm for what is ahead? Do you appear to be someone that he would want on his team? Someone with a great attitude is valuable to a team environment.

Preparation – What he was talking about here was preparation for an interview. He is not impressed when an applicant is not prepared for even basic interview questions. Like most managers he will ask open ended questions that are designed to get you to talk. It’s the best way to learn about you. So you need to be prepared. You need to think a little bit on your feet. You need to have something to talk about. You need to be able to put sentences together that make sense. It is important for you to verbally describe your work experience, give specific examples when asked, and share your opinions. The future favors the prepared.

Experience – In most cases great experience trumps a great education. If you have valuable related experience, you are much more desirable than someone who only has a degree. I need to mention that Amazon expects you to have a degree if you are going to pursue a management position, but they highly value experience. If you are an older applicant, you should not feel as though you would not be valuable to this company. Amazon is a huge network that is built on logistics. They are all about shipping products to customers in the most efficient way possible. If you have experience in any part of making an organization like this successful they will want to talk to you.

Action – One of the most exciting things I learned was that Amazon is intentional about promoting its people. They promote employees that have a bias toward action. They are constantly looking to innovate and do old processes in new and better ways. They are regularly in the news because of some new way they are solving problems for the consumer. Are you open to new ideas? Have you attempted new things? Have you taken action in your current job? Are you someone that makes things happen? Do you look for new and better ways to do old tasks? All of this is important to a company like Amazon. Simply put, they intend to grow. They need action takers on their team to make this happen.

Not only does Amazon sound like a great place to work, they have a great philosophy about hiring good people. I was very impressed with this General Manager and he represented his company well.

All of these qualities are valuable to any company. Do you possess some of them? If you do, you could be ready to take the next big step in your career. I encourage you to make something happen today.

Do me a favor and leave a comment below if this was helpful to you. Take a second and share this on Facebook or Twitter. If I can serve you in any way, let me know. Thanks for reading!

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Valuable Connections

Make Time for Valuable ConnectionsI had a great connection yesterday, and I’m not talking about a WiFi or internet connection. While on a flight from Chicago to Philadelphia I was asked a question by the person next to me. Most of the time I don’t start conversations on flights, but I welcome them if it makes sense. The flight was nearly over and we were descending into Philly, when this lady asked how I liked the book I was reading. It was “The Four Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris. This started a quick discussion about the book, what I did for a living, what she did for a living, etc.

It turns out that this lady’s husband has a blog. He has had one for a few years and is a full-time blogger, speaker and business owner. He has a site that provides information and support to School Principals and Educators.

When I learned that this gentleman had grown a successful business through blogging and providing resources to people online, I was inspired to continue my own efforts. I asked if he had considered being featured on the podcast Entrepreneur On Fire, since I was sure that he would be a good candidate. I wasn’t completely surprised to learn that he already HAD been on the show. It was episode 600 and you can listen to it yourself right here.

So why is this exciting to me? Here are a few thoughts.

Motivation – Finding someone that is successful in a similar line of work provides motivation. When you spend time around folks who are successful at what you want to become, it gives you energy to push ahead with your own goals.

Affirmation – When others have dreams to accomplish similar ventures you feel a sort of kinship with those people. It was clear that I have common values with these people, and that just feels good. Yes it’s possible to make a good living providing valuable resources to people through an online platform. I am reminded that what I am pursuing is worthwhile.

Dedication – Without dedication you will not be successful in the online world or any other business. It requires hard work when no one recognizes what you have to offer and certainly no one is buying. The first few years are spent creating content and slowly growing your business online until things start to happen that are income producing. I was able to hear first-hand how that process has gone for a real person.

Inspiration – Through our discussion, I learned some strategies that I could implement in my own business. Things like webinars, membership sites and digital products are all parts of my business that I will be implementing over time. I can’t tell you how inspired I was to meet someone in person who is making these things happen.

Do you actively seek valuable connections? I have to admit that I didn’t start this conversation, but I am glad that it happened. I am sure that I benefited the most from this discussion as well. Good connections have always been important, but they are more valuable than ever today. I encourage you to seek them out and to take advantage. No matter what business you are in, it is worth your time to connect with successful people in your industry. Make it happen today!

Leave a comment below and let’s connect right here! Thanks for reading!

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The 15 Success Traits ImageI am over half-way through a great book right now, but I didn’t want to wait until I was finished to talk about it. The book is “The 15 Success Traits of Pro-Bloggers,” by Jonathan Milligan. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone that desires to do business online, whether you are experienced or a beginner. I am finding myself inspired and motivated to do more with my blog already.

What is so cool is that I have witnessed Jonathan doing the very things he writes about. He creates value every day, and it has made him successful. I belong to his Blogging Your Passion University which provides tons of great resources to those of us working at improving our blogs. It’s a network of like minded individuals that are regularly blessed by his great content.

Here are a few specific reasons why I am recommending this book:

It Contains Specific Step by Step Instruction. When it comes to the process of growing your blogging business, this book gives you a great road map. Jon lets you know what to expect and helps you to anticipate what needs to be done next.

He Tells the Truth. Nothing in this book is sugar coated. It is exactly what Jon has experienced. It shows his failures and his successes. It shows his triumphs in this space that have allowed him to become a Pro. Through all of the truth-telling you learn that you too can become a successful blogger when you learn from others and follow their advice.

He Writes Humbly. I have read authors that do not make you feel as though you would like to get to know them as a person. Not so with Jon. He is very real even though he has seen substantial success. This is valuable to me. I learn best from folks that are approachable. It just works better for me. It’s the kind of man that I strive to be, so I am naturally drawn to his style.

It is Motivating. When I realize that by applying just some of the strategies outlined in this book that I have a good chance of increasing my income and making a difference, it is highly motivating. It is a goal of mine to build a business that provides useful content to the world. When this is being done by folks I admire, it pushes me to work harder and do what I am capable of doing.

So here are just four reasons why I am recommending this book. When I am finished with it, I will have even more. Hopefully you will buy your own copy and begin to move your blogging business forward.

Let me know if you have any questions. Leave a comment below and let’s start the conversation. If you have a question for me about my blog, I would love to hear it. Thanks for reading!

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It’s Worth the Effort

The Difference between winning and losing

I want to encourage those of you out there who are working hard toward a goal. It’s worth the effort! Keep pushing forward and don’t give up. When you point yourself in the right direction, and focus on the right target, your effort is not wasted.

Let me get more specific. For those of you that are are working on a new career direction, keep moving forward. There are great jobs out there to be had. As I write this, I am also processing a new applicant that I recently hired to fill a maintenance position in the Pittsburgh area. What I was offering was a perfect fit for his skills and experience. He had what we needed and we had what he was looking for as well. It was a win for both of us!

I am coaching another individual that has interviewed for two high level positions with great companies. It’s an exciting time for him as well. He is searching for position that needs his skills and experience. The good news is, there are companies looking for good people just like him! If this is your situation, don’t lose heart, and don’t quit. Focus your effort in the right direction and you can find a great new career path.

Both of these individuals have specific areas of expertise. That expertise is valuable to their respective industry. They are both looking for work that is a good fit for their skills, but they also have specific goals. One is looking for greater responsibility and greater income. The other individual is looking for a long-term stable company and is more interested in benefits and location rather than salary. Your goals can be met, and I encourage you to keep moving forward.

So is this your situation? Are you trying to make a career shift? Are you worried that no one will hire you, or that there are no good paying jobs in your area? Don’t give up. Companies are still hiring and looking for the right people. Let me know if you need encouragement. Leave a comment below. I would love to connect. Thanks for reading!

 

 

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One Thing that Frustrates Me

Go after inspiration with a clubHave you ever experienced someone rolling their eyes at your idea? Maybe it’s not that obvious, but you know it when people, sometimes people that are close to you, have a subtle way of communicating that they think you are “coming up with another one of your big ideas!” Yes, this is one thing that frustrates me.

The problem is that we are not all the same. Some of us are good at seeing new possibilities. Others are good at maintaining conditions as they are. Neither are right or wrong, but the two personality types can really frustrate each other. In my case, I want others to be inspired by the possibility wrapped up in my fresh new idea.

One solution is to spend time around people that welcome new ideas. Some folks want to be inspired. They want to have a goal to shoot for. They are not willing to settle for one bad option, or two equally undesirable options, or a dull and meaningless status quo. To them a better idea is always ahead, and when they find it they will pursue it with all their strength. They will work hard for inspiration. Are you that person?

So does this one thing frustrate you too? Do people not see the possibility wrapped up in your dream? How do you cope with this? Leave a comment below. I look forward to the conversation.

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Don’t Live Small!

Live the life you are capable of living!I have learned that there is more than one reason to look for work that you love. As in my case, I really enjoy my job, but I also know that I was meant for something more. This quote from Nelson Mandela sums up my thoughts in a good way. I am choosing to strive for the life that I am capable of living. That doesn’t mean the life I have is bad, or substandard or negative in any way. There is just a constant motivation to become what I am meant to be.

So Don’t Live Small! Are you living the life you are capable of living? I would love to talk about it. Leave a comment below. Better yet, subscribe and let’s stay in touch. Thanks for reading! I look forward to seeing where God takes you!

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Financial Decisions and Career Choices(2)Our financial decisions have a direct impact on our career choices. Some of those financial decisions are made well before we have a full-time career and they end up having an enormous impact.

Here are some of the ways my financial decisions have affected my career choices. When I attended college back in 1988, I did what many students have done and took on student loans to pay for my education. These loans discouraged me from working on a Master’s Degree because I wasn’t willing to take on additional debt. This decision began to shape my career path very early on. We decided to stay where we were and pay off our school debts. I accepted an entry level position for a good company. It was the best thing I had in front of me at the time.

Another decision I made was to buy a home. Within a few months of graduating from college, my wife and growing family moved into our first home. It was fixer upper in the college town where we lived. We bought it for a very low price, but it also needed a lot of work. For the next 8 years or so, we raised our family and I worked, and worked on our fixer upper home. I continued to perform well and get promoted a couple of times at the good company where I worked, even though it wasn’t the original career path I had imagined for myself.

Throughout this process, we had a good start to our life. We rarely had “extra” but we got by. We had decent credit so if an emergency happened, or we needed money for a project on our home, we would borrow the money. These decisions allowed us to do what we wanted at the time, or take care of an emergency, but they also began to bury us under a mountain of debt.

Are financial decisions the only reason for our career choices? I don’t think so, but they do have a significant impact. College debt, home debt and credit card debt have a way of limiting career options. For us anyway, it felt like the path we were traveling was less about our own choice and more about what we had to do to meet our obligations. As I look back, I am grateful for all that I have learned and I am blessed to have enjoyed a great career working for some great companies. Here are some things that I have learned, and this is how I coach young people today:

Find a way to pay Cash for College. It’s rarely easy, but you will never have as much energy as you have when you are in college. Make it happen. Student debt will be an unshakeable weight that drags you down over time. College debt begins, immediately after graduation, to demand attention and force you down paths that you may not want to take. Here are some ideas.

Postpone Buying a House. While this does not sound like the American Way, a house can tie you down and limit your options. Home ownership can work against you financially and restrict your mobility. Make sure that you are prepared and buy a house when you are ready. Here are some good principles to follow.

Make sure that you have a Financial Reserve. An emergency fund helps you to get through the rough times. Rough times always come. When you are not prepared for them, you begin to accumulate debt. That debt can pile up around you and make you feel stuck. While you can always find a way to change your situation, it is amazing how much time goes by while you just keep “making ends meet.”

So, do financial decisions shape your career choices? Yes they do. This doesn’t have to be a negative thing, but it’s important to know that avoiding debt and making good financial decisions will keep more options open for you.

How have your money decisions affected your career path? I bet you have a story and I would love to hear it. Leave a comment below and let’s start the conversation. I would also love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter as well. Thanks for reading!

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Enslaved by Daily Trivia

Clearly defined goalsI do not claim to be an expert on the topic of goal setting or keeping. In fact, it is one of the hardest things for me to do well. I have learned that my personality contributes to this condition, and I have to work hard to overcome my natural tendencies. Details are a struggle for me, so following through on maintaining goals can be a real challenge.

This quote seems to accurately describe me as well as our culture. We are all very good at performing daily trivia. In fact we have so much trivia competing for our attention that we are probably enslaved more easily than any other generation.

So here are three things that I am doing this year to keep myself on track with my goals:

I have learned that I need to have a morning routine. This year I have developed the habit of exercising early in the morning. To help me do this, I have combined exercise with some of the “daily trivia” that tends to make me waste time. I am a news/talk junkie. When I watch my favorite news shows, I tend to waste close to an hour of my day, and it really hasn’t changed my future. I may be better informed, but I have not moved the needle one bit on my goals. So my solution is to watch video clips from my favorite news shows during my morning exercise routine, and it is really working! It’s going on three months now and it looks like I am developing a good exercise habit. I am more fit, losing inches, and seeing some good results with my quality of life as well.

I have learned that I need motivation. This is normal. We all need to be encouraged to work hard at our goals. It is too easy to become discouraged. It is too easy to become distracted. For me, I read good books that motivate me, and I listen to great podcasts. Zig Ziglar said “Motivation is like bathing. That’s why I recommend it daily!”

I need a visual reminder. For me this is a picture on the desktop of my computer. I found an image of a place where I would love to have a home someday. This is a constant reminder of why I am working hard, and what I hope to accomplish. It reminds me of commitments that I’ve made, and it gives me the daily nudge that I need.

So what works for you? Are you becoming enslaved by daily trivia? It’s easy to do, and you need to find a way to fight it. Let me know what is, or isn’t, working. I would love to talk about it. Leave a comment below. If this post was helpful, subscribe to my blog and let’s stay in touch. Thanks for reading!

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