One Shoe Does Not Fit All

With the recommendations I made on the last post, “Job Security Is Dead,” the comments were very intriguing.

What may work for one, may not work for the other.

Here are two more recommendations that may be better suited for you.

Start Your Very Own YouTube Channel

Who says media companies can have all the fun?

Anyone can join in on the party by creating their very own channel on YouTube.

YouTube was launched in 2005 and has over 1 billion unique viewers each month.Well known media organizations like ESPN, CNN, NBC, CBS, etc. are using YouTube to attract a new audience and to keep up with their competition.

If you want to display your expertise in a industry like public relations, marketing, oil and gas, etc. and love being in front of the camera, YouTube is for you.

Amy Schmittauer saw an opportunity to grow her company, Vlog Boss Studios, when she launched her video series, Savvy Sexy Social, on YouTube in 2011.

Not only did Ms. Schmittauer, who is a natural in front of the camera, showed her expertise on social media, she showed her charisma and personality that her channel grew to over 518,000 viewers and has a subscriber base of over 13,000.

It also put her in a position as a thought leader in her industry.

As a result, her business has gained more clients.

Even if you are not good in front of the camera, you should aim to let people see the face behind the expertise because you have to be seen if you want to advance in your field.

Write A Book

Everyone dreams of writing a book.

They might think it is impossible to do because of the process like: Writing a book proposal, then hire a literary agent, who would then pitch the proposal to a publisher in hopes that you will get a contract to write the book.

Though those things are important, one thing to remember: The publishing industry is dwindling slowly, but surely.

They are now more selective on who they take on because they need to make revenue in order to keep their operations going.

The good news: Anyone can self-publish a book.

They are many platforms were a person can self-publish a book.

Platforms like Createspace, a subsidary of Amazon.com, that has the free tools to help you self-publish your book and get it onto the Amazon website.

Another platform to consider is Nook Press, a website where independent publishers and authors can publish their ebooks to the Nook Bookstores, a subsidary of Barnes and Noble.com, LLC.

For many, this is the route they choose if they receive rejection letters that is raining in on their parade.

Natalie Sisson, who is widely known as “The Suitcase Entrepreneur,” had a desire to write a book on how anyone can run an online business from anywhere in the world.

When she submitted the proposal to the publisher, who approached her to write the book for them, they rejected it, stating that no one was ready for what she had to shared.

Unphased by the rejection, Ms. Sisson went the self-publishing route where she raised the necessary funds from a Kickstarter campaign.

Months later, Natalie released the book, “The Suitcase Entrepreneur” and it is now an Amazon best-seller.

You can’t say that you can’t do it anymore because the tools are out there to bring that dream to reality.

 

 

What Would You Be Doing If Money Was Not A Factor

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What if money was not a factor, what would you be doing at the moment?

Would you create great poems that will inspire others to go out and be themselves?

Or create beautiful music that will allow someone to just dance?

Would you sing that beautiful auria that will bring light to someone who is having a bad day?

Or write inspirational articles that will let someone know that they must not give up on that dream?

If money did not play a factor, we would see people follow their passions and create wonderful art whether it is music, writing, acting, etc.

Instead, they are doing what they do not like just to get by and save up for “retirement.”

You have one life to live, so go out and fulfill your dreams.

What would you be doing if money was not a factor?

Photo courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.com 

Job Security Is Dead

Before the “Great Recession,” a person could work for the same company for 40 years before retiring with a nice 401K.

Since the “Great Recession,” many people are getting laid off everyday.

They thought that if they stick with the program, do as they were told, don’t stand out, etc.,  everything would work out for them.

Instead, they are confused by the fact that they don’t have the job that has allowed them to provide for their family, take the nice vacations and have the dream home that they always wanted.

They are taking any job that will come their way for the time being while they try to search for that coveted position at another company that will probably not return.

The truth of the matter is that companies are looking for ways to cut costs.

Departments are either being shut down or are shipped overseas.

The job search is much harder because millions of people are competing for the same position.

To make sure that you are not caught off guard the day when your company lays you off, here are three things you need to do.

Start A Blog

Blogging has allowed many, who are not media moguls, to become a publisher, editor and writer at the same time.

What is so unique is that a blog allows people to grow their audience organically while sharing their ideas, give practical advice and establish themselves as a thought leader.

With over 249.1 million blogs, they are many platforms to choose from.

The best one to start your blog with is WordPress.org

WordPress.org is a self-hosting platform that has all of the same features like WordPress.com.

It has more features like “Plugins,” which allows you to enhance your blog or website.

In addition, you need a hosting company to install WordPress.org.

I strongly recommend using the WordPress.org because if your start your blog on WordPress.com, the content is “theirs.”

If they decide to shut down their operations, then you will lose everything that you worked so hard to build.
Create A LinkedIn Account

LinkedIn was created as a way for people to network for business purposes.

This platform is like a digital resume because you can put down your work history, accomplishments, and projects that you took part in that solved a particular problem for a client.

In addition, LinkedIn has a new Publishing platform that allows you to share quality content with your connections that gives you the opportunity to establish yourself as a thought leader.

LinkedIn only allows you to connect with the people you know personally.

However, if you want to build your connections, you can join groups that will allow you to connect with people, even if you don’t know them personally.

The most important thing is that you must contribute to these groups on a daily basis because the ones who you are looking to connect with, will take notice and will probably extend the connection with you that could lead to future collaboration on
projects.

You should not put a photo on your profile page that has your family, brother, sister, wife, aunt, etc. because users want to see you, not them.

In addition, if you put a photo on your profile that shows you with a beer in your hand, etc., that will send red flag warnings to those who would want to work with you and in the case of the employer, hire you.

Create A Twitter Account

Twitter is one of the most unique social media sites ever created.

According to Jeff Bullas, Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer of 2013, Twitter has over 218 million active monthly users.

You can interact with celebrities, authors, entrepreneurs, etc., who you admire in “real time.”

Though the goal is to increase your “audience” on these platforms, you must interact and engage with them on a daily basis and give them something valuable that will make their lives better.

That way, when the day comes that you hear the words, “We got to let you go,” you will be able to deal with the shock with your rolodex of “social currency.”

 

Going The Extra Mile That Will Set You Apart

Twitter is very unique because it allows you to interact with people who you think is out of reach in real time.

The social media platform proved itself again on why it is in my opinion No.1.

While I was looking through news feeds on Twitter, I “stumbled” onto a tweet by Lauren Berger, a.k.a. The Intern Queen with the hashtag #DellVentures.

Curious, I clicked on the Hashtag and saw that Ms. Berger was moderating a discussion with CEOs, employers and two students, Opal Vadhan and Eva Shang in New York City.

I decided to watch this chat, organized and sponsored by Dell.

It was really informative because the panel talked about different topics from how universities can better prepare students for the real world to social media.

What really stood out to me was that both Ms. Vadhan and Ms. Shang set themselves apart from the traditional college students because they went the extra mile in securing internships.

Ms. Vadhan interned at MSNBC, the Rachael Ray Show and Sony Music while Ms. Shang is the Harvard Campus Editor-at-Large at the Huffington Post and her work has appeared in well known publications like the Boston Globe and USA Today College.

Did I mention that Ms. Shang is only a freshman?

All I can say is that these young ladies are destined for greatness.

The fact that they participated in a chat moderated by “The Intern Queen” speaks for itself.

The “Downside” of Being An Entrepreneur

The downside of being an entrepreneur/self-employed is that it is all you running the show.

You are the one that have to make it happen.

You don’t have benefits, pensions, a predictable salary, etc.

But, what you do have is the freedom to work anytime you want, work with the people/clients you want and do it from anywhere in the world.

That is the reason why millions of people decide to go that route.

Some might have chosen entrepreneurship because they couldn’t find jobs in this current state of the economy.

However, it is a blessing in disguise because these same people missed out on the daily routine of the 9-5 and having to worry about losing their jobs if they disagree with their bosses or if they have an idea that can help make the company money, but have to go through bureaucracy in order to implement it.

So for anyone who are entrepreneurs, self-employed, etc, I congratulate you because you are the true innovators and job creators that will bring this economy back to “normal.”

When Inspiration Comes To You, Run With It

By Cheval John

 

Taking a picture with my new book, "Eight Things You Need To Do Before Quitting Your Job with SHSU Career Counselors,  Ceynaida Carranza, left and Greg Monteilh.

Taking a picture with my new book, “Eight Things You Need To Do Before Quitting Your Job with SHSU Career Counselors, Ceynaida Carranza, left and Greg Monteilh

Everyone has this goal in mind, or as society has conditioned us to believe: get your high school diploma by age 18, spend four years in college and get that undergraduate degree by age 22, work full-time until your “reach” retirement age and then “enjoy your life until the end.

Fortunately for me, that did not happened.

I did the first part, graduate high school at 18 years old from my native St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands.

The other parts didn’t quite happened.

After moving to Huntsville, Texas, I had a “bad start.”

I lost my wallet on the second day, but other than that, I went to Montgomery College (now Lone Star College-Montgomery) in The Woodlands, Texas and took the prep test to see if I was college ready.

I was placed in remedial classes, which at the time, I didn’t understand the community college process and was ready to go.

At the last minute, “decided” to take a year off because of the high cost for out-of-state students.

That year turned into almost four years because I didn’t understand the “community college system and I couldn’t get into Sam Houston State University (SHSU) because of my low SAT and ACT scores.

As a result, I started college at 22 years old and finished my Bachelor’s Degree at SHSU via Lone Star College at 28 years old.

I thought I finally made it.

That was not the case as I couldn’t find a full-time job due to the “Great Recession” and I barely had a real world work experience (working a decade in fast food industry and doing a month and a half marketing internship in Chile).

Maybe that counts as work experience, but at the time, I didn’t know how to parlay those skills.

I felt sad and depressed because I was confused because I did those first two things that is mentioned above, but the third part wasn’t materializing.

Fortunately, I was gaining experience during that period. (See Those Experience on The LinkedIn page).

Fast forward to this year.

I wanted to go to the next level and for some reason or another, writing a book was one of the goals.

It was something I never considered before.

However, it was a challenge I wanted, so I pursued it.

I was in the “process” of writing “The Hidden Treasures Of Huntsville, Texas” when a circumstance at my “work” gave me the idea for the book. “Eight Things You Need To Do Before Quitting Your Job.”

So, I ran with it, wrote it over the weekend while at the same time, watching the SHSU Bowling Team capture the school’s first ever, NCAA Division I National Title.

From there, I went the self-publishing route, using Amazon’s CreateSpace.

The staff there was exceptional in guiding me through the process.

A few days later, “Eight Things You Need To Do Before Quitting Your Job”* was released on CreateSpace and subsequently, Amazon.com.*

One of the lessons I’ve learned along this journey is that you are not entitled to anything.

You got to earn it and take calculated risks.

No matter what life throws at you, don’t let it knock you down because if you roll with the punches, it will work out for you in the end.

*The book is available on Amazon for purchase.

 

A Humble “Spokesperson”

Julia May is a valued treasure for Sam Houston State University.

Not only has she done a great job as a spokesperson, but her redesign of the Heritage Magazine brought a whole new look to the publication that goes out to the more than 120,000 alumni of the university.

May didn’t foresee herself as a spokesperson when she was a journalism student at the University of Louisiana-Monroe.

But she understood that it prepared her for the role because it helped developed her writing skills.

Her hard work and dedication paid off when she was among the winners of SHSU’s 2013 Staff Excellence Awards.

May takes her job seriously and she will go out 120 percent to make sure that it is done well.

She also has the forward thinking mindset that allowed her to move up from Assistant Director to Associate Director of Communications.

Though she has accomplished in over three decades of service, she remains humble and gives credit to her colleague Jennifer Gauntt, who is the manager of the Today@Sam website.

It seems to me that she is not slowing down anytime soon.

If you agree or disagree with this post, please leave a reply below.