Create your balance. Design your life.

The Challenges of Work-Life Balance During a Kickstarter Campaign

The Challenges of Work-Life Balance During a Kickstarter Campaign

Sep 17, 2014

By Jeremy Scheinberg Most people think a Kickstarter (or other crowdfunding) campaign begins the moment you click “Launch.”  If only it were that simple!  The unfortunate reality is that a Kickstarter campaign has three parts – the Pre-Launch, the Campaign, and (hopefully) the Post-Campaign (otherwise known as, how do you efficiently spend a pile of money without burning every relationship you ever created in your life). The biggest part of the entire process – and the part that will require the most work – is the pre-campaign.  As crowdfunding expert Richard Bliss, points out “Crowdfunding is not an ‘if you build it, they will come’ proposition.  You have to bring your own crowd.”  That is more difficult than it sounds.  It means reaching out to every family member, friend, casual acquaintance, person on the street who you just met and having him or her support you.  But support doesn’t just mean a $5 or $25 pledge.  The most important thing that they can do for you is telling everyone they know.  This creates an amazing network effect that builds your support base faster than you could ever do it on your own.  But it also requires them to have a lot of faith in you as well.  A successful ask means that they are putting their reputation on the line (hence the importance of proper “post-campaign” planning or “Don’t even think about promising something unless you know you can deliver it.”)  So you need to get your “direct crowd” ready to join you as soon as you hit “launch.”  That means reminding them that you are launching soon and doing it in a way that they are ready for it and not completely exhausted by the time you need them. Rule #1 – Embrace your personal network and bring them onboard. This is very difficult when it comes to preserving a work-life balance.  You are tapping all of the relationships you have ever created.  It’s hard not to be worried about letting people down.  It’s very stressful.  Your salvation – hopefully – is that you really believe in what you are trying to accomplish.  This is where it helps to have a supportive spouse.  If...

4 Tips for Career Satisfaction at 50+

4 Tips for Career Satisfaction at 50+

Aug 14, 2014

It can be a scary fact, but 31% of people at 50 or over, are finding themselves out of a job. At a time when people think they should be finding smooth-sailing, the water becomes a little choppy. Here are four, clear, expert tips on how to survive and thrive in the workforce at 50. The Today Show’s series, “This is 50,” featured Cali Yost of Work-Life Fit and Susan Swimmer from More Magazine. In the episode, “Fireproof your Career,” they shared advice on how to stay relevant and even get more enjoyment out of your career. Here’s what they had to say: 1. Fireproof your career by taking on a new project. Avoid complacency and start adding more “yes” into your life, Swimmer suggests. Don’t be scared. You have the experience. Volunteering to spearhead a project is not just for the new kids or low man. Show your boss you are a “take charge” individual and that you have fantastic ideas and solutions. 2. Dress the part. Your body changes as you get older. Dress for your new body and wear current styles. It shows you are “paying attention” and reflects that you are part of the now. Make sure to update your eyeglasses. It’s the first thing people see. 3.Commit to small, meaningful actions.  Work and life impact each other. After 50, people find more time and space opening up. Yost suggests committing to “small meaningful actions” that help you be your best in your life–and subsequently at work. Thinking of walking every night, taking a class? Committing to these activities can make a huge difference in your overall quality of life. 4. “Recapture” and re-structure your time by asking for a flexible schedule. Flexibility and work-life balance are not just for parents. Now that your schedule and responsibilities might look different than they did 10 years ago, seriously consider a formal change in the way you structure your time. As you make new commitments and re-focus how you spend your energy, talk to your boss about telecommuting a few days a week. Pilot it for 60-90 days and you’ll find your boss gives your idea some weight. For more suggestions on designing a flexible schedule and...

Use Your Past Jobs for Future Employment

Use Your Past Jobs for Future Employment

Jun 18, 2014

We talk about the “What-Now” part of our lives, that many of us are living through, frequently on this site. Part of what leads us to creating our own balance and designing the life we actually want to live is the “what-now” moments. After feeling trapped in the barren wasteland of an unfulfilling job, mounting bills, poor health, and every other part of life seems to weigh even more.  There can be a beautiful blossoming out of this wasteland when we start designing a plan of attack. Once the negative thinking starts circulating around our thoughts, many people turn negative thinking inward. We start thinking, “I’ve never been good at anything. My life never seems to work out like I’ve planned.” Completely wrong.  A few weeks ago, we interviewed a fantastic guest on the Sippin’ Social Hour. Suzanne Perry, co-owner of three successful restaurants, spoke very candidly about starting a business from a dream.  She shared with us lessons she has learned about engaging her employees, how she uses new media, and their willingness to change as often as necessary to keep their business relevant and thriving. She also spoke about how her “past lives” in other jobs all informed her current incarnation as restaurateur. Listen Here Two Her Two Part Interview: Part 1 and Part 2 (where she talks about combining all her skills from former jobs). Hope!  As I listened to her speak about her skills transferring from one job to another, I thought about how many people feel like they are in a dead-end, wasting their time.  This time, however painful or unchallenging as it may feel, is not wasted.  You are collecting skills, experience, and lessons you will need for your future self. Even if you have no idea where you would like to go, even if all you know if “this isn’t working for me,” you can start collecting your skills. The first step is to identify the skills you currently have. Here is a link to a great worksheet that will help you identify, track, and rate skills you already have. It’s a great exercise to prove to your current job/place is actually providing you with something! It’s also...

7 Business Lessons Learned From Jersey Boys The Musical

7 Business Lessons Learned From Jersey Boys The Musical

Apr 9, 2014

Thanks to The Straz Center, I had the opportunity to be spontaneous and take my daughter to see a show. Jersey Boys, the hit musical, plays April 8-13th, and is a rockin’ good time!  As with all artistic expressions, theater gives you a chance to reflect on life’s larger lessons. This show is no different.  Here are 7 business lessons Jersey Boys brought to mind: 1. You can always re-invent yourself.   It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through in life, who you used to be, or where you are from–you have the power to shape your future!  The boys in this show don’t let a criminal past stop them from pursuing their dreams.  They tweak their image and push forward into fame! 2. Never give up.  Success is just around the corner. There are always bumps in the road.  Even after experiencing good fortune or lucky breaks, there are always hurdles yet to come. The band faces challenges along the route to finding their sound.  In order to make it big, the band needs to accept new people, try new things, and keep at it! 3. Pay attention to the signs.   Get out of your own head and look up– long enough to see what’s going on around you.  Bob, the newer addition to the band, seems so focused on work/music that he seems to miss the interpersonal struggles between the members.  It’s worth the time to put down the papers and check in with your staff, co-workers, and family to make sure everyone is on the same page.  Trouble never comes out of nowhere.  If we check in with people we can nip problems in the bud. 4. Put it in writing.   How many times have we settled for a verbal contract and gotten burned?  (More times than I care to admit!)  Clarify expectations and communicate desired outcomes.  Not everyone uses the same definitions.  Be very clear about what you mean and expect when you work with others. Make sure it’s in writing so no one forgets!  Uncertainty and assumptions often lead to conflict. 5. Get help when you need it. In the musical, the band looks to a new...

How To Be The Bad Guy and Keep Your Job

How To Be The Bad Guy and Keep Your Job

Mar 31, 2014

Few people enjoy being the “bad guy.”  It’s difficult to fire people, write them up for persistent rule breaking, or mediate awkward situations.  A manager has to do those things in order to keep the team running smoothly.  In fact, failure to deliver consequences can be detrimental to a team’s morale and performance.   The Company Is Key Managers can grow fond of people in subordinate roles and form friendships.  It’s only human! This, however, makes any disciplinary action more difficult.  It can also be difficult to enforce new policies, move forward with new initiatives, and change old office patterns when the people resistant are your office pals. Aside from avoiding befriending people you manage, the key is to remember that the company comes first.  Always.  The good of the team and the good of the company needs to dictate any decision a manager makes.  It helps to keep this in mind when delivering less-pleasant news.  If you are afraid the “friendship” may suffer, you are putting your needs over the company.  If the friendship is true, and the person receiving disciplinary action is capable of separating work from personal feelings, it shouldn’t be an issue.  If the person is upset, so be it. This same “company first” policy should be a mantra in meetings as well.  Rather than focusing on the person who has poor ideas, poor output, etc., focus on why the idea itself will not benefit the situation.  Explain why the behavior is detrimental.  Keep the focus off the person behind the behavior or idea. Go a step further and focus on the positive.  Here are two examples: “This idea about sprockets is just the kind of thing I’m looking for!  Not only does it align with our company mission, but it has been addressed in our customer feedback several times. Can anyone think of anything else along these lines?” “I wanted to thank Sam and Henrietta for consistently being to work on time.  One of our big contacts called first thing in the morning, and they were able to handle the situation immediately, saving us hundreds of dollars.  The client was impressed with how quickly we were able to resolve...

Promote Yourself Without Pomposity

Promote Yourself Without Pomposity

Mar 14, 2014

On the Sippin’ Social Hour this week, Vee and I talk about how we can promote ourselves without sounding like total a-holes.  As women, we find ourselves more reluctant to toot our own horns than men.  Sweeping generalizations aside–it really seems to be true!  Women aren’t equally represented in the board room and  have trouble selling themselves without sounding full-of-it. Though we have all met plenty of men who have come off as pushy, condescending, or egomaniacle, men seem more able to discuss their successes than women.  Why? CEO and Executive Coach, Bonnie Marcus, claims this has to do with a woman’s upbringing, “We were told to stay in the background, to be humble, not to brag and that it’s good to wait until someone recognizes us.”  She explains how this becomes hardwired into our subconscious and that these deep-seeded beliefs hold us back when we need to push forward.  Furthermore, she suggests PRACTICE!!!  How true.  Like any important skill you need to be successful in life, self-promotion (for both men and women) is an art. *As a side note, women need to practice hearing other women speak boldly without cringing. Get used to it.  Just as we need to get comfortable accepting our bodies (and other women’s bodies) as beautiful, we need to learn to hear powerful language and promotion from other females without judgement.* Cream.HR (whose article completely snagged the title I actually wanted to use for this article) gives a few suggestions on how we can all practice promotion–without coming off too harshly: 1. Serve  without “selling.”  What do these people need?  After LISTENING to what they are really talking about, offer solutions, serve up some answers, rather than trying to sell, sell, SELL!  Maybe, just maybe, the person you are speaking to needs something other than what you provide.  This is your opportunity to do the next suggestion on the list… 2. Let others speak for you and promote other people.  You don’t always have to be the one talking about your expertise.  Take a buddy to networking events and let them toot your horn.  It might make things easier in the beginning.  Also, make sure to recommend other people and other...

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