March, 2013

75 Reasons You're Unhappy (And 75 Solutions)

Dumb Little Man

“Man is not made for defeat.” - Ernest Hemingway Circumstance is our scapegoat. But it’s not the culprit. Because reality is but a perception, a trick of the mind. Influenced - but certainly not controlled - by external situations. We’re unhappy because we allow ourselves to be. Often we plant our own seeds of discontent. Sometimes we realize it, but most of the time, the seeds take root and begin to blossom completely unbeknownst to us. Until it’s too late. Until the seed is a tree.

2013 217

Global Coworking Conference Recap

Small Business Labs

The 3rd Annual Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC) was held March 5th and 6th in Austin, Texas.    Reflecting the strong growth of the coworking industry , there were well over 300 attendees this year - more than triple the number attending two years ago.   My major takeaways were: 1. The Mix of Attendees : GCUC attracted a wide range of folks this year.

2013 215
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33 Unwritten Rules of Management

Ian's Messy Desk

These rules are credited to Bill Swanson. In a news story several years ago , it was revealed not all the rules are original. Whatever the source, they are useful aphorisms for life management. The handbook has become an underground hit among senior executives and management thinkers. The Unwritten Rules of Management is part Ben Franklin and part Yogi Berra, with a dash of Confucius thrown in.

2013 214

So you’ve been asked to organise an event… now what?

Practically Perfect PA

How often do you organise events? Considering this task is not the staple part of our profession I can still imagine your answer to be ‘quite often’. We are asked to arrange all sorts of events including anything from a team training day through to the company Christmas party and other large scale conferences, exhibitions and dinners.

2013 204

Is working from home really more energy efficient?

Eco-Office Gals

There are some pretty conflicting opinions on this subject. On the one hand, working from home can reduce your carbon emissions through a lack of commuting. But, on the other hand, around 17% of the US workforce is now at home all day, every day, causing an increase in energy consumption. It doesn’t have to be that way though. If you’re a contractor and you choose to work from home, you can make it a much greener option just by reassessing your working environment.

2013 199

5 Questions to Ask Before Recommending Someone for a Job

Eat Your Career

Your “stamp of approval” is precious. When you recommend someone for a job—whether a friend, family member, colleague or anyone else—your professional reputation is on the line. Your contacts trust you and you’re essentially asking them to transfer that trust to another person. If that person loses their trust for any reason, it transfers right back to you. So your recommendation creates a bond between all of you. Don’t take the decision lightly.

2013 199

10 Reasons Why You're Enough Just the Way You Are

Dumb Little Man

Since you’re reading this post, you’re probably drawn to personal development in some way. Maybe you’re going through something heavy right now or maybe it’s just your daily mental multivitamin. It’s been many years since I first felt drawn to the self­help genre. Tony Robbins’ “Awaken the Giant Within” was my gateway drug so to speak. Then came numerous others.

2013 212

More Trending

Why Does it Matter to You?

Virtual Moxie

At AssistU , I teach a class called The Greatest Marketing Technique, which is designed to do just one thing: help a person find and connect with a potential client in such a personal way that the potential client responds to the call to action placed in front of him or her. It works for everyone, can be done from anywhere, anytime, and it’s such a slice of awesomeness that it really deserves its name, if I do say so myself. :).

2013 190

20 do’s and don’ts for team building events

Practically Perfect PA

Over the years I’ve organised a variety of team building events from week long forums to after work drinks in the local pub. I would imagine that most assistants have been asked to arrange something for their team as we do tend to be the focal point for social activities in the office. It is such a great achievement when we manage to create something that works well and everyone had a great time. it is also so important that we get team building events right.

2013 203

Top 5 eco-friendly office supplies

Eco-Office Gals

Being eco-friendly is at the top of the list for a lot of entrepreneurs at the moment, as lowering their carbon footprint can help them to save money in the long run. Being green can boost brand image as well, especially as a lot of people are choosing to only work with eco companies these days. Every aspect of your office will need to be switched out for an eco-friendly alternative if you really want to go green.

2013 191

List Building: 5 Reasons Why Your List Isn’t Growing

Office Organization Success

I’m sure you’ve heard this a ton of times already – that the gold in your business is in your list. And what this means is that if you’re going to run a successful business then you need to have people who are ready, willing, and able to buy your products, programs, and services. And you need to have this information all stored in one place, i.e. a list! So, let me ask you, how is your list doing?

2013 189

7 Amazing Ways to Be Creative Like a Child

Dumb Little Man

Creativity is like the ebb and flow of waves in an ocean. There are periods in your life when you may feel very creative. But there may be other periods where you experience the creative doldrums. Ideas stop coming to you. You attempt to sit down with pen and paper but it seems like an exercise in frustration. If you are like me, you might have wondered how to jump-start the creative process.

2013 204

Habits That Limit Your Productivity

Productivity Bits

We all have our little habits; the routines and rituals that we adhere to on a daily basis, or the day itself just doesn't feel right. Many of these are rooted in our activity before and after work: that morning cup of coffee, that evening glass of wine and even certain clothing that we like to wear on certain days.If we miss any of these little rituals out, it can affect the way we feel and even the way we behave. In a peculiar way it can have a pronounced on our productivity too.

2013 171

I Can Crack That Password in 52 Seconds.

Virtual Moxie

Do you think your passwords are sufficiently strong? I think most people do. I suspect that the longer a person goes without a problem, the more likely she is to think herself safe.I know that's the case with home security—it's been proven that most folks think their homes are impenatrable, when the reality is that they can very easily be breached, so why wouldn't that be the case with the services and programs we use--that form our "home" online? I think it’s worth checking, just in case.

2013 183

The wonderful world of events – roundup

Practically Perfect PA

Over the last few weeks I’ve been writing a series of blogs on events, well more specifically how assistants can organise and run great events within the context of their role. I wanted to give you a quick round up of the issues discussed and some additional tips that I think you will find useful when running your events. Here are the links to my previous blogs: How to negotiate when planning an event. Site visit and other venue considerations.

2013 180

Buy recycled for environmentally-friendly home printing

Eco-Office Gals

We might want to do our part to live greener, more environmentally aware lives, but for a lot of us, our daily behavior is so firmly en grained in our routines that we carry on unthinkingly, negatively affecting the environment by poorly considered actions – and one of the biggest of these harmful, unthinking actions is printing. Many of us rely on our printers every day – for study or for work – so what can we do to reduce our environmental impact? Recycled paper.

2013 170

The 3-Step Business Success Formula

Office Organization Success

Many business owners just starting out get caught up in the glamour of having an info product, or group training program, available for the clients and customers to purchase or register for. However, what they don’t realize when starting out is that before they can sell products and run group programs that they need a pool of people who are ready to buy … i.e. a list. And when you’re just starting out, it’s highly unlikely that you will have a ready-made list to market to.

2013 185

What to Do When Others Try to Kill Your Dream

Dumb Little Man

You’re a dreamer. But you’re also a dream-chaser. You make your dreams happen – one goal at a time. Sometimes, a lot of times, you may be filled with doubt and uncertainty. Is this for real? Are you really in the middle of the Saharas teaching English to African children? Are you in Japan becoming a ninja? Did you just quit your corporate job and start a freelance business in the Philippines? Are you really waiting tables so you can act every evening and break into Hollywood?

2013 199

The Rise of Small Business Crowdfunding

Small Business Labs

I had the opportunity to moderate a panel on alternative financing methods at the Global Coworking Conference. While we covered a lot of topics, the audience was clearly most interested in crowdfunding. Crowdfunding, which is raising money by getting getting small donations of money from a large group of people, is hot. Kickstarter, the best known of the crowdfunding site, has raised over $500 million for a wide variety of projects.

2013 167

Moxie Tip 342: You Know When to Let Go

Virtual Moxie

You’ll always know when it’s time to let someone or something go. You’ll feel it in your body—a subtle (or not-so subtle) shift in energy when that person or thing is present. Pay attention to the message, and more importantly, be willing to act on it. The longer you stay close to what doesn’t serve you, the longer you stay stuck where you are. Moxie Tips

2013 169

Joining instructions for company events

Practically Perfect PA

Most of us will be involved in organising an event at some point in our career particularly if your company does not have a dedicated events department. When I first started as an assistant I was helping with events fairly quickly and one of the first tasks I was asked to complete was writing and sending out joining instructions for in-house training courses.

2013 178

How to Quit Without Burning Bridges

Eat Your Career

Ready to quit your job? Don’t make any sudden moves! Your number one concern should be protecting the professional relationships you’ve been building with your colleagues. These people may be valuable professional contacts and references for you in the future…but only if you make the transition smooth and easy for everyone.

2013 164

5 Reasons to Automate and Streamline Your Business

Office Organization Success

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had a conversation with a business owner who has wanted me to help them set up their systems, whether that’s: Creating an automated system to deliver their free report. Having a system in place so that attendees can register for their teleclasses. Creating a system so that customers can purchase products and/or programs via their website.

2013 179

A Better Way to Stop Negative Self Talk

Dumb Little Man

Admit it. You’ve tried everything and still your inner gremlin is destined to outlive your earthly existence. You’ve tried resisting it. You’ve tried ignoring it. You’ve tried to replace it with a more positive, cuddly gremlin. You’ve even tried intimidating it. Nevertheless it persists, immortal and ever present, torturing you with negativity , doubt, and using its familiarity with you to exploit your deepest, darkest fears.

2013 190

Part-Time Employment Keeps Growing

Small Business Labs

Last fall our article Are We Becoming a Part-Time Nation covered the trends leading to the growing number of part-time workers in the U.S.   The recent New York Times article The Rise of Part-Time Work covers some of the same ground.  Key quote: "Compared with December 2007, when the recession officially began, there are 5.8 million fewer Americans working full time. In that same period, there has been an increase of 2.8 million working part time."

2013 162

Moxie Tip 332: On Being Original

Virtual Moxie

I’m not entirely sure when we moved into an era of seduction and manipulation, with long sales pages, free offers (that aren’t actually free), creating false scarcity, getting folks in a room for the sole purpose of selling them bigger more expensive programs, saying anything needed to make more money, or when we became obsessed with becoming chicks with shticks, and having tag lines that all sound the same (million-dollar/six-figure mindset and mastery blahblahblah).

2013 167

Event objectives and the questions you should be asking

Practically Perfect PA

Earlier this week I wrote about the initial stages of organising an event , specifically the first meeting you should have with your colleagues involved in the event. One of the issues I said you should discuss are the event objectives. I wanted to spend a bit more time talking about objectives because I believe if you are going to organise an event you do need to make sure you know the objectives before you do anything else.

2013 168

8 Productivity Stations Every Home Should Have

Simple Productivity Blog

Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog. When you keep like-purposed things together, close by where they are used, you can save time and effort and make yourself more productive. Here are 8 of these productivity stations that every home should have. Cleaning Caddies. I believe that duplicate cleaning supplies, kept near where they are used, is not a complication, but rather a productivity booster.

2013 161

Quiz: Are You a Slacker?

Eat Your Career

Every office has one: The slacker who seems to weasel his way out of anything that even remotely involves work. We pick up after him. We cover for him. In general, we all think he’s a waste of space. But, as I said, every office has one. What if—dare I say it— you’re that slacker? Could it be possible? It might be hard to admit, but maybe it’s time to take a good hard look at your own work habits. Take this quiz and see if you need to start picking up the pace.

2013 161

How to Release the Energy of Your Potential

Dumb Little Man

“The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channeled toward some great good.” - Brian Tracy All of us, no matter who we are, have at the very core of our being, a deep reservoir of innate potential. Many individuals are totally unaware of this resource and so this potential can lie dormant, untouched and unused, for an entire lifetime.

2013 189

The 5 Eco Gadgets That Will Save Your Money

Eco-Office Gals

Saving the planet is a noble goal, but who says you can’t put some cash back in your wallet at the same time? This selection of cutting edge gadgetry, curated by the team at specialist business energy comparison website Power Experts , will help drive down your energy usage, save you money and go some way towards making the world a little cleaner, one unused kilowatt at a time. The Belkin Conserve Power Strip — $39.99.

2013 160

Tell Me About Your Company Culture

Virtual Moxie

A great question to ask a potential client is, “Describe your company culture to me.” Most people who run micro businesses don’t know that they have a company culture, but they do. Culture includes the values, vision, shared language (and jargon), work ethic, symbols, beliefs, habits, and behaviors that inform how people within an organization perceive, think, and feel about the company, and how they communicate and engage each other, and the clients of the company.

2013 159

Event Schedules and Speakers

Practically Perfect PA

Organising an event is a tricky tricky thing with lots of moving parts and details that have to be well managed. In this blog I want to share some tips on two aspects of the event management process. Here are my top 5 tips on putting together an event schedule and dealing with speakers. Event scheduling. Programme content will depend on the event itself but there are a few rules that are universal.

2013 167

The Simple IKEA Charging Station

Simple Productivity Blog

Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog. Reader Rachel asked for a picture of the IKEA charging station I mentioned in 8 Productivity Stations Every Home Should Have. Here is my simple charging station, with explanations of how I made it. Supplies: The Box and Extension Outlet. The materials I used to make this came out of my “local” IKEA (which is actually 3 hours away).

2013 160

Coworking Boom Continues

Small Business Labs

Last week Deskwanted released their annual global coworking census.  It shows there are 2498 coworking spaces across the globe, up 87% from a year earlier.  The chart below, from Deskwanted, shows where these facilities are located.   The U.S. leads with 781 coworking facilities, followed by Germany (230) and Spain (199).

2013 156

12 Amazing Life Lessons That You Can Learn Through Science

Dumb Little Man

The year was 1928. A scientist walked into his laboratory in London after a two-week vacation with his family. He looked around at the cluttered benches with numerous glassware of different sizes and bottles of chemicals. His attention wandered off to a stack of plates sitting in the corner in a sink. He suddenly remembered his culture plates and reached over to look at them. One of his plates was contaminated with mold.

2013 188

Use a ripening drawer for paper management

Clutter Coach

Does paper management seem overwhelming? All those decisions to make! Here’s a way to get some control before you’re ready to make the decisions. I wrote about this concept several years ago. I discovered it in the excellent book ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life by Judith Kolberg and Kathleen Nadeau.

2013 148