The Opening Band doesn't usually get the audience's attention. The audience is not really and audience yet, just a bunch of people milling around, tailgating. The Opening Band works hard to put on a good show, just as hard as the Headliner. Writing, arranging and recording songs takes a lot of time and is financially [...]
Do you feel like you are not getting anywhere? Like you are spinning your wheels? Like you keep revisiting the same problems over and over? We, the self-employed, the creatives, the freelancers, the sales people, have all been there. It can be discouraging. Here's the good news: You know more. You are generally better than you [...]
Our Word of the Day is autodidact. It means, "a self-taught person." We are all autodidacts. Everything we learned in school, and even in classes directly related to our careers, was general and theoretical in nature. No class I ever took taught me how build a spreadsheet in Excel or format a Word document. Or [...]
If you are not familiar with the phrase, Hum a Few Bars and I Will Fake It, you are probably under 40 years old. I am not sure of its origins, but it was uttered by a deeply experienced musician who, with just a hint as to the melody of a song, could play the song [...]
I created an email inbox in Outlook to park Blog ideas called Idea Bank. [I know, I am some creative guy]. The concept is simple: when I am in a conference or a meeting or driving and I get an idea, I send myself an email, and later drag and drop. It works well sometimes. Other [...]
Answer Yes or No to the following: Is the work you do every day repetitive? Do you know the answer before you start? Can someone be trained to do what you do in a month or less? Is what you do something that any healthy adult can do? Does your work involve forms of any [...]
Give away money. Want to grow? Take a risk. Want to get better? Make a mistake. Want to make art? Risk embarrassment. Want gratitude? Visit a children's hospital.
When was the last time you: Updated your curriculum vitae? Updated your website? Checked in with your best customers? Sent a thank you note? Got new photos taken? Asked for a testimonial? Increased your prices? Really challenged yourself? Made some art? Today would be a good time. Pick one.
At my worst I get peevish and snappy and I lash out at the critic. Why? Sometimes it is just a bad day. Under other pressures I lose patience. Sometimes I just feel like the critic does not understand what I am trying to do. Sometimes I feel like the critic is embracing a bureaucratic [...]
You loved the work I did for you. You wanted to let other people know. But I didn't ask for a referral or a testimonial. I'm sorry I let you down, Client I never met.
The Appraiser Prosperity Coalition is seeking to level the playing field. I think they should just change fields.
I recently received an email request for a donation to the Appraiser Prosperity Coalition. I was not familiar with the organization, but I took some time to read up on who they are and what they are trying to accomplish. What I found was a group of well meaning residential mortgage appraisers fighting their latest [...]
Want success and happiness? Do these things: Smile. Say thank you. Be responsive. Be friendly. Take a personal interest in your coworkers and clients. Stick to your knitting. Not all work is right for you. Develop a list of professionals you trust and refer, refer, refer. The client you refer will be impressed with your [...]
Gagliano & Company is a small business. A boutique firm, if you will. There are only three of us: Miss Sophia, Office Administrator, bookkeeper, preparer of paperwork and utility fielder; Miss Kim, Researcher extraordinaire, datakeeper, spreadsheeter and report ninja; and Yours Truly, the Wearer of the Turban. As a result, our capacity is limited. We [...]
I was fussing and fuming. Things weren't going my way. I was even having stress dreams. Frustrated, I was ready to declare myself a loser. With a capital L. But then I sat back and thought about it. I don't have control over this thing. There isn't a single concrete action I could take to [...]
There are times in every business when the ol' backlog gets a little, um, thin. Many business people at this juncture do one of two things: (a) panic or (b) slow down. Both responses are perfectly natural. Panic is simply our fight or flight response at work. Our ancestors would panic when they saw a [...]
...but are you damn good? Are you a trusted adviser? Do you give your clients what they ask for, or better yet, what they need? Do you deliver good work, on time? Of course you do. So don't apologize for your fees, or your payment terms. This is your business. Your family and your employees [...]
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less is a new book by Greg McKeown that tackles the Unimportance of Practically Everything. Or, put another way, if you don't prioritize your life, someone else will. I originally bought Essentialism as an audiobook, but after I got a cold and was forced to stay home (and rest, and drink [...]
[ˈhīdˌbound / adjective - unwilling or unable to change because of tradition or convention] My industry is hidebound. Stuck. Full of rules. 50% to 70% of my reports are standard boilerplate that has to be there. That's a lot of senseless murder of trees. After the real estate crash in the early 1990s, the Federal Government decided [...]
There are four stages to learning any skill and ultimately becoming a master: Unconscious Incompetence Sometimes called "beginner's luck", at this stage the person doesn't know how little they know. The stimulus to go on depends on the person's perceived value of the skill. Conscious Incompetence In this stage, the person becomes aware of how [...]
Yup, it's back to school time for the ol' Prophet. Only this time I am teaching. You are looking at Monmouth University's shiniest, newest Adjunct Professor. Last year my friend (Dr.) Don Moliver, who had recently been promoted to Dean of the Economics Department at MU, asked me if I would teach the Real Estate [...]
Repeat after me, "I [state your name] will never again refer to my delivery of professional services as 'selling my time'". You know who sells their time? Day laborers. The going rate for a pair of hands and a strong back is $40 to $50 per day, plus maybe half of a hoagie. Most of [...]
Most of my worst professional mistakes have been the result of one of two bad habits: haste, or wanting to please the client. By pleasing the client I don't mean simply doing good work in a timely manner with a pleasant disposition, I mean the ugly side of this coin, people pleasing. My business can [...]
It is a sad state of affairs in professional services. Many are real pros that use their ingenuity and creativity to serve their clients. Sadly, some professionals fall short. Here are some reasons why: They don't stretch themselves. If they haven't done it before, they don't want to do it. Or even hear about it. The [...]
I hated it at the time, but when we were in grade school our sainted mother forbade us to wear jeans to school. She said, "the way you dress affects the way you behave. If you are dressed properly, you will pay attention and perform better." She was right. Even today if I attend a [...]
In a effort to make my drive time more productive I started listening to podcasts. It has worked well, my head stays full of positive thoughts and I have learned a lot. I have had to create ways to safely take notes in the car (more on that sometime soon) but I have a treasure trove [...]
If someone claims to have a "surefire" marketing/sales system, walk the other way. Here's why: The system is unlikely to be a fit for your business. Or for you personally. The system will force you to do and say things that are unnatural for you. Even if she is not conscious of why, a potential customer will [...]
I am a big fan of LinkedIn. It is a great source for news, business and personal improvement tips, marketing, networking and job seeking. But I can't help notice that some people just don't seem to get it. Here are some examples: If you are serious about your business or profession, let me suggest that photos [...]
A broker friend of mine called with a referral. It seems an acquaintance of his had a problem with a "lowball" appraisal. After a brief game of telephone tag, I was able to speak to the gentleman. He was upset about an appraisal of his vacation home and was wondering what do to, and if I could [...]