Deep Breath Time – Surviving The Recession

main1.jpgIt’s 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning. You have your cup of coffee and you sit down at your computer; time to check the email. And it’s it’s warming up, it’s logging on, and it’s checking, checking… checking an-n-n-n-n-n-d, there’s nothing. You decide to check again because there’s probably something wrong with the server. ——- Still nothing.

You take a deep breath- no email isn’t that big of a deal.   You’ll spend a few moments checking job boards. Board #1-nothing. Board #2-nothing. Board #3-nothing; in fact-there’s been nothing new on this board for two months.

You begin to hyperventilate.

This has been the same scenario for two weeks now. You’re wondering if you can get your old job back. Yes, you called your boss a balding, stupid, lazy idiot-but that was a while ago, maybe he’s forgotten. Your friend is quitting her job, maybe you can leap into her space.

Stop. Take another deep breath and begin to think clearly. No one ever said working for yourself was going to be easy. All businesses face tough times but you have to be a survivor. Remember all the advice that you’ve given your clients and remember all the great work that you’ve created. It’s time to put all of your talent into yourself.

First, don’t take the set back personally. Everyone is experiencing pains right now and the lack of work has nothing to do with your capabilities.

Secondly, keep working. Whatever you do, do not give up. Do work on commissions, reduced rates or even volunteer. Anything is better than nothing. Your mind will stay active and who knows what other great leads or ideas you may stumble across.

Start reading. Read every trade magazine/journal for your expertise. You’ll ensure that you have only the most up-to-date information and these publications can be an incredible source for business leads. You’ll know who’s expanding, who’s shrinking and what new projects are on the horizon.

Touch Base with all of your old clients. Make sure they remember you and the fantastic work that you performed for them. You might hit at just the right time when they could use a little help.

Start cold-calling-become the salesman that you never wanted to be. Selling yourself can be the most daunting task but you have to become a superstar. Remember, the worst that can happen is you can be told no. We’ve all heard that word before and it’s not that bad.

Expand your skills. Use this time effectively, if you’ve never built a website, try. If you’ve never submitted to search engines, do it. If you’ve never designed a database, give it a shot. The more skills you have the more marketable you become.

Remember, this too shall pass. The economy is based on peaks and valleys and what goes down will come up. Be ready for the next upswing.

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Let’s Hope There’s A Special Place in Hell For These Guys

If you haven’t heard yet, McKinney Apartments in Dallas, Texas, are refusing to let dying Matthew Budge out of his lease.  There’s a rare form of cancer running through the 36 year old’s body, and he doesn’t have long to live.  He’s trying to get his family (wife and 6 kids) moved out of the state, so they can be closer to family, and have a support system in place, to get them through the hard times that are inevitably ahead. 

Proving themselves to be the most obnoxious property managers in the universe, McKinney apartments want to squeeze every last dime out of this dying man’s pockets.  They refuse to let him out of the lease without a $9000 payment in rent, penalties and fees. 

If you’re listening Karma – please, now is the time to teach these heartless fools a lesson in manners.  How about a plague of lice in their office?

Matthew Budge’s Blog

News Report From WFAA

Video From CNN

“Shine” On Yahoo – Shine On!

shine.gifQuick Site Review:

Found a new site for women – Shine – from yahoo.  Going back to what I was talking about a few months ago in “They’ve Got The Power” , we have another example of big business chasing down women as the ultimate consumer, which can only be a good thing for women.

Shine is a well-organized site, with an obviously smart team putting everything together.   As soon as I hit it yesterday, I was drawn in with all the news, stories and features that were targetted for my demographic/age group (and never mind asking what age group that might be). They have a wide range of topics, not just centering on the typical “mom” and “fashion” stories, and a nice layout. Best of all, you can start your own blog, which of course, I’ve already done, because I just can’t stop talking. 

Check them out, but be warned,  be prepared to spend a couple of hours searching around, there’s a ton of good stuff here.    

Cucumber Pepsi – I’m not saying yes, I’m not saying no

cucumber-pepsi.jpgIt’s true.  Pepsi has introduced “Cucumber Pepsi” in Tokyo. 

I’m not saying yes – but I’m not saying no either. The cucumber is interesting, who doesn’t like cucumber? I’m a little concerned though because it’s an “artificial flavour to make you think of cucumber”

I’d give it a shot though – why not?  You only live once.

Read about Pepsi Ice Cucumber and other new flavours on MSNBC

Freerice.com – pass it along

freericelogo.gifExcellent, excellent program.  Stop giving your free time to Scrabulous and Facebook; give it to Freerice.com and help feed the hungry. 

Free Rice has a fabulous vocabulary game. The game itself is easy to use, the words are interesting, and the difficulty adjusts to your personal level.  Your mental dictionary will definitely improve. The best part of course is that as you’re playing it,  you’re generating ad revenues which will purchase rice for the United Nations World Food Program. 

We’re spending hours every day, fiddling around with all the games and toys on Facebook, but the only people that helps is Facebook.  Do a little good today and spend some time on Freerice.com – and tell your friends too. 

Tell Tibet It’s “Not Fair”

36898702.jpgAre you ever embarrassed by what comes out of peoples’ mouths? 

The other morning I woke up to the headlines “ Boycotting Olympics Would Be Unfair to Us, athletes say” 

Really.  

Protestors are being shot, people are being arrested, and current counts have almost 100 civilians being killed, but you might not be able to show off the hundreds of thousands of dollars your parents have sunk into you. I can see how the two even out.   

The article quotes Charmaine Crooks, a member of Vanoc’s board of Directors, who missed competing in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, because of the worldwide boycotts against Russia’s Afghanistan invasion.   

“I was a victim of boycotts in the past, and I know how it affected athletes and still does.”  

A victim?  I choked on my coffee. 

Being jailed and tortured for expressing your opinion makes you a victim.  Having your home and possessions stolen from you makes you a victim.  Losing the opportunity to travel to Moscow to live out a dream is certainly a bummer, but it does not make anyone a victim. 

The article goes on to pull out Snowboarder Alexa Loo, who after being raised in a safe, free society, doesn’t think a boycott is appropriate because Canada has its problems too. 

“It’s always troubling when people are treated badly and when there is bad things happening. But it’s just as troubling to know we have disenfranchised people in our Downtown Eastside that we’re not looking after.” 

Forgive me if I’m mistaken, but the last time I checked, the Canadian government hasn’t rolled the tanks in.  Comparing the Downtown Eastside (or anything in Canada for that matter) to what is happening in Tibet just shows how little appreciation these people have for the Tibetan situation, or their own. 

The Downtown Eastside is a disgrace by any social standards, but at least we’re allowed to write about the Downtown Eastside, we’re allowed to talk about it, and we’re allowed to protest anytime we want.   

U.S. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, said it eloquently when she said: 

“If freedom-loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China and the Chinese in Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak out on human rights.”   

This is why we must boycott the Beijing Olympics. If our Canadian athletes go marching on in, waving the Maple Leaf, we’re telling China that it’s o.k.  We’re telling them that they can do whatever they want, and we’ll all pretend it’s not happening, because we want a chance to win some shiny gold medals, and we want a chance to have a big pile of yen in our pockets.   

That’s not how I want Canada to be recognized.  

Support Tibetans, Support a Boycott 

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More Support For Telecommuting

cio-logo_180x109.gifBig Thanks to CIO’s  Meridith Levinson  for sending in this link :

“How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Telecommuting” 

It’s a detailed account of how Dr. John Halamka developed a flexible work arrangement program for CareGroup. It gives great info on the programs, processes and systems he’s utilized to make telecommuting a success for his employees.  I urge all employers to at least look at the information he has provided. 

What I found really interesting though was the fact that the first thing Dr. Halamka discusses is how “the travel required to bring employees together in an office has become burdensome and expensive.”

With any luck, more companies will follow CareGroup’s lead, and something good will come out of these skyrocketing gas prices.