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Archive for March, 2012

Bring On The Haters

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

So, I’m back from my mini-working-vacation from Paris and Brussels.  It was fun, thanks for asking – and I really did need a couple days out of the country.  Photos are here if you want to take a gander.

While away, I returned to find some comments about the Huffington Post piece on Plan C.  One of them I found most interesting.  Here it is, verbatim:

“Hmmm, writer, blogger, academic… basically someone who has never worked for a living proposes to advise us on how best to survive the situation her social class created in the first place.”

Uhm, ok, where to start with this one.

Let me address the aforementioned hater’s quote.  He clearly didn’t read Plan C, because I talk in the book about my own career situation.  Dude–wherever you are, we’ve not met.  Hi.  My name is Erin Albert, and I’ve had a job ever since I was…seriously – I can’t even remember when.  I’ve ALWAYS had at least one job, if not more than one.  Right now?  I’ve got about 4-5.  I’ve lost track of how many.  I work my butt off for what I’ve earned thus far.  And, I’ve also been laid off in my past.  Nothing like a pink slip to motivate one to have multiple careers.

Lastly, I’m a first generation college graduate, so I didn’t come from a long line of blue-blooded aristocrats, so I’m not sure which social class you’re referring to, but I came from a hard working middle class mentality, and honestly?  I’m still not where I want to be in terms of my career.  But I’m working to get there. Each and every day.

To most importantly my awesome friends out there, as I’ve previously mentioned in several off-line conversations…I’ll use this hater’s comments to make an excellent point, which is this: there are usually going to be haters. Furthermore, the more successful and hard-working you become, the more the haters come out to play.  I say – bring on the haters.  Why?  Because that means you’re just that much closer to success.

Now, in my effort to get back on eastern time, I’m going back to work after my very richly deserved 4 day semi-working vacation, which I almost never take. I’ve got about 1,000 emails to get through before work work tomorrow.  Yeah, one of those 4-5 jobs.  One of those jobs where I work…and no, not in any kind of ivory tower.

Rant over.

Love the haters, friends!

Really Cool Stuff

Friday, March 9th, 2012

1. Thanks to The Huffington Post and Caroline Dowd-Higgins, for reviewing Plan C today!  We’re reinventing the American Dream up in here – Yay!

2. Thanks to Pete The Planner, for having me on his show this weekend, about what else?  Prescription drugs.  (Oh, and if you’re in the Indy area and need to find better pricing on your prescriptions, check out Butler University’s Drug Information Center Low Cost Medication Pocketguide resource – online.  For free!)  Just PLEASE try and keep all your meds at one pharmacy.  Why?  Tune in to PTP tonight and Sunday to find out!!!

Happy Weekend, everyone!

If You Think Education is Expensive…

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

….check out the rant on higher education over at Inside Indiana Business today.  Thanks to my friends over at the IIB for allowing my suggestions to reach a broader audience!

There’s No Place Like OK

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

As I looked out the window at the Memphis airport on my way back home from Oklahoma today, where I presented this week on entrepreneurship education in healthcare, I looked out the window at the FedEx hub…and chuckled.

Why did I laugh?

Well…irony of course!

Staring at one of the huge hubs of the Fedex Memphis terminal, I remembered the story about the founder of Fedex, who wrote a business plan in one of his college (or MBA?) classes about the entire business model of Fedex…and if I recall correctly, earned a B- (or C?) on the plan.  As I chuckled to myself, I wondered what it took to earn an A in that class, and more importantly, if any of the A-earners in the class actually started businesses, and, last but not least, if they were more successful than Fedex.

This week at the meeting, I had a chance to talk not once, but twice about healthcare entrepreneurship (those who know me well also know I can’t shut up about entrepreneurship – so this wasn’t difficult).  Some of the slides are here:

But some of the coolest things I saw? Definitely the people who get fired up about teaching others in healthcare about entrepreneurship from all over the globe (like Tasmania, Denmark, Trinidad, South Africa and the UK to name a few)!  Oh, yeah, and a $100 ECG machine that straps onto a smartphone via a case that is 98% accurate of an expensive ECG machine that typically costs $7500.  The cherry on top for the trip?  I read Richard Branson’s book cover to cover on the way down, Screw Business as Usual.  I couldn’t and still can’t think of a more appropriate and awesome book to read during that particular meeting.

It’s fun to get around people fired up about the same things I’m fired up about.  Not that that doesn’t happen every day around me, but it is nice to get out of Dodge and get down to places where winds sweep over plains to chat about stuff I care about.  And, best part of all?

There’s no place like home.  It’s always great to come home!

Ghost in the Blog

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

This post was triggered by two events and two friends.

One posted a pic of his child as his ghost blogger this morning on Facebook, Pete The Planner.  (I wondered why his writing improved of late. (Just kidding, Pete!))  The other friend, Lorraine Ball, posted on how to make time for blogging.

I guess for me, finding the time to write has never been a problem.  I just have to write.  For me, it is a must-do.  It’s my form of therapy, I suppose.  I find it…cathartic.  And, even if I didn’t have a writing blog online, I’d definitely archive my writing somewhere offline–be it a diary, a journal, or some other system by which I could purge on the page.

To hire someone else to write for your brand or company seems odd to me.  Who better to tell your story than you?  Who better to tell your company’s story better than you, particularly if you started your own company or brand? Only you know where and how that idea or company or brand started.

Of course, I think collaborative writing projects are of benefit, but in the end…?  Tell your own story.  Even if you don’t have time–make time.  Even if you can’t write well–learn.  (Lord knows I’m still learning that myself!)  Hire someone to edit and improve your writing. The storyteller will never be better than yourself, because you generated that brand or that company – no one else did.  Therefore, no one is ever fully capable of getting inside your head (unless you are John Malkovich, of course, and that was a fictional movie anyway).

Ghostwriting rarely works for me.  Maybe it works for some.  But finding the time to write has never really been a problem for a person who loves to write, either. I say, tell your own story.  That way?  It’s 100% authentic and 100% you.  And yes, the world needs you to be you, not some cookie-cutter-trying-to-fit-in-and-get-along-watered-down version of you.

Authenticity we need more of in this world!

Mid-Career March Madness

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Today seemed to be filled with mid-career mayhem, this very first day of March.

First, had to submit my bar application.  I think I might have been one of the first this cycle.  Got my receipt, and check in guy admired my orange binders.  (If you’re going to turn in a wad of paper, you might as well do it with a little style, right? Definitely.)

Second, traded email with a friend who had applied for a Fulbright.  God bless her – I think that just might be one of the coolest things for professionals to pursue.  Unfortunately, she didn’t win one…this time.  I have no doubt that if she tries again, she’ll have a better chance–and props to her for trying!

Third, got my results back from my Strong Interest Inventory.  The good news? Some wacky stuff showed up on it – like PR Manager would be a great job for me, or Librarian.  Bad news? It’s kind of a lot like Holland – so my code (AEI) really wasn’t a surprise.  (And if you were wondering, “lawyer” was and always has been at the top of my list…)

Fourth, my new copy of StandOut showed up today–and Lord help me, I’m such a sucker for Marcus Buckingham-take-this-quiz type o’ books…but I did it, because hey–I like to know me better than anyone else.  My top two whateves there?  1. Pioneer and 2. Connector.  When combined in the online assessment?  We get…shocker…futuristic (which happens to be my #1 Strength from Strengthsfinder 2.0 AND Now, Discover Your Strengths).

Lastly, I just saw another friend of mine announcing on facebook that she’s returning from her year or so long mid-career sabbatical, and to send jobs her way in her area of expertise.  I say, props to her for giving herself permission to take some time off.  I can’t really say that I could easily do that being a singleton, but I admire her for taking the time to step back and hit the reboot button.

Why am I telling you all this?  Well, my friends, each day I’m moving closer to completing law school, and each day I get asked more and more – “What are you going to do after law school?”  The real answer? I don’t know.  But I am working on reaching out to my friends and contacts and asking them what they’ve done.  Ultimately?  I’m going to have to sharpen that sickle and cut my own path, methinks.  And while I’m OK with that–the obscure unknown-sometimes I get a little tired along the way, doing all that weed whacking.

Maybe I should just buy a wood chipper and a lawn boy instead?  Perhaps.  But sometimes, when it comes to one’s life, there really isn’t much of a wood chipper or lawn boy.  There’s no script.  There’s no clear-cut path.  And that, my friends is what makes life both interesting and maddening all at once, in March, and twelve months a year.