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Pimp Your Work

October 15th, 2007

7 Sportsmanship Rules in the Workplace

  1. Be polite to everyone you’re playing with, even those that you’re competing against. No trash talk. Although you don’t have to like everyone, treating them with respect will hopefully earn you respect. Also, this avoids any fights and negative tension.
  2. Don’t show off. If you’re really good at what you do, people will automatically praise you and think highly of you. Showing off will make you sound insecure. Plus, people will imagine throwing heavy machinery your way.
  3. Listen to your coaches - your supervisors and bosses. Follow their directions and listen to their advice. After all, their position usually means that they have more experience. Or, at the very least, they sign your paycheck and they have a say in your future in the company.
  4. Don’t make up excuses or blame a coworker when you lose. While some things are mostly another person’s fault, try to own up to your own weaknesses. Also, learn from these mistakes so that you won’t repeat them.
  5. Be willing to and delegate some tasks - even if you may be a better player. If you’re working with a team, you have to remember that things should be a group effort. Find out what each member specializes in, and let them contribute accordingly. Hogging all the work and glory to yourself makes you seem selfish. Your team members can also learn new skills better if they try tasks for themselves.
  6. Play fair and don’t cheat. Do you remember those classmates of yours who just copied off your homework? If they’re in a successful position in life, odds are they didn’t get there the honest way. When you step on someone’s toes and take credit for the work of others, you lose very important alliances and trust that you’ll be needing during the rough times. Also, you’ll sleep better at night.
  7. Encourage your team and root for them, whether you win or lose. This shows loyalty, and people respect others who are loyal to them. Rooting for a team regardless of the outcome lets them know that their hard work is appreciated. If you lose, simply go back on your mistakes and learn from them - without nasty finger-pointing.
    This kind of attitude makes people want to work with you again, plus, you might inspire them to do better next time.

By Celine -- 4 comments

October 7th, 2007

Symptoms of productivity phobia

Spiders, rats, vampires, seeing your grandmother naked - these are all valid phobias. However, there’s also such a thing as fear of productivity. Yes, it’s entirely possible that you have it even if you’re reading a blog like this. If you want to get your own diagnosis, here is a list of 5 symptoms of productivity fear:

1. You’re afraid to read this article. True, it may be because you’re afraid of what grammatical horrors I might commit, but maybe you’re also afraid that you’ll have some or all of the symptoms listed. The truth is, everyone is fearful of changing unproductive habits. Take comfort in the fact that productivity and organization is a lifelong learning process.

2. Procrastination. Some of you are probably reading this blog post to avoid working. I know that I’m writing it to avoid completing a more difficult article that’s been sitting in my hard drive for days. Everyone goes through procrastination, but some people live and die by it. How do you know if you procrastinate?

  • If you spend more time than you’re supposed to on mindless tasks
  • If you keep “resting” every 5 minutes.
  • If you say “Hmm… I have enough time for that later.”
  • If an hour has gone by and you’re still reading this article

3. You get annoyed when authority figures call you on unfinished tasks. Whether it’s your boss, spouse, or your labrador, if you hear the phrase “Aren’t you supposed to be finished with that by now?” you usually get mad and start stomping around. A lot like those cartoon characters with storm clouds and lightning appearing over their heads. If you’re offended, it means there’s an element of truth in it.

4. You dont have deadlines for tasks, or you have deadlines but you keep missing them. If you have a to-do list, sometimes specific tasks don’t get done at all. Until 5 months, years, or decades go by and you still haven’t ticked the item off your list.

5. You watch too much TV. That tube is costing you more than electricity - it costs time. Some of us sit for hours watching shows we don’t even like, shows you’ve seen a thousand times, and even infomercials. Why? If you want to get entertainment (no matter how mindless it is) put it on scheduled, moderated time. Watch DVDs instead or check out YouTube clips. Some TV stations even let you watch shows from their website. Sitting in front of the TV just makes you susceptible to eyestrain and subliminal marketing messages.

By Celine -- 4 comments

March 19th, 2007

Lucky I work at home

Today is the b5 Biz Channel theme day.  Since it’s March, and St. Patrick’s Day was just on Saturday, the theme is luck.

I’m not really in the mood to write at the moment.  In fact, this is probably the only post I’ll write today. Why?  I have a doozy of a cold.  My children shared their colds with me.

So yeah I feel like dreck and can’t focus.  But because I work at home, I’ve been able to set up  blog for a new client (took me longer than usual, since I had to triple check all my typing), read a few feeds (I had over 1200 unread when I started, I read a few hundred and marked the rest read), and keep in touch with folks.

Yeah, I’m lucky to be at home.

Time to go back to bed.


By Tris Hussey -- 4 comments

February 14th, 2007

Ah Passion, the Ultimate Work Pimp

Scot and I can write all we want about new tips and tools to help you to make your work better, but if you hate your job, if the passion is gone, well it’s just not going to help.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, it’s passion that makes the difference between doing your job and doing your job well.  Take me for instance.  I love blogging.  Setting up blogs, writing, reading feeds (okay sometimes that’s a chore, like today since I haven’t caught up for two days), all of it.  There are some days, however, when I’m just not as passionate about it.  Just can’t get that post written.  Can’t get the excitement going.  I sit back in my chair (Whoa!  Not too far!) and think, nope I got nothin’.  Those are days when if I force myself to blog (which I have to do sometimes), the posts are just okay.  Sometimes even lousy.

Ah but the days when I have passion.  I’ll crank you 10 posts in a blink of an eye.  When I’m on a tear like that I make sure I spread the posting love out over a couple days, just to make sure I have “good” stuff.  When I’m “on fire”, I just blog until the tank is dry.  I just push it to the limit.  My fingers fly on the keyboard (yes I type with most of my fingers and have taught myself touch typing).  And I love it.

So my tip for you, when your passion is waining, take a break.  Heck if you work at home, like I do, take a nap.  Maybe you’re just tired.  Have some coffee.  Snack.  Take a break.  Even just say to yourself, I’m not on my A-game today, and that’s okay, tomorrow will be better.  Really, let yourself have an off day.  It’s okay.  It happens.

Then when the passion returns, well just tap into it and just do it.  Be the man/woman.  The blogging machine.  The sales go to guy/gal.

If it never returns, have your considered professional blogging? ;-).


By Tris Hussey -- 1 comment

December 12th, 2006

Our first Biz Channel Theme Day … Holilday gifts

Yep it’s that time of year again.  That gift buying season.  I’m pretty much done with my shopping only a couple things left to get … oops that’s for my family.  Crap.  Maybe these great posts will inspire me … actually they already have.  So let’s get to it …

Being the host I’ll go first … I’m a pretty esoteric, maybe eccentric, guy … I’m suggesting you go back to basics and give a Moleskinne notebook to capture your thoughts and ideas and a good pen to go with it.

Rico on Contract Worker has the sprit of the season with his gift … give your time and expertise to nonprofit groups who need it.  That’s a great idea.  It’s one I’ve done before and it works year around.  Whatever heart cockles are, this sure warms them.

But there are those out there who really really need your marketable skills. A non-profit organization looking to get its message across. Or a less-fortunate friend with a great business idea, though lacking the necessary writing skills to craft a business plan. What’s a great holiday gift? Offering your services to these people—for free.

Des is a great guy.  I’ve known him for ages.  His is one of the few ebooks that I enjoyed reading (remember I generally don’t like ebooks).  Des, has great gift suggestions, but this one is my favourite:

A pet parrot trained to say once a day “Wow! That’s a great post you wrote yesterday! I’m sure you’ll have another top one today.”

Man who doesn’t need that now and then!

Okay, Benjamin on Startup Spark has been creative.  I think it’s because he’s in Montreal which is a pretty creative and wild place.  He has some super ideas, but this funny one really caught my eye … maybe it’s the mood I’m in right now.

For example, say your business has something to do with streamlining the way a company works; improving operations, helping with project management, teamwork, etc. (That covers a LOT of businesses.) Why not buy some Whoopee Cushions ($1.99) and send those to clients and prospects. In the attached card, write “Meetings Stink.” (If you make a million dollars on this idea I want a piece of the action!)

Liz might have the "gift that keeps on giving" … post ideas!  OMG, how often have I sat at the computer knowing I needed to post and thinking "I’ve got nothing".  Liz I think you’ve made my January!

At the end of some days, we can’t tell where some ideas started or where they end. We have the same ideas at the same time independently. Our thoughts interweave, connect, and influence each other’s thoughts. Our ideas turn into remarkable and thrilling concepts and realities. Humans, who think up ideas, are incredible at doing that.

You’ve had some of these ideas. I’ve had some. Some have been around, it seems, forever. I’ve tried to twist some when I could. Some come with links to example posts — from my posts, from yours and from others.

Maricel on Property Crossroads has gotten down to brass tacks with some gifts we’d all like to have.  You know, this one is great.  Essentially giving employees a vacation.  I love it.

5) Travel Voucher

This is always a popular gift among my staff and clients before.  If I close a big deal, I get very generous to throw out a travel deal.  This Christmas season is the most festive time of the year to travel, be merry and forget all your worries away.  Moreover, most businesses are less active during the holidays so its the perfect time to take a break from work. 

Eric, a fellow Canadian, has a gift that is sure to make people laugh and maybe give you something to fiddle with at work … I give you, The Cube Zombie!

Bren’s style on Slacker Manager is just cool.  He’s saying what we all think.  Man, I hate trying to find good gifts for everyone.  Do you pick something unique for each person (and go insane in the process) or go with something like a gift card (I like gift cards, I know that even some family are going to get those this year … not for the kids, they jsut don’t get it)?  His take on the gift card is important.  You might be giving a gift that is essentially the same, but you can make it special.

I know I’m coming off all Scrooge here, but I do have one redeeming option for office gifts that actually does accompany a Target gift card quite well: a personalized and thoughtful note to employees and bosses alike. The upside of a handwritten (yes, handwritten) note is that it’s cheap from a dollars-and-cents perspective. It’s rather extravagant from a time-and-thought-invested perspective, however. The cool thing is that a truly thoughtful handwritten note from the boss can generate some very long lasting good vibes. And, if you’re a Scrooge like me, it’s good practice to think about how much you appreciate the individual strengths and talents that your employees (and bosses) bring to the office each day.

Jim on Small Busienss Boomers is a man after my own heart.  Give people books.  Perfect.  He has some great suggestions for books to give, but before he gets to that, he says something really important:

If you were a good vendor then you gave you clients the best service and the best deal you could.  If a gift was going to make or break your business relationship then you were skating of thin ice anyway.When I gave gifts I wanted to pick something out for the individual.  Rather than get all esoteric I’ll stick to the material and useful.  My favorite gifts are books and wine.  Occasionally, I’ll give a hand picked food basket.   I know these gifts say more about me than the people I’m gifting, big deal.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Now Mary Emma also has some practical suggestions for us.  I love practical suggestions.  I have a hard time, sometimes, buying gifts for people.  Some people claim I’m hard to buy for.  I don’t think so.  But, if you think so … well this is a good list.  Heck this whole post is chock full of good ideas.  Anyway, here are Mary Emma’s suggestions …

*Gift certificates…you can give these as gifts yourself or sell them for customers to purchase for their gift giving.

*Give something you make or have available that is special for a particular person on your list.

*Give small handouts to your customers…stuffers for their shopping bags or packages mailed.

*Give a gift certificate for a service you perform.

Glen at LifeDev (a new member of the B5 Biz Channel Family) turns this on it’s ear  Let’s really focus this season on giving.  Yep.  That’s cool.

I wonder what it would be like if Santa asked “What do you want to Give this Christmas?”. By placing all of the emphasis on getting, we’re setting getters up for failure, and putting tremendous pressure on the givers. But if we shift the focus on what we’re giving, this problem goes away.

Ron at Brand Curve reminds us that part of the gift is the brand. Like a lamp with a stained glass lampshade … which is better Wal-Mart or Tiffany?  Yeah, thought so.

I guess my point here is, a gift isn’t a great gift just because of its material nature. A gift’s emotional character and personality gives just as much (if not more) value to the reciever than the physical character of it. Brands are a great way to make this emotional character more important and with true significance.

Sean at Franchise Pick is actually giving us gifts!  He’s recommending books on franchise ins and outs … with discounts!  Cool!

Mark at Digital Money World is going for fun gifts, maybe even risque gifts … but hey who doesn’t like a little fun?

So there you go.  If you’re still looking for gift ideas after reading all these … man you’ve got issues.  There is something for everyone.  All budgets, fun, practical, heartwarming.  I want to thank all my fellow B5 Biz Channel bloggers to taking the time to write these posts for our first theme day.  Think this is a one off?  Not!  Next month we already have the topic … 2007 Goals.  Look for it on the second Tuesday of January (that would be the ninth).

That’s all for now.  Happy Holidays everyone.

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By Tris Hussey -- 9 comments

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