The Best Way to Network: Serving People

My tip for the best way to network is simply this: serve people. In a world of self-congratulation and a growing obsession with celebrity culture, we need more of this ethos of humility and generosity. Networking is a funny concept. In business, you’re supposed to network with peers in your industry to stay fresh in your trade, grow in your field, and keep a healthy list of prospective clients (depending on what you do).
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Are You Satisfied?

Jason Fried of 37 Signals posted a tweet recently saying how sad it is when business surveys set “satisfied” as their highest metric for success. What a  “low bar” to set, he laments. Read the rest of this entry »

Tell the Truth

Telling the truth has never been more important.

My mom just told me today on the phone a story about a coworker (and friend) who wanted her to lie to her boss. She refused. She just couldn’t lie like that. The friend lost her job, and my mom lost her friend.

The other day at the Catalyst Conference, I heard Seth Godin give this advice to an auditorium of leaders: “Tell the truth.” Read the rest of this entry »

Write Every Day

Don’t write a lot. Just write often.

Spending five hours on a Saturday on a working project isn’t nearly as valuable as spending one hour per day for five days straight, or even 30 minutes per day every day of the week.

The idea is repetition – developing a discipline of showing up, making this a priority, and working through the Resistance.

It should come as no surprise that habits practiced once a week aren’t habits at all. They’re obligations. If you don’t do something, you often stop doing it altogether. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Start a Business on the Cheap

Portray Photo: Nashville Photography LogoMy wife recently started her own family and pet photography business.

I just printed out her first invoice. It’s a pretty cool feeling. She’s done a lot of the leg work on her own, but I’ve had the privilege of helping her with some of the business.

We definitely “bootstrapped” it during the start-up phase and have been pleasantly surprised by some of the immediate success we’ve seen over the past few months.

Of course, it’s just getting started, but we’re learning that starting a business doesn’t have to be something that is hard. Not today. Not with the tools at our disposal… and yours. Read the rest of this entry »

Tools for Teaching Yourself

When I was a junior in college, my roommate Andrew was a senior and preparing to graduate. Shortly before he finished school, I asked him, “Are you going to miss it? Learning, I mean.” He responded that he would not, because he intended to continue learning long after receiving his Bachelor’s degree.

“I’m actually looking forward to becoming a self-learner,” he said. He told me about how his dad, a successful realtor, had been studying a different American president each year for the past several years, reading biographies and all that he could about these influential men of history. He explained how that had inspired him to continue studying and learning long after receiving his diploma. Moreover, he shared how excited he was about finally studying what he wanted to study with the discipline that college had taught him to use.

To this day, I’ve heeded those words and disciplined myself in learning something new as often as I can. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot and studying, in particular, some things I never spent much time with in college — namely, marketing and innovative business techniques. It’s fun and relevant to my job, so it helps keep me on my toes.

For all of you who have also made this same commitment to “lifelong learning,” congratulations. I hope that the journey is exciting and challenging. Here are a few business and general learning resources that I’d recommend (feel free to add your own in the comments section):

The Personal MBA
An creative alternative to going back to business school

Seth Godin’s Blog
Thoughts on business, marketing, and creating change

Tips for success as an online copywriter

Christian Classics Ethereal Library
Free spiritual resources for Christians

37 Signals Blog
A blog about technology and innovative business

Site with thousands of free audio books

Some things you can do in your free time, if you’re feeling bored or restless, are:

Write a Manifesto
ChangeThis is a site where you submit ideas for a manifesto and if people vote for it, it gets published.

Start a social network
Ning is a site where you can create your own social network for free.

Launch a blog
A blog is a website where you publish your own content.

Create a lens
A lens is webpage about a specific topic.