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I Lost My Job, What Must I Do Now?

I Lost My Job, What Must I Do Now?

From a career perspective, losing your Job is probably one of the worst things that can happen, especially when it’s not your fault and unexpected.

Recommended Article to Read – Why your tertiary qualification is not enough

Face Reality

There is no point in pretending the rejection doesn’t hurt. When you did have a job, the routine of going to work every day created an illusion of stability for both you and those around you. Even if you hated the thought of going to work, the mere idea of going into work gave you a sense of purpose. Being out of work, and not knowing what the future holds might cause even more anxiety than having a job you hate.

Time To Think

What bad habits do you need to change? Then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on. Everything you do during your career can utilize your future, including social-responsibility projects, interests, and hobbies, so nothing is ever lost or in vain. Every time we learn a new skill, we become much more marketable.

Take Advantage

Losing your job can be an excellent time to push yourself into a different career path. You now have the opportunity to create a new life for yourself. We have a competitive job market, and if you’re not qualified, your chances of being considered are not that great. The secret is using the time you have to your advantage and development knowledge and skills, understand your values, strengths, natural talents, passions and figuring out how you define success and will then help you to make a discussion on what career path you want to take. Learn with no expectation and no agenda. Only under those conditions is where one’s purpose can emerge.

Whatever you do, we wish you the best of luck in building a new career and a new life.

Read more on our article – Do you want to make a career out of being average?

Ideas are for you, products are for customers

Ideas are for you, products are for customers

I love it when people have great ideas. Like seeing products and services that just work. I think ‘wow, these guys are doing it right’. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to see when people are getting it wrong.

If they don’t change their attitude, the business won’t make it

Having an idea doesn’t mean you have a business. Have you given someone an idea that they make it work? Then you think, but it was my idea?

Having ideas and making them work are very different things. Making them work successfully is, even more, complex and random.

Don’t stop having ideas 

I have recently read various topics on this subject written by very experienced and astute business people. They all come to the same conclusion never stop having ideas for products and services. Before you think you have a business, you need to find out if what you think it will work?  Is it what the guy with the wallet (the customer) needs? Like the phrase from the movie ROBOTS: ‘see a need, fill a need.’

Building a business on your own needs is a high risk

It’s fine to have a need for something. It’s a high risk, however, to think your need might be someone. A business is built on income and you must first confirm what you experience as a need for a product or service, is shared by those people wanting the same thing. Then, wanting it enough to pay for it.

So the principle is simple, the ideas can be yours, but your product must be for your customers.

Challenges in life with planning and forecasting.

Challenges in life with planning and forecasting.

“I think the challenge in life is to not plan too far ahead, but also not plan to soon or not at all.”

If you are planning too far ahead you will soon realize life and the universe have other plans. Planning too soon creates a feeling of claustrophobia and lack of overall vision which leads to feeling directionless.

My solution is to identify the minimum and critical performance required from a particular direction and path. Don’t plan beyond this direct target in front of you, because the outcomes will fall away if the criteria aren’t met and you will  have wasted your time.

Planning too far ahead goes against the Chaos Theory, and we all know that Chaos rules…

Why is marketing like fishing ?

Why is marketing like fishing ?

Is marketing into new industries like fishing?

Marketing into a new industry, product or venture is like fishing in the sea. For those who have seen these typical island reality survival shows, fishing only starts when the food has run out, and the hunger sets in. Fishing in principle allows you access to an ocean of sustainable food, but even if you are lucky to salvage a fishing hook or net, this will take many failed attempts before you catch enough food to survive.

Standing on the beach, you know the fish (customers) are out there. They want what you have, but how do you lure them in?. You have a rod and a hook with bait, which you hope they might find attractive. You don’t really know if all fish eat wiggly worms. You spend some time and energy sourcing these tools, but do you fish from the beach, the cliffs or do you cast in the deep or shallow waters?. Where are they? How do you begin?

Some logical advice is to ask a local fisherman or observe them closely. You don’t ask just anyone, rather ask the person fishing with a rod.

So your local fisherman gives your assistance, as they always do. “Stand on the rocks, use that spot, and cast deep”, is what he says. “This is how we do it in this area (industry or product). Also, use this bait because we have this type of fish”.

Now you begin. Casting deep and far doesn’t bring in the fish, but doing it for some time, changing bait, technique and the time of day, and you start getting bites.

While you feel the fish nibble, you need to slowly pull harder to have the hook take hold and then gently reel them in. Any tug or sudden change in movement and they will fight until they are free again, in this case, gently does it perfectly.

When your catch has left the water, you have to make sure it is handled with care or it will jump and wiggle until it falls back into the water.

Unlike catching fish, however, we don’t kill and eat it, we rather feed it well and release it again although sometimes a customer might deserve a knock on the head!.

There are many customers in the sea of all sizes and shapes, likes, dislikes, preferences, issues and opportunities. You won’t know this if you don’t start fishing. Fish the right spot, with the right bait, learning from locals and pulling out.

Happy fishing!

Time can be to your advantage!

Time can be to your advantage!

Time is a commodity we all wish we could have a little extra of. Reality is our modern lives are busier than ever before. Learning how to manage this resource along with task prioritisation is a valuable means to achieving success in the online learning arena.

We briefly touched on the ways in which time can be managed in a previous blog post and the importance thereof as a means to get qualified in online studies. Let’s explore some of the suggestions for efficient time management in greater detail:

Get the course timeline

Once you know how long your course will be, you will be in a position to plan what is required in terms of your own time to firstly go through all of the content and secondly what input is required of you and at what intervals. By input we refer to the submission of quizzes, assignments and discussions that may form part of the course criteria.

Blocks of study time and breaks

Make a physical timetable for yourself, where you block of periods of study at regular intervals, with your own limitations. We suggest breaking times into smaller blocks rather than one prolonged session. For example, if your course requires 5 hours of online time per week, rather take 1 hour every evening than spending 5 hours in one evening. Your brain will digest information better in smaller chunks.

Block off certain times for the submission of quizzes, assignments and discussions. Make sure they are submitted before the due dates.

Regular Breaks

If you are required to spend prolonged periods in front of the PC, remember to take regular breaks. Take a 5-10 minute break for every hour you are online, stretch your legs and then continue.[

Weekly Reviews

Weekly reviews and updates are also an important strategy for success. Pick a day every week where you go over the previous weeks content and ensure that you are confident that you have understood everything. Also use this time to check that you have submitted what was required of you.

Life Happens

We all start off with good intentions and then inevitably something outside of our control happens to completely side-line our good intentions to get online and study. Don’t let this take you completely off course. Adjust your timetable and keep going. In extreme circumstance, speak to your online support person to see if a postponement is possible.

Getting Help

If you get stuck with content or requirements, get in touch with your online course provider or lecturer and get help as soon as possible. A delay like this can seriously affect your ability to finish. Remember that this remains your responsibility; the course provider cannot gauge what you need but will be more than willing to assist if you communicate with them.

The bad news is.. time flies.

The good news is.. you are the pilot.

                                                                             – Michael Altshuler

The Dramatic Impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on Business

The Dramatic Impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on Business

Liken this situation with that of the Titanic, setting out on its maiden voyage.  Captain Smith was given several warnings regarding the danger of icebergs which he chose to ignore.  We can use this analogy today, where business leaders are in the same situation, being given warnings that a dramatic impact will alter the sailing of their business vessel.  The next 4 years will see businesses being affected by major shifts in these turbulent times where awareness will be critical for companies to avoid being blindsided by change.

What is the 4th Industrial Revolution?

The 3rd industrial revolution started in the middle of the last century with the age of digitization.  Building on this is the 4th revolution where digital platforms are no longer in isolated silos but rather a bleeding of technology between different mediums.  The physical environment bought us autonomous vehicles and 3d printing which connected to the digital world.  The digital space highlighted the Internet of Things where physical products are tied to the internet either via sensors or directly.  We have virtual reality, augmented reality and the sharing economy like Uber and AirBnB.  A recent article made known that Uber is sharing data with 4Square, a perfect example of entities built in isolation now meshed together for the benefit of both.  This sharing of resources is in essence creating a perfect storm.

The World Economic Forum held a recent conference titled “Mastering the 4th Industrial Revolution” bought about by people in the tech industry raising the alarm, similar to that of other ships around the Titanic, that businesses need to ready themselves for a major technological disruption.  An example of this in the field of Artificial Intelligence is the creation of Amelia who is designed to work in a call centre environment.  In its first month it was able to assist 1 out of 10 calls, in the second month 6 of the 10 calls.  Now it is close to achieving 100% successful assistance of incoming calls.  This means 200 million people working in call centre environments across the world are likely to be replaced.

Siri, the Apple AI is another powerful example.  Its creator has also released Viv, designed to fulfill a personal assistant function.  The sounding of the alarm that the convergences of these technologies are causing a disruptive force across the world, is self evident.  The World Economic Forum also placed the displacement of jobs under discussion.  Administrative work will see a big change in the next 4 years where a possible 7 million people stand to lose their work within this field.

 What is the impact on business?

The World Economic Forum identified a future skills shortage in business based on data analytics and data science. The reason for this being that the technology revolution is allowing businesses to generate large amounts of data by means of digitization.  If efficiently analysed, it will allow leaders to make better business decisions, thus the requirement for  skills to do this.

Most companies already make use of an element of technology within business, this is set to escalate dramatically, not only as technology functions but with regards the product itself.  Take the mobile device as example, fully connected with amazing functionality from humble beginnings of making a call.  Every product, a chair, cup or fridge will be able to connect to the internet directly and via processes.  Imagine the magnitude of this shift?

It is becoming clear that certain core competencies will be required in companies to survive this technological shift.

5 Points every organisation should seriously consider

  1. As a result of data being collected via digitization there is call for a focus on how companies can clearly see themselves as a result of the data. It is similar to the 2MP cameras previously available, where a zoom in to get a better view of a picture would cause blurring.  Now we have better cameras that allow us to zoom without losing focus on the picture, just like the depth of data would allow us now.  The question is how to exploit this data for the best view.
  2. Companies will need to set a default assumption – there will be a deep digital disruption and it will happen to all industries.
  3. Start brainstorming what could happen to your physical product as a result of digitization, what will this new business model look like? How can sensors be used to gather data?
  4. Consider the core competency of data analysis as highlighted by the World Economic Forum. Companies will be able to employ people anywhere in the world to fulfill this task, as geographic location will no longer be a stumbling block.
  5. Plan for instability. Leadership must accept that change is something that is going to be with us for a considerable time, going forward.

These 5 considerations will dramatically assist an organisation to get their heads around technological shifts and how to stay relevant in a time of massive disruptions.  Companies must find a way to plot their course in this disruptive technological landscape.

Why Using a Tool to Help You With Your Marketing Strategy

Why Using a Tool to Help You With Your Marketing Strategy

What tool can help us measure the discretionary effort of our workforce?

Summing the metrics for activities ensures no lead is left behind and sales cycles are not unnecessarily longer than they need to be. Companies fail to create connections with their employees and customers. A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system can bring clarity and develop strategies and communicate more clearly (internally and externally). If used correctly, it can help guide us to act with purpose, on purpose.

Do you Know all the answers?

The CRM system can also allow you to track the status of the lead as it works its way through the sales cycle. Was the prospect adequately qualified? Was contact made on time? What was the outcome? Getting the answers to these questions and providing effective technology is critical to a successful integration of marketing systems with a CRM.

The best-planned campaign will suffer if you cannot methodically execute upon it. Keep your campaigns on track; an X2CRM software provides real-time visibility to the status of every target population contact (or possibly groups of contacts). The customer management system can remind you when to initiate follow-ups (or in the case of emails, it can distribute them automatically) and help you maintain the marketing schedule.

Do you have all the information needed?

CRM holds what every marketer needs, like contact data, valuable customer insights. Marketers use this data to personalise and target all of their communication. Without a CRM to organise this information, it would be challenging to segment any contact database. Any functional CRM can create custom user-defined fields such as Title, Interests, Industry, Favorite Color, Favorite Sport, and so on. Salespeople often use this information to build deeper relationships with their clients and tailor their pitches. Marketers can use this information to send these contacts relevant content to help re-engage and push them through the funnel.

A well-run Customer Relationship Management system can help you avoid all the common challenges and improve campaign response rates, conversion rates and marketing budget.

My advice is to get the right tools to help you do your job more efficient.

How To Turn Around a Struggling Business ?

How To Turn Around a Struggling Business ?

Turning around a struggling business is far from easy.

As a business owner, you also understand that business can go up and down. So, what can you do when the company is down, and you find yourself with little or no prospects in your pipeline?

Recommended article:  Enterprise Risk Management

By implementing specific practices for struggling businesses can help attract more clients and increase your sales. Here are a few suggestions that may offer an option to your financial situation.

Write a Business Plan

Companies that write and follow well-thought-out plans are much less likely to get into trouble, but when you’re already in a problem is when you need a plan most of all! Turning around a business takes trainloads of both time and energy. But it also takes a plan! I have yet to hear of a company succeeding without a business plan.

Be a Leader

As a small-business owner, you can help lead the way out of the struggle when you have experience with management skills; you’ll be able to make informed decisions and guide your employees.

Review Your Marketing

Recommended article – The forgotten son of digital marketing

Put an Internet marketing business into perspective. You need to see how it fits into the larger world of “business.” Use the internet and focus on existing clients first; get more out of them. Understand what worked and what didn’t, this will help you to make some critical decisions, such as:

  • Stop wasting time and money on activities that are not delivering a return
  • Come up with ways to improve events that are showing a degree of success
  • Continue with activities that are working well
  • See the gaps! What haven’t you tried that could make a difference?

It is essential to think about how you’re going to track your progress, and this could be through profit, some items sold, or any metric that shows your growth. Set goals detailing where you want to be in a specific time, and create a plan of action. What are you going to do if you get X results? Keeping track of your progress is crucial. Analysing your results help create more successful strategies and therefore better results.