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4 Keys to Facing Challenges with Confidence

4_keysNo storm lasts forever. That's just as true of financial storms as it is natural ones. However, in the midst of a storm, that knowledge may not offer much solace.

The news has been full of storm clouds. Among other indicators, unemployment is rising. There is one thing you can do to face challenges like this with confidence – prepare for it in advance by keeping your options open. Here are four ways to do that:

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Visibility

Insure that people see you doing what you do best. Is your job "outbound" so you're clearly visible to customers? If so, capitalize on that relationship. Ask them for a brief note about working with you. It will come in handy at your next evaluation or if you need to look for other work.

If your job doesn't expose you to anyone outside your company, then work on your visibility. Get involved in your industry. Look for conferences you can attend. Participate in forums and comment on blog posts about your industry. You might even consider starting your own blog to show off your expertise. Volunteer to work for your favorite non-profit.

There are many ways to do it. Get started right away if you’re not already doing it. And then do a little maintenance – reach out in some way – every day.

Networking

It's amazing how many people land a new job through a referral. It's also amazing how much business results from our networks.

So why do so many of us pay so little attention to our network until we really need it?

Do you participate in local opportunities? Is your company a member of the Chamber of Commerce? If so, do you attend Chamber functions? Are you a member of any local service clubs? These are great real world opportunities to build your network.

Are you on LinkedIn? What about Facebook and Twitter? Have you joined any industry-specific social networking sites? The contacts you make through these sites will be valuable now. They may prove invaluable should you be forced to make a change.

How about combining the virtual with the real? Have you registered on Meetup to find out about local events of interest to you? You’ll meet some fantastic people while growing your network at the same time.

Marketing

It begins by positioning yourself. What makes you unique? How can you communicate that? What opportunities play to your core strengths?

Is your resume up-to-date? If not, there's no time like the present! For sample cover letters, resumes, job search and interviewing tips, check out Resume Help.

Building a Bridge Plan

What would you do if you were forced to change jobs? How would you pay your bills? Where would you look for a new job? Who would you contact for referrals? For what services would you pay? For example, would you hire a career coach?

As you prepare this plan, keep a couple of things in mind.

  • You may spot some problems.
    That's why you're doing this now. For instance, at what point might you need to find some part-time work or freelance work to pay the bills?
  • Allow for some recovery time.
    You're human. It will be emotional. But you'll feel much more confident having thought it through in advance. And you'll be able to keep your options open to find the right opportunity for you! That’s bigg success!

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Thanks for the gift of your time today.

Bigg success is life on your own terms. You are the entrepreneur of your own life. You can be taught some things about entrepreneuring; others you have to learn on your own. Please join us next time when we talk about which is which.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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Get a Brand Over – Part 2

brandoverToday, we continue our discussion with John Tantillo, The Marketing Doctor. John is a behavioral research psychologist with over twenty years of marketing experience. He is the President of the Marketing Department of America and regularly appears on Fox News and Fox Business News. Last time, we discussed the difference between a makeover and a brand-over. Let’s get back to the conversation …

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marylynnJohn, let’s say you have a brand and it’s not working. You need a brand-over. How would you do that if you’re an existing business?

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johnThe first thing you have to do is reach out to your customers. This rebranding, or brand-over notion, comes from the marketing concept. It is not “build it and they will come” ala health care that’s being promoted. It’s find out what people want and give them what they want. For example, let’s say you have a car wash and you think hot wax is what everyone wants. But you’re not getting the number of people you want through your car wash. So you ask your customers, “Why aren’t you coming to my car wash?” They say, “It’s the hot wax. It interferes with my paint job.” Ah! What does that tell you? You shouldn’t be using hot wax, even though people in the business have told you that hot wax is great. Ask your customers. Stay in touch with them so you can give them what they want. How do you get somebody to like you? You tell them what they want to hear or give them what they want. That’s the secret.

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georgeThat’s how I got Mary-Lynn! Companies have kind of gotten this, John, although they don’t always deliver upon it. As individuals, isn’t it important to understand that a brand is a promise? We have to be careful about what we promise to be absolutely certain we can deliver it.

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johnAbsolutely. There’s nothing worse than promising a consumer something you don’t deliver. I’ll give you an example of this. Many years ago, in the New York area, there was a beer called Peel’s Beer. Their advertising was so clever that it generated a lot of initial sales. The problem was nobody liked the beer. They promised a great beer but they didn’t deliver a great beer. Not a good thing.

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george
Maybe they should have positioned it as the beer you drink after you’ve had a few?

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john
There you go! Are you sure not in marketing?

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marylynnJohn, you always offer a “Tantillo Takeaway” on your blog. I’d say our takeaway with you today is “know your target market.”

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john
That’s always the secret. Who is your target market?

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georgeYou recently had a great post about institutional communication versus individual. The example you gave is that John McCain now has more followers on Twitter than the White House. So the individual has power with new media that institutions don’t have.

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johnThat is correct. It’s driving the heck out of these Washington media types that the blogger, or the candidates themselves, can go directly to the voter. If we’ve learned anything today, it’s that the game has changed. You have to be on top of all the new social media. I’m 58 years old and I’m on Facebook with over 3,400 friends. I’m on Twitter and LinkedIn. I even went to my old high school web site and now I have a page there. The point is that you have to use every marketing tactic you can possibly use in today’s world. It’s funny. It’s the very reason President Obama became President Obama. He was sophisticated. Now, in the institution of the White House, maybe he feels that he has to move on or do things more traditionally.

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marylynn
He’s also more edited now than he was before.

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john
No question about it.

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marylynnLet’s talk about small business owners. We hear all the time that they don’t have the time to get out there and utilize these new media tools. They don’t even know how to get started. What would your suggestion be to them?

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johnYou have to do it. Enlist young people – high school students, college students home for break or friends of your own children. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time. To give you an example, I started Facebook about a year or two ago. I didn’t really do anything. Then I went down to my favorite place in the world – God’s waiting room – Miami Beach, Florida – at Christmas time. I’d picked up a book in the library, about how to market yourself on Facebook. It’s been an increasing positive function – how do you like that, George – in terms of Facebook friends ever since. I love it. And hey, if I can do it, anybody can do it. You have to make a little bit of time. It’s a good reason to go on a vacation where you don’t think about your business, but about yourself in terms of the business. It’s a little different. I’ve found it fun and exciting. You have to make it part of your day. It’s like doing cold call sales. Nobody likes to do it. But, at one point, when things aren’t moving, you just have to go and do it. You have to make time.

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Thanks so much for joining us today. Next time, we’ll wrap up our conversation about John. We’ll discuss social media marketing tips. Please join us! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00474-090309.mp3

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I Just Got Laid Off – Part 3

work We’re wrapping up a 3-part series on what to do if you just got laid off. In Part 1, we discussed the day you learn about your layoff. Part 2 was about the first couple of days after the announcement. Now we want to talk about moving on to your next job.

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We’re moving ahead quickly, but don’t be alarmed if you’re not quite ready to move on just yet. You’re going through a grieving process so it will take some time. Be aware of it, but also look forward to that time in the near future when you start feeling your zest return. If it doesn’t return relatively quickly, you may consider speaking with a professional.

During this time, it’s important to maintain a proper attitude. One of the best ways to do this is by associating with positive people. It’s also helpful to talk with people who have gone through this before. Ask for their advice. Almost everyone really likes to help other people. They can encourage you with their story.

Next, assess your financial situation. Ask yourself how aggressive you need to be in your job search. Map out a timeline. Think about phases.

For example, in Phase 1, you may be able to be very choosy in your job search. Phase 2 may mean you need to find a job soon so you’ll be less selective. In Phase 3, you may freelance or work part-time to get some money in the door. You may find a job in the first phase, but you’ll be prepared in case you don’t. 

Also plan how you will market yourself. Think about what makes you unique? How can you communicate that? What opportunities play to your core strengths?

Obviously, you’ll also need to update your resume if you haven’t already. We found a great site for help with resumes, cover letters, job search and interviewing tips. Check out Resume Help.

Begin to think about how you will explain your recent departure. Practice interviewing with a friend, preferably someone who is a manager who interviews people. Get feedback.

One of the most important things to get on your to-do list is networking. It’s amazing how many people land a new job through a referral. Resist the urge to go into self-imposed isolation. Reach out to everyone you know who might be able to help you. Tell them what you’re looking for.

Have you registered on Meetup to find out about local events of interest to you? Are you on LinkedIn? What about Facebook? Have you joined any social networking groups for your industry? The contacts you make through these sites will be invaluable now.

The good news is that most people who go through this report that they are happier in their new job than they were in their old job. It may take some time, but you’ll land on your feet!

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Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thank you so much for stopping by today. Join us next time when we discuss scheduling time to decompress. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00334-021909.mp3

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(Image in today's post by Hisks

Tips to Manage More Than One Business from Home

afraid We were fortunate today to visit with Grant Griffiths on The Bigg Success Show. Grant is the President and Founder of G2 Web Media, a firm that designs custom blogs for individuals and businesses. He is also the man behind Home Office Warrior and Blog for Profit.

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marylynn
One thing we need to add to your list of credentials is that you’re a recovering lawyer.

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grant
That’s right. I went through the twelve step program and I’m now recovering!

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georgeYou have so many things going on, Grant, and that’s a bigg trend for entrepreneurs now – to find multiple streams of income. We’d like you to share some tips on how you juggle it all with the attention it needs.

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grantFirst, don’t pick businesses or income streams just for the sake of doing it. You have to be passionate about each one. For me, blogging is a passion; working at home is a passion. I spend a lot of time working, which is one of the advantages of working out a home office.

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marylynn
If you can’t sleep at 2 in the morning, you can get up and get something done, right?

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grantWhich is exactly what I was doing last night at 1 o’clock! One thing I do is really take advantage of technology. When you work out of your home, you have low overhead. Since we do, we shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to the technology because that is the key to being productive.

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marylynn
What are some tools that you can’t live without?

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grantI use the MacBook because I can take my office with me so I stay connected to my clients and freelancers. The other tool that I would not be without is my iPhone. A PDA smartphone is essential because you can’t always have your computer with you. Basically, I’m accessible and can access anything I need to 24 / 7. I may have created my own monster! But to do what we do, you have to stay connected because you really are the company.

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george
You left a traditional career to do this. What was your first step?

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grantI started blogging to promote my law practice a month after I moved my firm to my home office. I wanted to control overhead and I enjoy technology. I was looking for some other way, rather than spending thousands of dollars a year on Yellow Pages, to market my practice. I spent about six months investigating blogging because, frankly, I just didn’t get it! I think that’s a problem a lot of people have – figuring out how blogging is really marketing.

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georgeIf a business owner wants to start marketing their business through blogging, how would you suggest they get started if they’ve never done it before?

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grantIn my view, the first thing you have to do is pick out a niche – the more narrow you can make it, the better. Once you decide on that, start reading other blogs in that area. Don’t be discouraged that there are other bloggers in your niche because, if anything, that just shows you that maybe you’re on the right track with what you want to blog about. Jump in the conversation by commenting on blogs that you like. Drop a blogger an e-mail and ask them for help. Then just do it – do one, don’t over-think it.

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marylynn
How do you stay sane?

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grantHave a very understanding spouse! Spend time with your spouse and children. Get out of the home office – take your laptop and run to your favorite coffee shop or whatever – to be around other people.

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marylynn
Yeah, don’t turn into a hermit!

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grantWell, I tell people that my wife stuck me in the basement to keep me out of her hair! Another way to stay sane is to create your own water cooler. That’s where social media comes in. I’ve gotten some of the best answers to my questions by using LinkedIn and Twitter.

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georgeAnd I always find great articles to read thanks to Grant’s tweets. He’s one of my favorite tweeple!

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We recommend to all of our audience who are on Twitter – follow Grant! Thanks so much for the great advice, Grant!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Next time, we’ll ask a question – should we try to get kids to be more like adults or get adults to be more like kids? Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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(Image by Lioness65)

How to Get Noticed in Job Market 2.0

Today on The Bigg Success Show, we welcomed Phil Rosenberg. Phil is the founder of reCareered, a career coaching service that helps job searchers get past the biggest challenge in today’s competitive jobs market – to get noticed.

 

Phil, what does reCareered mean?

 

 

It means someone who is seeking a job change, or trying to revitalize their career, or someone who is between jobs and wants help with how the job markets have changed in the last eight years or so.

 

How has the job market changed?

 

 

Eight years ago, the majority of resumes were delivered on paper. Around 2000, it changed to where most resumes were delivered digitally.

 

And how does that change the resume itself?

 

 

It changes it completely. The paper-based resume had to be static. The only way to customize it was by a cover letter. A digital resume can be searched. It also increased the number of resumes that went into most companies, by as many as ten-fold.

 

We always hear about search engine optimization and how you want to rank at the tops of the pages for Google. But apparently you can do the same for your resume … it can be optimized?

 

You bet, and it’s especially critical in today’s world. Most major employers get thousands of resumes for each job, but they only staff to look at twenty to thirty. That’s two to three percent. So your goal, in submitting your resume today, is getting to the top two or three percent. Through resume search optimization, you can manage that process rather than have it be random. My strategy with my clients is to make a resume a single-use document – to have it infinitely customizable so that you’re gaming the search engine and forcing it higher up the search page.

 

How do we make a good impression right upfront?

 

 

There’s been research from the University of Toledo and Stanford University that states that interview decisions are made within the first two to thirty seconds. That blew me away. The rest of the interview is just somebody justifying their initial decision. So it’s a “gut feel” decision that may occur even before you shake hands. It’s all about preparation. Learn about your client – how they communicate (verbally and non-verbally), how they dress, how they look. If you want a job, go to a place that’s close to their office and sit there during lunch. Talk to people from that company who are getting lunch there. On a Friday night, go to Happy Hour at a bar close to their office and talk to people from that company. When you talk to them, watch their body movements. What’s the tone they use? What’s the speed they use to talk? You can also do that with their written communication – their web site, annual reports, press releases. The key to all this is communicating to your audience that it seems like you already work there.

 

It reminds me of the book, Guerilla Selling. It’s all about learning about your customer, in that case, but in the case the employer you’re going after – getting as much information as you can, wherever you can. It’s amazing how much information you can gather.

 

Sure. That’s also an effective way to use LinkedIn, Facebook or your own personal network. Chances are you have contacts within that company. A lot of people only use those contacts to see what jobs are available and to ask them to pass their resume along. They leave out some of the greatest uses of a network – talking to people within an organization to find out what an organization is like and what the communication style is like. Listening for how they’re answering questions rather than just what they’re saying.

 

This is fantastic advice because you do want to fit in. It’s all about mimicking. When you’re at an interview, should you sit up straight and lean forward or should you try to have your body language be similar to the body language of the interviewer? From what I’ve read, you should try to mimic that person.

 

That’s exactly what you’re doing – it’s called mirroring. You’re trying to show that you fit in. You speak the same language. You’re really trying to act like you already work at the company. It takes a ton of preparation. A lot of people aren’t willing to put that preparation in, but the people who do get a huge, almost an unfair, advantage.

Phil's links

You can get free daily job tips from Phil at his blog or visit his main site, reCareered, the place for resume search optimization and job search 2.0. 

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