Archive for May, 2012

May 30, 2012

It’s Not What You Know or Who You Know…

I’m sure if you are in the job market or looking to grow your business you’ve heard one cliche phrase from everyone over and over. You know what i’m talking about. It’s the one you hear so much that you start to wonder if there is any truth to it or if it’s something that just got twisted up in the grapevine as though it’s a game of telephone. Yet, you repeat the cliche without giving it a second thought.

“It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” 

As popular as it is, it seems as though the phrase just popped up out of nowhere coincidently around the same time everyone became networking fanatics. Well, even though your grandmother, professor, and neighbor across the street told you these fine words of wisdom, I’m here to tell you that it’s not true. But it’s not exactly a lie either.

It just doesn’t tell the whole truth. 

You see, the phrase “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know,” focuses on networking to get to know new people. Of course, it’s important to branch out and meet people. But this saying seems to ignore the people you already know. Other than the professional association and your bosses lunch buddies, you’ve got a whole different networking group you need to tap into every once in a while. It’s called your friends, family, and acquaintances. I know you are probably giving me the side eye right now and wondering what your grandmother and her knitting buddies can do for you, but hear me out….

Your grandmother’s knitting buddy just might be the CEO of that Fortune 500 company you’ve been trying to connect with. Or your godmother just might be in the market for a new brochure.  Your best friend’s boyfriend, who you happen to eat lunch with occasionally could be looking to revamp his resume. Your crazy Uncle Reggie could be best friends with Angeline Jolie’s stylist and looking for a new designer – All of these are something you can do. But because you were too busy following that old mantra and networking with a different group, those in your own network ended up hiring someone else to do the work you could. They didn’t know what you know or what you are capable of.

Unfortunately, it’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way more than once. That’s why I chose to ignore the old business mantra and adhere to this new one:

“It’s not who you know. It’s what who you know knows you know.”

A little tongue-tying, but important nonetheless. Unless your network knows what you know, you won’t be able to reap any benefits. You may only see your child’s preschool teacher as a kind spirit with a knack for children, but underneath it all she may be a first-rate accountant who could use your help. At the very least, she could pass your name along to the right people. But she never would’ve been able do that if you didn’t let her know what you do.

It’s very possible that you do know some very important people. They can’t help you if they don’t know what you know. So rather than dismissing them as “only your dad’s golf buddies” acknowledge the connection, build a relationship, and make sure he is aware of your expertise. Otherwise, you will just be letting a good connection die by assuming the people you know can’t do anything for you.

Have close friends or relatives ever given you lead or helped you out after making your expertise known?

TERRIfic Quip: Repeat this everyday. “Today is the day I do the impossible.” Say it enough and you will definitely believe and make it happen.

May 24, 2012

Wanted: Partner to Whip my Butt into Shape

You read that right. I’m looking for a partner to kick my ass. Nope, I’m not talking about a life partner or personal trainer. What I’m in need of is a writing partner to hold me accountable.

One of the perks of being a freelance writer is not having a boss. Interestingly enough, one of the downfalls of being a freelance writer is not having a boss. Unless I’m rushing to meet deadlines for a client or an article for a magazine, I have no one to make sure I get other work done like my queries, book proposals or new marketing plans. And quite honestly, no cares if  I get that work done. Why should they? It’s not anyone else’s job but mine.

But when you don’t have a boss you have no one breathing down your neck making sure you are successful. It’s up to me to find that motivation on my own. It’s not always that easy. Those of you who work for someone in a cubicle don’t have that problem. No, I don’t I want a boss to work for, but you get the picture.

What I need is a writing partner to kind of act like a boss – the kind you actually like though. But instead of working for the boss. We’d be working together. To depend on each other to reach our goals.

You see, since I started writing full-time I’ve found that I’ve started to lose myself. I came into this determined to change the world with writing and have a bunch of books, investigative pieces, and earth moving stories under my belt. Instead, I’ve found myself getting stuck writing unexciting projects for copywriting clients, trendy service pieces for national publications and whatever else can pay the bills at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I sill LOVE what I do and want to make a difference but I’ve seemed to lose sight of that along the way. I no longer push myself as hard as I should to nab those earth shattering article assignments and claim that greatest Fortune 500 copywriting client. I don’t dedicate as much time as I should to churning out those personal essays, creating topics for that potential education column. I need someone to help me find that desire and focus to reach those heights again.

Most importantly, I would love to have a writing companion. Working for yourself can get rather lonely. As much as I love venting to my fiance about what it’s like to send 20 queries a day without getting a single response, I’m thinking he wouldn’t get it as much as an actually writer would.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a one-side relationship. I’d help you with deadlines, establish goals, and reach your full potential as well.

So here it is… My cheesy want ad –

Wanted: Writing partner to kick my lazy, un-focused, lonely butt into shape. Must: Be totally focused, motivated, and deadline driven. Have the ability to offer open, honest criticism and not have a problem with people who can talk your ear off.

Interested? Leave a comment  right now and we’ll chat!

Are you a solopreneur? How do you stay motived and hold yourself accountable?

TERRIfic Quip: Create the life you want. Not the life you think you should want.

May 9, 2012

10 Benefits to Looking Much Younger Besides the Obvious

Considering I am in my twenties and I look like I am 14, I know how annoying it is when treated with little respect and have your age questioned on nearly a daily basis. And nothing is more annoying than venting about your age deficiency and constantly hearing, ” You’ll appreciate it when you’re older. I was the same way.” (I’m convinced the only people who say this are those who never really looked much younger than they are but only think they do in their warped minds. Otherwise, they’d understand how annoying it is and wouldn’t say annoying phrases like this.)  So I’ve been coming up with a list of benefits to make myself and other people like myself feel better about their appearance challenge.

 1. Knowing a person’s personality before wasting any time on them. For some reason, people really seem to show their true colors when they are in the presence or think they are the presence of children. I can’t even tell you how many people have treated me like a second class citizen when they thought I was a child. Boy is it fun to watch them choke on their words once they realize my age.

2. Nothing beats the look on people’s faces once you tell them all of your accomplishments and they look dumbfounded because they are convinced you are still in middle school. I have a lot of fun making people think that I really am a child genious that just happened to finish writing two books and  featured in national magazines.

3. You can get a way with a lot of things. When you are an adult and act like a bitch, it’s terrible. When you look like a teenager and act like an asshole it’s ok because it’s just those ranging hormones and you are still learning since you are still just a kid. Not to mention, you have an innocent and naive appearance so there’s no way you can be up to no good.

4.  You’ll always have one up on other women who actually look their age. I can’t help but gloat a little inside when I hear of women seeking advice on how to revert to that “youthful appearance.”  If I am lucky, it’s a problem I may never have to deal with. Odds are looking pretty good so far.

5. Picking out bars with the best security is easy. Chances are the places where the bouncers and security grill you on the authenticity of your I.D. is a little safer than those than don’t. You’ll know exactly which bars and clubs to avoid at 2:00 am when riding through Brooklyn with your girls.

6. High school kids continue to hit on you. No I’m not a pedophile or sex offender. Sometimes you can’t help but think that you still got it when a tender 15 year old steps to you to ask for a date. It’s a great pick-me-up on those days you actually start feeling old or like your losing your hot figure. Definitely on the right track to becoming a MILF. Beyonce and her post-baby body ain’t got nothing on you!

7. You save a ton of money on make up. Since you aren’t experiencing any signs of aging you save a boatload of money on wrinkle creams and skin firming lotions.

8. Watching G rated movies isn’t a problem. No shame in heading to the movie theater to see the latest kid-friendly Disney movie. Nobody would give you a second look since you appear so young and innocent. You’d fit right in.

9. The realization that you will always be old enough but look young enough to play a high school kid on TV for many years to come is like winning the lottery. Maybe it’s about time to give that acting thing a second try.

10. More fashion trends are available. Once you hit a certain age, it’s certain that some fashions are just no longer age appropriate. I mean who really wants to see a 37 year old wearing a tube top and low-rise short shorts? But if you’re 37 and look 22 you can still totally pull it off and hang on to all your favorite clothes for much longer. Plus it makes shopping just a tad bit easier…

Do you look much younger than you? Does it bother you?

TERRIfic Quip: Life is too short to begrudge getting older. Instead, I choose to celebrate another year of awesomeness.

May 3, 2012

Surefire Ways to Tell You’re Getting Old

Once upon a time my excitement came from things like buying concert tickets and going to Six Flags or hitting the bar for girls night. But when the clock struck midnight all that changed. Little did I know that once I turned 23 life would never be the same.

Long gone were the days of worrying about getting to class on time after staying up all night. It’s been replaced with worries of maintaining health insurance and a great driving record. Oddly enough, my most recent highs seem to stem from the satisfaction of paying my monthly bills early.

“And then it hit me. I’m getting old” For some reason, I was shocked. But there was honestly no reason for me to be. After all, students and my brother have been calling me old for years. The signs have been there all along. I just chose to ignore them.

It was no coincidence that friends’ Facebook and Twitter pages went from talk of winning beer pong competitions to job acceptances. Graduation party invites turned in to baby shower and engagement party invites. This,of course, was another big shocker because people were actually planning to get pregnant! The days of unplanned pregnancies were almost ancient history. And I can’t forget that I’m getting married. I don’t even have any friends whose lives resemble those of the house mates on the Jersey Shore anymore! That’s pretty strange considering I do live in Jersey.

So when did this shift happen? My guess is it happened the minute everyone realized that finding a job out of college wasn’t so easy. About the same time, bills started pilling up faster than the money came. Being broke really does snap you into reality very, very quickly. Others, probably got the clue when they stopped getting carded to buy lottery tickets. (I’m still waiting for that day to come, by the way.) It’s time for me and all my peers to accept that we’re getting old and this is only the beginning…

In case you’re still not sure whether you are getting old or not here’s a few clues:

1. You find it impossible to stay up past midnight like you used to. In fact, if you could help it your new bedtime would be around 10:00 every night.

2. “Old Head” becomes your latest nick name assigned to you by the middle school and high school kids; especially if you’re an athlete  that hangs around gyms.

3. Beer just doesn’t seem to be an acceptable drink of choice anymore. Instead, you’re becoming a wine connoisseur. Mostly because you can actually afford to drink something other than beer now.

5. No matter how much sleep you get, your body just always seems to be tired.

6. You catch yourself having conversations with your peers about how the kids of today have changed so much, gotten bad, or have no manners.

7. You suddenly have a career instead of just a job.

8. Your weekends turn into trips to the grocery store, running errands, cleaning the house, and occasionally attending a friends baby shower instead of heading to the shore or the bar all the time.

9. You’re convinced that music of today just doesn’t compare to the music of the 90’s.

10. You realize that you have friends you haven’t seen in 10+ years.

11. You actually use Facebook and Twitter for business and/or networking purposes rather than to keep your “friends” updated on how amazing your life is.

12. Teasing and dying your hair with crazy colors just seems random and juvenile now.

13. You surpassed the maximum age of being listed under your parents health insurance.

14. Your favorite past time of shopping has been replaced by the grand ole’ hobby of coupon clipping. You just can’t pass up a big saving.

If one or more of the above applies to you, it may be time you face the music and accept that you are in deed getting old. Embrace it and learn to live with it because you’ve only just begun. 

But don’t fret. Watching repeats of Spongebob and Phineas & Ferb can keep you young at heart forever!

Can you relate? When did you first realize you were getting old?