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Archive for September, 2017

Pen Power

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

PenPower“The pen is mightier than the sword,” was penned back in 1839 in the historical play, Cardinal Richelieu. But it still rings true today. In the play, the Cardinal also states, “Take the sword; States can be saved without it!”

I am a firm believer in putting down our swords and picking up our pens in order to affect positive change in the universe. Through books, sharing ideas, stories and journeys through the written word, we can make our world a better place. But, we don’t even need to go to the book stage in order to make positive pen power. In fact, I recently had two real-life, different situations where a written letter or email put some positive power back into the universe.

Story 1: I had a slight altercation with unprofessional conduct on a recent flight. (I won’t say which airline, but those who follow me at social already know.) When I arrived home, I wrote a letter to the CEO of said airline and voiced my concerns about their rampant unprofessional conduct with their customers during one leg of my flight. I also sent a copy of said letter to CEO of another company that both I and they do business with them (as advertised on one of their joint services) and asked that CEO if he should be conducting business with the airline. If I can’t trust the airline, should I be trusting this other company?

This letter triggered 2 phone calls from the ‘another company’ above, and a $350 travel voucher from airline this week. That one letter resulted in a lot of follow up, $350 for me, but most important, attention from both companies on how they disrespectfully treat their customers. Maybe not a perfect fix, but at least some attention on the matter.

Story 2: Being an avid reader, I subscribe to several print magazines (I know, I’m old school). Anyway, one of them is Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Recently, I have been researching whether or not to switch banks. They had an article recently that focused on the best banks for different types of people. So, I went back to that article shopping for a new bank, only to find I really wasn’t characterized there. They focused on retirees, millennials, families–but nothing really for entrepreneurs or single women–and we have radically different needs in a bank than these other categories of people.

I voiced my concern via email to the Editor in Chief of the magazine, and stated the facts (that single women are outnumbering married women in this country, and starting more businesses, etc.) Not only did I hear back from the magazine, but I also heard back from the writer of that particular article, along with their correction for future articles on this topic. And, this month’s Kiplinger’s had a one pager in it for single women. While I can’t take credit for sparking the article on single women–I was impressed that Kiplinger’s was actually paying attention and cared what their readers have to say.

Here’s my point: yes, you can rant over at social media and complain. David vs. Goliath stories on social media are always ephemerally charming–and I usually root for the Davids. But sometimes, it’s even better to just go over to MS Word or grab a piece of paper, thoughtfully pen your issues, and then print, sign and mail your comments via old fashioned snail mail. Even send an email.

As I was reminded yesterday when discussing negotiation at #HealthCarDev – a wise recruiter said, “I can’t help you if you don’t communicate to me what you need.” She was absolutely right. We have to clearly articulate what we need. NO ONE is part of the psychic friends’ network–so if you tell the universe and others what you need, you just might get it.

Be careful what you wish for….lol!

Too Much Success: A Recipe for Failure?

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 7.32.47 AMI’m on a seefood diet. As in, I see it, and I eat it!

And while I don’t really consider myself a foodie, I do get super excited when I have the chance to head to a one Michelin Star restaurant – usually only while only on vacation, and usually only on the splurge night (my most recent encounter was at the Rijks in Amsterdam right after they earned their first Michelin Star). When a restaurant hits 3 Michelin Stars–that’s the big time. I’ve never actually eaten at one, because they’re typically next to impossible to get into.

So I read with one eye brow raised this story of French chef Sébastien Bras who announced recently he wanted to renounce his 3-Michelin-Star rating and be removed from the book. He claims there’s just too much pressure in trying to maintain the rating he’s had since the late 90s. Apparently, other chefs who earned the distinction in the past but didn’t want the long term pressure would either close their restaurants or just change concepts. He simply wants to be de-listed.

What I keep thinking about is comparing Bras’ success with those of younger girls, who we tell often they are ‘smart’ and ‘perfect.’ These are the same girls who ultimately stop trying to learn or work on anything hard or challenging, because they will no longer be considered ‘smart’ or ‘perfect‘ in the eyes of those around them. These are also the same girls who opt out of STEM careers–they encounter their first challenge and back off, rather than diving into the challenge, rolling up their sleeves and knocking the work out of the park (for a string of cliches).

Bras feels ‘liberated’ for his decision, according to this article, and the more I think about this, the more I agree with his decision. There’s no room to experiment or be innovative when you’re ‘perfect.’ There’s no room to grow. And for artists (and I think we’re all artists because we all can create), it’s a death-knell to not have permission to experiment and have the autonomy to try new things…which can be the biggest failure of all for artists.

So, the next time you try to crawl your way into a 3-Star restaurant, or tell a 5-year-old she’s perfect, pause. Reflect. Maybe seek out a different standard–like innovativeness, creativity and even touch of weirdness, instead of perfection. After all, there is no perfection; thus, it’s impossible to sustain something that doesn’t exist.

What Color is Your Side Hustle? 2018 Edition

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 4.00.28 AMSorry, fab 13 – I’ve been away on holiday in…Scotland. Outlander fan, I am. It was awesome – and I’ve scattered a few pictures of the voyage over at the Instagram page if you’re interested. I owe you a #6onSaturday newsletter, which I’ll try and crank on for you soon of what I learned during my time away.

While I was away, my library sent me notice that I could check out a new career book now out. Staggering updates in one of my favorite books on career development that I often recommend to students and mentees — the 2018 edition of “What Color is Your Parachute?” is out. And, there are some dramatic and staggering stats in it. I’ll let you read it, because it’s that important (and I don’t want to steal thunder from the author), but suffice it to say — our work worlds are changing, right before our eyes.

Careers now are complicated. Here in news out of Indianapolis just this past week, Lilly announced a near 8–9% layoff of their workforce over the coming year. Angie’s List locally will be letting go duplicates of their workforce with an approved merger. The change is disruptive and whiplash-inducing these days.

However, the silver lining here is that we always have options. Gig work, part time, full time, near full time, and one of my personal favorites — the part time side hustle. Just this past week, one of the books I wrote on the options of the side hustle, Plan C: The Full-Time Employee and Part-Time Entrepreneur was featured in Huffington Post (thanks, Caroline Dowd-Higgins, for sharing)! I also found this infographic from Entrepreneur on what type of side hustle you should try. My favorite book of 2016, Adam Grant’s Originals also talks about the side hustle.

Whether you’re considering an Etsy store for your knitting or crafts, all the way through to being a full-time independent 1099 consultant, there’s a lot of different ways you can attack your career these days. I also say, sometimes looking at the spectrum of options, it can be a little overwhelming and unsettling. But, there are a lot of coaches out there who can help you weed through the menagerie.

Also, we’ve worked really hard this year with HBA Indiana to provide content that matters to our members, and on 9/29/17, we’re taking on this very large topic of career development particularly in the healthcare, life sciences and healthcare IT spaces in an unconference format. This unconference will feature many entrepreneurs and many different approaches to your career. If you’re in the Midwest, consider attending to create an offensive strategy for your career moving forward, particularly if you’re in the healthcare and life sciences space: tickets are here.

I’m glad to be a part of the energy around how the way we work is ever changing in this country — and although with natural disasters, chaos and closures going on all around us, I’m thrilled to be a part of how to help get through the chaos, spot the trends, and create the BEST career mosaic for others.

BTW – here are the books I’ve written on the subject, just in case you haven’t read them:  Plan CSingle Women Entrepreneurs, and Multipationals