Many possess skills, talents and attributes that come easier to them than others. This stuff doesn’t feel like work, and it’s fun.
For some it is writing, rain making, negotiating, playing sports, singing, public speaking or even solving problems.
Many believe people who have these traits are considered naturals. They think gifts are included in the DNA, and are passed down when they got their set of genes. Or they are just lucky.
That may be true in a few rare cases. But I’m of the opinion there are no gifts of talent, and luck is extremely over rated, too. Gifts and luck happen, when you really love something, are passionate, invest in practicing a craft and continuously developing “the whatever”, they become a very natural, effortless act.
The origin of the gifts is really not so important. What you do with them is.
Here is the big, bad habit that will steal from your bank account every day if you let it.
Under valuing stuff you do that is easy.
- Discounting the value of your skills, attributes and traits, because it is not hard work.
- Don’t charge enough if you are in business or ask for enough when you work for someone else.
- Or you don’t get your fair share in a collaborative deal.
The value of your skills, talents and abilities and what they will earn you is partly up to the market. Will they pay and what will they pay? But, even more important is what you believe you and your stuff are worth as you control this part of the equation that often ends up in your bank account.
Don’t be guilty of under valuing stuff that comes easy to you. Be grateful it’s fun and do enjoy the experience.
Don’t short change your worth, your bank account or your future.
Internet photo police are a real thing. I learned this lesson the expensive way last year. I received a formal letter from Getty Images citing that an image on my blog from 2007 was copyrighted and the image company had no record I paid for use of the photo. Apparently, big photo houses now have teams of professionals watching the web and also use special image tracking software to find illegal photo usage.
I immediately looked into their claim and found that the blog article and photo in question was posted by an intern who had worked for me. I was not aware that there was a violation as I trusted that the intern knew the rules of copyright protected images and usage.
The Getty representative explained that ultimately the company that is using the photo is responsible for fees on any copyrighted image. While the representative believed that I was not aware of the violation and that one of my employees posted the image, the fee of $800.00 was due regardless.
So I paid the bill and removed the image.
If you are using images in your blog, make sure they are copyright free or in fact you have paid the source to use them.
The Wall Street Journal ran a good story called “A Guide to Happy (and Legal) Tumblr-ing” about blogging, images and content usage. It’s worth reading as they share some excellent places to source all.
Here are two sources I use often.
iStock.com -Low cost, quality images (most images for low res and blog usage are under $10.00).
Picasa.com – Owned by Google offers many images for free usage in blogs (this is good source but takes more time to find good quality and free images).
Plus, don’t forget to tap your own creative work and shoot original photos when you can, there’s no cost, other than the camera. And if you shoot a killer image, just give yourself a bonus!
For more information on photo copyrights and to get free stock photography, view:
Stock.Xchge – Free stock photography
When I was a rookie headhunter in Tokyo I often made the mistake of limiting my questions to a candidate’s interest in changing jobs. What I failed to realize, however, was that these candidates, even if they weren’t interested in my opportunities, were invaluable storehouses of information, information that could help me find a candidate who was interested in changing their job. Eventually, I shifted my focus from determining a candidate’s interest, to downloading as much potentially valuable information from them as I could. When I realized how valuable the information was, “downloading people” became my number one priority.
When meeting a candidate, I’d usually spend the first ten minutes asking questions like:
- How many people are in your department? What are their names? (Find more potential candidates)
- Is everybody happy at work? (Is this company a good target? Are people willing to move?)
- I know you that aren’t interested in changing companies right now, but if you were interested in the future what kind of job will be ideal for you? (Make a note, and call the candidate if such a job pops up)
- I’m looking to know more people in your industry. Do you know anyone who is well connected and would be willing to meet with me for a cup of coffee? (Almost everybody knows a well connected person. A ten minute meeting with someone like that can be pure gold).
I could think of plenty more questions off the top of my head, but you get the idea.
Another example of how asking lots of questions helped me was the last time I went on the job hunt. I sent a job inquiry email to a web startup company that I guessed had little funding and probably wouldn’t hire anyone for a long time. I didn’t want to prejudge, so I asked if they had any open positions just to be sure.
It was a small company, so the president got back to me right away. He told me that there weren’t any positions and that they didn’t plan to hire in the near future. I thanked him for his time and asked if he knew anyone I could talk to who might be hiring, and he let me know of a networking event where startup entrepreneurs often met. That networking event turned out to be a very good place to find new job leads.
If I only asked if the company was hiring, I probably would have had a very short conversation. Instead, I asked as many questions as I could, and ended up with valuable information. I’m sure I could have found out about the networking event through Google, but it probably would have taken me a lot more time, and I wouldn’t have known if that event was worth going to or not.
It’s important not to get into the trap of focusing on narrow objectives. Doing so will blind you to all the great opportunities that you hadn’t thought of. Download as much as you can from everyone you meet and sort it all out later. When it comes to downloading people, it doesn’t matter if the person you talk to is a CEO or the intern who waters the office plants. Everyone has valuable information. All you have to do, is ask.
Kenji Crosland is a web entrepreneur who does SEO/Blog Outreach work for Teachstreet.com, a website that provides course listings on many subjects, including small business skills classes. In his free time he blogs about entrepreneurship and career development at Unready and Willing.
Check what “Women on the Web” did. This a sassy web site for women started an innovative mid-career internship program. High-level former executives, — including publishers, editors and VP’s drawn from the shrinking print media companies — are retraining in on-line skills at wowOwow.com. Joni Evans, WOW’s CEO explains, “These are people with wisdom and worth. In our program we draw on their skill set for WOW while teaching them new skills, reequipping them for the new economy. It’s a win-win situation.”
Lois Dreagin, a 55-year-old former senior editor at TV Guide is one of these mid-career interns. In her old job she did not need to know a URL from an SEO, facebook from twitter, or a Google trend from search engine optimization. Now at WOW she’s paired with a 24 year old WOW staffer, Randi Benfield, who’s teaching her how to write tag lines for Google and URLs in return. Lois supports Randi with expert literary instincts and flawless copy-editing skills.
WOW editor in chief, Deborah Barrow, who conceived the program, says that she thinks, “This could only happen at a company like WOW. This website is run and owned by women. The idea of women helping women, empowering each other, participating in a caring community, is so different than the way male dominated workplaces have functioned.” Deborah believes that other companies should imitate her concept of women helping women as a means of survival in the new economy.
wowOwow.com, was founded just over a year ago by former Simon + Schuster publisher Joni Evans, author Peggy Noonan, columnist Liz Smith, ‘60 minutes’ correspondent Lesley Stahl, and advertising guru Mary Wells. Contributors Candice Bergen, Joan Juliet Buck, Joan Ganz Cooney, Whoopi Goldberg, Judith Martin, Cynthia McFadden, Sheila Nivens, Marlo Thomas, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Wagner join them on line. These iconic women are making history with the first-ever website aimed at educated affluent experienced Women.
I am pleased to post my first blog about an exciting new project for Oddpodz. As the newest member of the marketing team, I accompanied Karen Post (Oddpodz co-founder) on a field trip to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Oddpodz has been chosen to receive a branding/marketing jolt from the students of SCAD.
This means the brilliant minds of the Branding Solutions class, directed by branding guru professor Steven Hall, have joined our team.
SCAD is an internationally-renowned art and design school with campuses here in Savannah, in Atlanta, Georgia; and Lacoste, France. We are fortunate to have the creative wealth of these students-who come from around the country and as far away as Barbados-in our own back yard.
Professor Hall is a graphic designer, advertising art director, writer, creative director and instructor with 25 years of experience. Prior to joining SCAD, he worked as a vice president and creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising. His campaigns for professional film, agricultural chemicals and network infrastructure on behalf of Kodak, DuPont and Alcatel earned numerous national awards. In addition to teaching, he serves as Chair of the Advertising Design Department.
Sitting in the classroom, and listening to the questions and thoughts about our current site, I couldn’t help but enjoy a great sense of anticipation to see what the group will come up with to support our growth.