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Career

82 STASHED IDEAS

Don't stress too much about things like “writer's block.” If you’re looking at a blank piece of paper and nothing comes to you, then go do something else.

Writer’s block is just a symptom of feeling like you have nothing to say, combined with the rather weird idea that you should feel the need to say something. If you have something to say, then say it. If not, enjoy the silence while it lasts. The noise will return soon enough.

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Career

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Ignore Everybody

by Hugh MacLeod

Knowing How Good Your Ideas Are

The more original your idea is, the less good advice other people will be able to give you.

You don't know if your idea is any good at the beginning. Neither does anyone else. And asking close friends never works as expected either. It’s not that they choose to be unhelpful. It’s just that they don’t know your world as well as you do, no matter how hard they try, no matter how hard you try to explain.

Hugh MacLeod

"Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb. You may never reach the summit; for that you will be forgiven. But if you don’t make at least one serious attempt to get above the snow line, years later you will find yourself lying on your deathbed, and all you will feel is emptiness."

90% of what separates successful people and failed people is time, effort, and stamina.

If somebody in your industry is more successful than you, it’s probably because he works harder at it than you do. Sure, maybe he’s more inherently talented, more adept at networking, but I don’t consider that an excuse. Over time, that advantage counts for less and less. This is why the world is full of highly talented, network-savvy, failed mediocrities.

Your Idea Doesn’t Have To Be Big

It just has to be yours. The more the idea is yours alone, the more freedom you have to do something really amazing. 

The sovereignty you have over your work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will. How your own sovereignty inspires other people to find their own sovereignty, their own sense of freedom and possibility, will give the work far more power than the work’s objective merits ever will.

And not eveybody will have the same agenda as you: When your idea seems to be working, sometimes you’ll find all these people trying to join the team, trying to get a piece of the action. 

But as soon as they step inside the inner circle, you soon realize they never really understood your idea in the first place, they just want to be on the winning team.

Knowing Which Feedback To Ignore

You don't have to ignore all people, at all times, forever. No, other people’s feedback plays a very important role. 

But at beginning, maybe your idea will seem really “out there” to other people, even people you like and respect. So there’ll be a time in the beginning when you have to press on, alone, without one tenth the support you probably need.

If your business plan depends on suddenly being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail. Most of the things are made slowly and with a lot of work.

With all the online tools, you can now build your own thing without having somebody else “discovering” you first. Which means when the big boys come along offering you deals, you’ll be in a much better position to get exactly what you want from the equation.

Hugh MacLeod

"The best way to get approval is not to need it."

Hugh MacLeod

"Being good at anything is like figure skating—the definition of being good at it is being able to make it look easy. But it never is easy. Ever. "

Creativity And Equipment Ownership

There is no correlation between the two.

  • Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address on a piece of ordinary stationery that he had borrowed from the friend whose house he was staying at. 
  • Ernest Hemingway wrote with a simple fountain pen. Somebody else did the typing, but only much later. 
  • Van Gogh rarely painted with more than six colors on his palette.

If you were to start out writing for example (or maybe an online retail business) don't just quit your job in order to make this big, dramatic, event around it.

Instead, find that extra hour or two in the day that belongs to nobody else but yourself, and make it productive. Put the hours in, do it for long enough, and magical, life-transforming things happen eventually.

Hugh MacLeod

"Question how much freedom your path affords you. Be utterly ruthless about it. It’s your freedom that will get you to where you want to go. Blind faith in an oversubscribed, vainglorious myth will only hinder you. "

As you navigate in your organization and the community around it, you need to know the resources that are available to help you.

There is usually someone around you who knows how to do almost anything in your organization. Ensure you make time to also hang around these people.

Find people who have the career you desire. Spend time with them and get to know how they operate, what they think about, how they prepare for events.

Listen to their advice, but keep in mind that successful people often miss large parts of what really helped them to succeed. So, don't try to ask for a winning recipe. Instead, watch what they do.

Sometimes you will have a difficult time. It is helpful to have someone who understands you and where you are in your career.

Find someone who will listen and lend a sympathetic ear but also remind you that tomorrow is another day.

Types Of Mentors: The Coach

At times, we need someone to help us think through difficult problems.

A good coach doesn't solve your problems. They listen to what you say and ask questions to uncover the cause of those problems. They may suggest different perspectives and strategies you have not considered.

It is who you know in life that helps you move forward.

To ensure you build up your own list of contacts, find people around you who know everyone and ask them to help you with introductions.

Once you know what elements of the offer you would like to change, you need to decide which parts you are going to press and how you will do it.

If you are dealing with an intermediary, such as an HR administrator or a recruiter, remember not only to make requests but also to ask questions, give information, and share ideas to make the job more palatable.

Shift your mindset about the job offer

Think about the offer in terms of your development, quality of life, and the variety of the work you want to do. Think about the trade-offs you are going to make.

When an employer extends a job offer to you, he has psychologically committed to you. You have more leverage to shape your job description and improve your salary and benefits package immediately after you are made an offer than in your first two years of employment.

There will be some give and take in negotiations for a new job, but if everything you ask for is a "no," it demonstrates inflexibility on the part of your prospective employer and could be a red flag.

If your internal monitoring system tells you that you should not take the job, listen. However, turn it down politely as they could be potential customers, potential advisors, or even your future employers.

Think about what is important in your professional and private life, then assess the offer against these metrics.

  • Salary. Even when the money is enough, you need to figure out if it's worthy of your knowledge and skills and in line with the local market.
  • Job content. Consider whether you will derive job satisfaction from the offer. To answer this question, you need to know the kinds of activities you want to be involved in and the skills you want to use. You will need a deep understanding of what's expected of you to decide whether you do indeed want the job.
  • Cultural fit. Ask yourself if it is a place where you will be happy, challenged, and where you will thrive. It might make sense to do a trial run to see what your colleagues are like.
  • Flexibility, vacation, and other perks. Flexible hours and vacation time are an increasingly valuable perk. During the evaluation stage, it's important to find out whether current employees are afforded such benefits.
  • Other options. Also assess your walk-away alternatives. Think about the offer in terms of the cost and benefit of starting the job search process over again, of staying in your current job, or of first seeing what other offers materialize.

During the stage of the classic negotiation, maximize the cost of the things you are prepared to accept while minimizing the things you're asking for.

For example, "I'm happy with the role and responsibilities, but I would like to work from home one day per week." Come across as a cheerful but firm negotiator.

The purpose of the interview is to get the offer. The next stage is about considering the offer, then negotiating with your new employer.

Employers need to feel that you are committed. Continue to be enthusiastic in your dealings with your prospective manager so you don't sound uncertain that you want the job.

Marketers are beginning to embrace newer trends, especially in the digital space. One method is podcasts. In 2017, the podcast ad revenue was $314 million.

Since podcasts consist of audio, the listeners tend to trust and rely on every word. Therefore, advertisers can use podcasts to reach more people.

Podcasting is changing the digital era. Any individual or business can reap benefits from a podcast.

With the change in the wireless network, the device that can help in podcasting will also change. Instead of a two-step download process of the files you want, you can now do it with one step. The old technology still holds historical value and makes us think about what lies ahead for the future.

Podcasts

A 2018 study noted there are an estimated 73 million podcast listeners in the USA. By 2022, the number is estimated to grow to 132 million.

Podcasting can be traced back to Dave Winer and Adam Curry in 2000 when they discussed the distribution of automated media.

  • In the summer of 2004, Adam Curry decided to program and develop the first podcatcher application using Apple scripts. The program was able to read through the RSS and download the audio. It would use the iTunes API to add the files to the playlist.
  • George W. Bush became the first President of America to create a podcast when the RSS 2.0 feed was uploaded on the White House website.
  • As more people became aware of the meaning of podcasting, the numbers continued to grow. In 2015, there were 100,000,000 searches from people across the globe.
  • One year after the founding of the first podcast directory, Apple joined the ranks by setting up its directory to iTunes. Steve Jobs referenced podcasts to becoming the future of audio.
  • The entry of Apple into the market increased the accessibility of podcasts all over the world.

The Chinese podcast market relies on paid subscriptions. The government estimated the paid podcasts in 2017 to be $7.3 billion.

In the west, advertising is used. Consumers would avoid audio ads by paying a subscription fee. Ads force people to pay for a premium package to get rid of the advertisement. However, many companies are not worth paying the subscription fee.

The name podcasts were the combination of 'iPod' and 'broadcast.' The name is the result of the process of getting music into your iPod.

At first, you had to download music or audio to your computer, then move it to your iPod. The iPod needed an internet connection to function. But technology today is not the same. The development in iPhones and 4G network strength makes it easier to stream and listen to podcasts.

  • AT&T invented the telephone and began working on mobile communication as early as the 1940s, yet it was Motorola which eventually created the first hand-held cell phones for the mass market.
  • Kotak, the film company, had a digital camera sensor ready in the 80s, yet chose to continue focusing on film and film-related products, as it was the cash cow of that time.
The Competency Trap

The company having the original PC technology back in the 70s was Xerox. This was a time when their photocopiers were a worldwide hit, and even their brand name ‘Xerox’ was used as a verb. They had a research centre to develop new technologies, where they invented the PC (similar to what we see even today) and a graphical word processor. But even after inventing futuristic products, which were inspirations for what Steve Jobs and Bill Gates did for the computing industry, Xerox failed to capitalize or commercialize them.

Past success and entrenched expertise prevented the pioneers of great technology to deal with a changing, uncertain and fast-moving market. Xerox forgot to grow, evolve, stay nimble and keep an eye out for the changing market dynamics.

Successful organizations start having rigid corporate cultures, which crumble when the outside world evolves, which is always inevitable.

The rules and assumptions that companies operate on, become embedded, making the employees blinded from any potential future innovations.

... is a reluctance to give up on the past spendings and investments made on projects or products that are no longer providing any return.

The managers are usually unable to make strong decisions and keep adding costs to failed (or about to fail) projects.

  • Companies which have the potential for falling in the competency trap may require an overhaul.
  • Old-school managers who are blinded from future innovations need to be updated.
  • Employees and managers should work within the research and development departments for some time to help them let go of their cognitive rigidity.
  • Freshers and junior employees have innovative viewpoints and need to be heard by senior management.

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