A New Bill May Hurt Entrepreneurs and Startups in NYC

This week, I came across the following article about a bill that would make it illegal for bosses in New York City to contact employees after work hours.

https://www.timeout.com/newyork/news/a-new-bill-would-make-it-illegal-for-nyc-bosses-to-contact-employees-after-work-hours-032218

Following the example of France and several European countries that implemented a similar measure, this bill seeks to help workers in NYC retain a sense of work-life balance that is more difficult to maintain in the age of digital communication.

I think such a bill would be both unnecessary and potentially harmful.

First of all, an email does not require an immediate response and if your boss is so abusive and disrespectful that he/she does expect you to respond immediately at all hours of the night OR it’s the type of job that necessitates being on-call and you’re unhappy, then find a new place to work. It’s that simple.

Secondly, it’s up to YOU to set boundaries or know what kind of job or culture it’s going to be before you start a new job. If that’s not a job you can handle, keep an eye out for new opportunities. 

Finally, NYC is a working city. It’s a different lifestyle than that of Europe or many other places. Neither is good or bad. Just different. A law like this may rob NYC and the United States of its entrepreneurial spirit and the hustle mentality that makes it so vibrant and alive.

While the idealistic sentiments behind this bill are well-intentioned and I don’t support offending employers in the slightest, making it a punishable offense to email after hours could hurt business owners and employees alike.

There is no reason to legislate such a measure, especially when every job is different and messages/emails, unlike phone-calls, can always be responded to later. The nuances of each career must be taken into account.

Anyway, I don’t think this bill will pass.

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3 Tips for Using LinkedIn to Get a Job

Recently, I was asked what a person can do on LinkedIn to better their chances of getting hired.
I’m more experienced with using LinkedIn to prospect, get sales, and market brands. It’s been over two years since I looked for a job.
Applying what I know about LinkedIn marketing for brands and businesses, the following are 3 tips I shared with her for improving her LinkedIn presence and using it as a tool to network into finding the right career. It comes down three important ingredients, which I call the three P’s: People, Post, and Profile
Besides, applying for jobs:

1. People  

DM all of your connections. We all make connections here, but how many of them do you actually reach out and talk to?

In her case, she has nearly 1,000 connections. Message them and offer them value before asking for anything. See if there are ways you can help them. You’ve all heard that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. So true, in today’s age. Establishing relationships with people is a key part of making progress in any career.

2. Post

Post content every day or at least every week. People get super annoyed at this one. “But I’m so busy!” you wail. But, in a competitive job market, you can’t afford NOT to put yourself out there, share things of value, and differentiate yourself.

Sharing valuable content — even if it’s just your take on a piece of content someone else made — makes you a resource for people, demonstrates expertise, establishes credibility and initiates conversation.

Post short written LinkedIn updates, LinkedIn videos, and LinkedIn articles (i.e. your blog). In a competitive job market, you must get used to doing this work. Otherwise, risk losing the job to someone else who is willing to do it. We must all become personal brands and thought leaders to some extent, even if we rather remain anonymous.

3. Profile

Last, but not least, optimize your LinkedIn profile. For a job seeker, this is most important.

Make sure your bio is sterling and captivating. Include the most up-to-date, relevant info in your resume. I’d even recommend hiring a resume coach. Have a good photo (Literally Google ways to optimize LinkedIn profile and photo).

And, most importantly, feature examples and case studies of your work. As an employer, I’m more interested in seeing what you can do for me right now than reading your resume listing past accomplishments.

So, network with people, post content, and optimize your profile.
Is there anything I left out here that you would advise someone using LinkedIn to get a job? Granted, it’s not something I have as much experience with, so any and all tips are welcome and appreciated. I’ll even include them and give you credit!
Thanks!

I Do Things My Own Way and it Works.

I have no time for annoying formats, plugging into formulas, or regurgitating someone else’s process.

This is in part because I simply don’t have the patience to follow along with someone else’s rules and instructions and partly because I like to do things my own way. This is how I’ve been in many areas of life in ways that are both good, and perhaps, bad at times, for as long as I can remember. Might be one reason I didn’t enjoy school.

Of course, I studied the fundamentals of copywriting and I have listened to experts and learned about different headlines and certain words that work etc., but at the end of the day, I spend much more time these days creating than consuming the work of others.  And, experience has shown me that the things I write straight from the gut do far better than things which were written while following a recipe or applying some sort of methodology.

Nowadays, I write more like I speak and I let it flow. So far, the responses have been great. 🙂 I understand that not everyone is going to dig me or my style. Not everyone is going to buy what I’m selling. There is nobody who is for everybody.  What matters more to me is making an impact and connecting with others authentically. Keeping it natural.

Two Tips for Coming Up with Blog Posts and LinkedIn Updates

What do I write about?

How do I come up with things to say in my LinkedIn updates or subjects to talk about on my blog?

My first piece of advice is: Don’t overthink. Just start. 

Most of my LinkedIn updates and even some of my longer form blog posts aren’t planned. I simply started typing and thoughts came to mind.

Sometimes it’s a thought that has been on mind for a while fermenting until the ideas coagulate into a coherent cocktail 🍹ready to drink.

Two tips for coming up with LinkedIn updates and blog post ideas:

1. Jot down your observations as they come to you.

Do this on paper or in the Notes app on your phone. Think about anecdotes and things that come to mind. Train yourself to look for angles in the everyday — questions clients ask you, things you find yourself explaining over and over, revelations and epiphanies as they occur to you, shower thoughts.

Don’t be afraid to test out new ideas or use your blog or LinkedIn update as a public sounding board. This is how you start conversations and build community. Save your comments. Make it interactive. Pose questions and initiate a two-way dialogue with your audience. Bring them into your process and give them a chance to become part of it! 

2. Spend a little time reading other people’s updates or blog posts.

Leave a thoughtful comment on posts that inspire you to provide a response. Use your comment as a springboard and expand on it slightly for your own LinkedIn update.

Now, expand on it further and repurpose that idea into a longer blog post, LinkedIn article, Medium post, or video.

Oh, and by the way, this post is based on a comment which I left in response to a LinkedIn update. 🙂

If You Want Your Marketing to Work, Go All In & Provide Ridiculous Amounts of Value

Like anything else, marketing is something that only produces returns if you put sufficient time and effort into it.

We all want our businesses to grow. We want customers to buy what we have. We want phone-calls from people who epitomize our “ideal clients.”

But many of us make one of two mistakes:

We either:

A) Invest too little effort into marketing and developing a brand, dismissing it as too costly or time-consuming, hoping that our good work or name alone will somehow get across and attract people to come to us.

This mistake is fatal because what ends us happening is we don’t get the attention we need in a world where attention is increasingly hard to get.

And, worse we spend money and time on marketing, but since we’re going about it “half-pregnant,” and not fully investing our efforts, time, and creativity, the time and money we spent ends up being a waste.

Or

B) We try to rush the sale. If our business is new or our numbers are lacking, we scramble to move prospects and leads to the finish line.

Desperation is a foul smelling cologne. Your prospects can smell it. Furthermore, it causes you to resort to short-term tactics and behaviors.

You end up thinking small and neglect a key part of effective marketing and sales — providing value.

When you become a one-way broadcast machine constantly pumping out promotions and pushing prospects to claim your offers without first providing them any value, it’s clear that you’re thinking primarily of yourself and not about your prospect or customer.

This is a HUGE turn-off. And in our customer-centric world where people’s attention spans have numerous outlets across platforms and devices, that old style of “push-marketing” is increasingly ineffective.

The only way to avoid either of those mistakes is to spend the time and do due diligence to learn about your audience and figure out the best way to provide them value.

Worry less about the sale and focus more on helping the prospect by giving away value — either in terms of content which they find helpful or interesting, educating them and giving them practical advice, or literally giving some product away.

I believe that if you do that, the sales and loyalty will follow.

It Isn’t Supposed to Be Easy, but You Can Still Enjoy the Journey.

Building a business is hard.

Coming up with content every week (day?) is hard.

Earning the trust of people in a cynical world with so much competing for our attention is hard.

But, if it wasn’t, would we ever appreciate the reward?

I think how you answer the following question is very telling of how you feel about your work: If you were handed a million-dollar check every year, what would you be doing with your time?

If money were no object, would you be investing it in building your business? Would you be trying to earn more than that? Would you be exploring a different passion or hobby which you had not previously had the opportunity to pursue?

Or would you chill all day at the beach with a drink (or play video games or insert whatever other leisure activity you enjoy)?

I don’t think there is a wrong or right answer here.

But one thing is for sure. Nobody said getting to live life on your own terms doing something you love was supposed to be easy.

It isn’t, but I think embracing the struggle of it and loving the process will be a huge part of long-term success Perhaps, we can learn not only to savor the rewards but to love the journey itself.