Friday, January 1, 2010

Is today the day to make your Resolutions

Not for me.


If you want to get something done, or want to change the way you do things. Why wait till one day a year?

There are 365 days a year to make changes. If your not growing (Changing), your dying!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Today, the last day of the year.

As you may notice, I am posting a little late.  Well, I am taking this day off to do a little house work and to spend with the boys.  We have lots of new toys to play with.  I am sure today will bring some sword fights, nerf gun battles and games.

I look forward to the beginning of a new decade.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What do I do at work this week?

So I have heard this question many times around the holidays. My customers are off, the C-Level people are on vacation in the Bahamas’ and I have nothing to do! Really? Are you kidding me? Nothing? Well let me give you some suggestions. I look forward to these times to get my ducks in order*See bottom to find out where this came from (Or best guess)*

So in a random order here are some thoughts.

1. Purposely put tasks or schedule tasks during this time. Follow up items, meeting with internal staff or proposals during this time

2. Set appointments with people you know will be asking. Hey, everyone asks if you are working this week. Many times the people who are making buying decisions work because it will be slow. This is a great time to set an appointment. They will not be distracted. And better yet they may make this appointment to break up their day!

3. Office work. Proposals, Updating files and other things that are important, however you do not want to schedule this time when you could be meeting with clients.

4. File cleanup. OK sure, this may be the exact thing as number 3. However lets face it, it is a great time to clean up your file system, file according to year (Right now it is the end of the year) or to clean out that cluttered email file. By the way, if you do not work with me you may not know that I suggest you keep files digital. Scan things in, keep them on your hard drive. Paper is old school. And another thing, if you are in this industry, you should be suggesting your customers do the same. Lead by example. Don’t give me the “My hard drive might fail” BACK IT UP. 3 Times FYI and not on tape. Or give me the people may look at it. So. They can look at paper. You can easily encrypt your Hard Drive, it is a little harder to do the same with your paperwork. Plus Paper work burns and backup is harder.

5. Set your goals for the next year. To be honest, you should have done this already, If you haven’t, it is time.

6. Do the little things. Capture birthdays of your fellow employees and put in your calendar. Call some customers and thank them for this years business. Or call your vendors and thank them for their support.

7. Find out what is in inventory. Make a year end sale. Something to motivate sales.

8. Set your marketing plans for next year.

Bottom line is this is not slacking time. It is preparation time. To be successful, you must prepare and be as productive as possible during sales times. Don’t get stuck in the office chatting for hours on how everyone’s holiday’s went. (However it is important to spend a little time doing this. It is simple relationship building. Just do not waste hours)

*Etymologically speaking, your guess as to the origins of this saying is about as good as any other. There are at least three plausible theories surrounding the origin of "get your ducksducksducks in a row," plus some others which, at least, put up an interesting argument. Some sources suggest the phrasephrasephrase was not even used in print until the late 1970s, although a magazine article from 1932 did suggest "getting our economic ducksducksducks in a row."

The most popular theory suggests that "ducksducksducks in a row" came from the world of sports, specifically bowling. Early bowling pins were often shorter and thicker than modern pins, which lead to the nickname ducksducksducks. Before the advent of automatic resetting machines, these "duck pins" would be manually put back into place between bowling rounds. Therefore, having one's ducksducksducks in a row would be a metaphor for having all of the bowling pins organized and properly placed before sending the next ball down the lane. Many bowling alleys still offer "duck pin" lanes with smaller bowling balls and shorter pins.

Another theory comes from the world of nature. Mother ducksducksducks often corral their young offspring into manageable straight lines before traveling over land or water. Any stragglers or escapees would be noticed as long as the integrity of this line is maintained. The idea of getting all of one's ideas or ingredients or team members in one organized line would be similar to a mother duck getting all of her literal ducksducksducks in a row. One concern with this theory is the use of the word ducksducksducks, since baby ducksducksducks are more correctly identified as ducklings or even chicks. The common expression suggests adult ducksducksducks, not necessarily younger ducklings.

There are also sources which argue the "ducksducksducks in a row" element refers to a carnival game or two. One popular carnival game involves the player using a small caliber rifle or air gun to knock down moving targets. Quite often these targets are in the shape of ducksducksducks, and a conveyor belt system makes sure the duck targets are aligned in a consistent row. It is possible that the expression came from the benefit of having all of the targets (ducksducksducks) arrive in a predictable and organized orderorderorder.

A different carnival game uses plastic ducksducksducks which float in a water-filled track as players attempt to select the ones with high-value prize codes hidden underneath. These plastic ducksducksducks are generally presented in a moving row for easier selection by the players.

Do a little job inventory?

Do you do what you love? I do.

Are you passionate about your work? I am.

Do you look forward to going to work? Most of the time (Hey, you have to be honest)

Do you make a difference? I do.

Are you building value? Yes. To me, my company and customers.

Are you growing and learning? All the time. Reading, researching and analyzing.

If you do not like the answers to any of the questions above. Take a good look in the mirror. It may be time for change.

I recently came across a good way of looking at this at (PS if you have not been there, I highly suggest stopping by. Justin McClung referenced earlier this year and I have been back every once and a while) Anyway, Steve Jobs gave an interesting graduation address (PS...1. Anyone that has the name Steve must have some great input and 2. This is not an endorsement of Apple!)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Is there anything better?

Then a childs face opening Christmas presents?  Simple joy. 

Have you found any of that lately?  Isn't that why we work?

Get back to the basics next year and find the joy.