Category Archives: Business

You’re a Geek, and you just got fired – now what?

Jacob Share from JobMob just twhirled  about Rafe Needman’s “The spreadsheet of sunshine: who’s hiring in the US“. I was just about to go to bed, but I was intrigued, and as you can see, I didn’t get there yet …

It really is a ray of sunshine in the gloom and doom of thousands of layoffs across so many sectors.

However, if you read on all the way to the bottom, then you get to this really cool post about 14 things to do if you are laid off from a tech job

The shortlist is below, but go and read the whole post, for the full explanations of what these things really mean, and why they are good to do (although some of them will need translating for wherever you happen to live).

  1. Get involved in an open-source project
  2. Go to start-up fairs
  3. Get project work
  4. Update your profiles
  5. Learn some new skills
  6. Answer some questions
  7. Get a girlfriend or boyfriend
  8. Campaign in a swing state
  9. Take some time off
  10. Move out of the Bay Area
  11. Buy a new rig
  12. Take pictures
  13. Volunteer
  14. Start your own company

I haven’t got anything else to add, except to hope that none of you really needs this list.

But if you think you might – get started now, before the guillotine drops. And in any case, do pass it on to any of your friends and family who may be in need.

If you have any other ideas to add to the 14 above, please stick them in a comment here for all my readers to see. Thanks.

It’s a short one this time. You deserve it, after all my long-winded posts (and I deserve to see my bed before 2am for a change)!    See you next time (if you sign up for my RSS feed, of course!)

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It’s Been One Year …

A year ago this Friday I flew the coop.

I left the warmth of the Corporate Cubicle for the cold, cold world outside.

Or maybe I left the cold of the Corporate Cubicle for the warmth of building my own business??

Whichever you prefer, it was a shock to the system, especially after more than 20 years as an employee. Anyway, it’s been a real roller-coaster, a bit scary in parts, but so much fun that you want to get straight back on again at the end.

So, a few months ago, I wrote about how to find your first clients. Half the tips I gave there were about Making and Keeping Contacts, and Networking, Networking, Networking.

With the economic situation as it is, I’ve recently had a number of calls and emails from friends who are worried that they might be laid off, some who already have been laid off, and others who are just hoping that they can stay shy of the Sword of Damocles.

They are all looking for help, tips, ideas, on how to move on, or what to do until they receive the dreaded word, and of course what to do if they do receive it.  I try to give them concrete advice, and suggest ideas that are relevant to them, but in the end, a lot of the answers come back to the same place – using the network of people that you have built up over the years.

So, in case any of them are reading this, and in case any of you, my loyal readers, aren’t already subscribed to JobMob, and are beginning to fell the pinch, here is Jacob Share’s latest gem on how to grow your job search network.

At this difficult financial time for many people, I do urge you to forward this post to anyone you know or think might be job searching. Hopefully, Jacobs tips will help them move onwards and upwards.

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Growing Your Business – is it so hard?

(apologies to those of you who already received this, but quite a few people didn’t, so it’s hopefully going out again …)

What’s one of the biggest reasons for small businesses to stay small?

Is it a lack of talent, knowledge, and commitment?

NO, says Internet Marketing Guru Rich Schefren – these can only determine the potential of your success, but not the level.

What keeps businesses small are constraints:

Fast growth involves identifying and eliminating the one core constraint currently holding both you and your biz back…

So, in the spirit of the times, I’m going to tell you what my business-related core constraint is, and what I’m intending to do to eliminate it.

My main constraint is a common one for people who have been employees for many years, and then branch out on their own.

It’s having the self-discipline to plan your short and long-term goals, define the activities that you need to do in order to reach those goals, and then having what my parents used to call “zitsfleisch” – actually sitting down and doing the activities that you have planned. It’s all too easy to waste days and days, as if you were on vacation, especially if you work from home. You see, Pavlov has us where “being at home = vacation”, so breaking out of that mould is pretty hard work.

How am I going to eliminate my core constraint?

I once had a boss, a newly appointed VP of R&D, who needed to find out in double-quick time what the 500 or so people in his section were actually doing.

How did he do that? He requested from each of his direct reports (each of us managing departments ranging from 30 to 100 engineers) to send him a daily report.

Yikes” we all thought – a daily report of what 100 people are doing? How on earth are we going to do that?

But it turned out to be not so hard. What did he want in that report? He wanted us to write everything that we personally had done that day to further our department.

I’ll let you into a secret (it’s not a secret to my ex-boss – I told him after a few weeks) – I have never been so productive in my life. It’s pretty obvious why … who wouldn’t want to impress his or her new boss every day for weeks on end with what they were doing to further the products and people they were responsible for !!??

Now this was quite a few years ago. Why did I just remember it today?

I read a blog post from a young man who calls himself “the Millionaire in Pyjamas” (המיליונר בפיג’מה). He’s a very interesting person, having decided to spend his year after the army on teaching himself Affiliate Marketing, and trying to earn 1,000,000 shekels. Everything he has done since he started on the 1st of January, he has written about in his blog. In today’s post he told us why he originally promised himself and his readers that he would blog every day – it was to eliminate his one core constraint: laziness (he said it!). If he blogged every single day about what he was doing, he had better make sure that he was actually doing something worth blogging about every day !!

Sounds familiar?

OK, so that’s what I’m going to do. No, I’m not going to bore you all with it in my blog, but I am going to look for a victim (oops) volunteer to whom I will send my daily reports. That victim volunteer will hopefully help me make sure I’m actually doing useful things day after day … 

So, which of you wants to volunteer?

And have any of you had a core constraint that was holding you back, and cares to share how you overcame it?

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5 Tips for Getting your First (SEO) Clients

OK, so you are a newbie to SEO, and you’re looking for clients.

Well, I was there not so long ago (and actually I’m still there, kinda, since I’ve been doing this for just 3 or 4 months).

What are the top 5 tips for getting clients when you’re just starting up? And actually this list goes for other areas, not just SEO. In fact, they have helped me get clients for both parts of my business, SEO and Software Quality Assurance.

  1. Know Your Stuff – make sure you have a really good grounding. There’s a lot out there on the internet, but a lot of it is just too basic for you to be able to convince a customer, let alone do a reasonable job on his site. Some information is incorrect, and some is what in other businesses would be called “shady” or “fishy”, but in SEO is called Black Hat. Personally, I found that a good course put it all in perspective.
  2. Use Your Contacts – most people starting off in SEO have already done something previously with their life. Hopefully, you were good enough, and have enough experience to have made some good impressions here and there. Meet up with your contacts, and tell them what you are doing now. Explain it at the level that they will understand, and let it be clear that you are looking for work in your new field. 70-80% of my new clients have come from contacts.
  3. Network, Network, Network – before turning independent, I didn’t think that I had it in me to “sell myself”, so to speak, but you’d be surprised what you can do if you have to put food on the table!  And when you network, PLEASE remember to bring your business cards!  I was agonizing over “the right logo/brand”, but in the meantime, made myself some colorful (no surprises there!) but business-like cards with my name, phone number, email, and “new” profession. Where to network? There are loads of networking opportunities: local entrepreneur groups, local or national professional and industry groups, conferences, courses, and more. The other 20-30% of my clients have come from networking.
  4. Keep up to date – find the best few blogs in your industry, and read them religiously. Make sure that you know what the Gurus in the industry are saying. If you can, find webinars, videos, conference presentations on-line, and the like.
  5. I know I had a 5th in mind – it’s so nice to be able to write a headline like “the top 5 blah blah blah” – somehow “the top 4 …” doesn’t quite sound the same, but I can’t for the life of me remember it. 

I’ll probably remember it in the middle of the night, or in the shower, or something. Anyway, I’ll add it when I remember.

It would be great if you added your ideas in the comments (but please do it here, please, and not on the SEO blog, until I manage to combine them), and I’ll add them to the list.

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