From the monthly archives:

August 2010

Business Insights from the Mountain

by Derek Sisterhen on August 31, 2010

I was in the mountains of Colorado for a few days with a group of aspiring Free Agents and Christopher Browning and I were able to escape for a few hours. Here’s what we learned from a few hours in the mountains.

Click for Business Insights from the Mountain if you can’t view the video.

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How Many Hours Did That Cost?

by Jaime Thompson on August 31, 2010

Timecard

Getting ready to shop the upcoming holiday weekend sales?  Maybe you’ve already been busy with back to school shopping.  Have you ever thought to calculate how many hours of work those dollars spent just cost you?  It’s a powerful tool that might make you step back and reevaluate how you shop and what you buy.  I’m sure you have an idea of your gross salary, but lets look at what you actually take home after Uncle Sam, health insurance, and your 401k among other things take their share.  Go and get your most recent pay stub.  It’s in your organized file cabinet, right?  Divide your take home pay by the number of hours the paycheck covers.  What did you come up with?

Lets say your result is $20 per working hour.  So now we’ll apply that to your purchasing power.  Your $6 a weekday morning coffee and muffin habit means you have to work an hour and a half to pay for it.  The $60 video game, 3 hours.  Those must have designer jeans at $200 a pair cost you 10 hours at work.  $460 car payment is 23 hours in the office.  That one payment is over half a week of a standard 40 hour work week and we still need a place to live and food to eat.

Want another view?  Include the hours you spend commuting to and from work and any other work related activities you do outside of the hours that paycheck covers.  Sadly, that $20 just dropped even lower.  This isn’t a way to shame you into not spending your money, just a tool that might make you think about how hard you really work to make that purchase.  Remember it’s not just a dollar amount, but your precious time spent working to earn that dollar.

Photo: Time Card by flickr user TheGoogly, used under CC license

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Post image for Going Green to Save Green

Going Green to Save Green

by Jaime Thompson on August 28, 2010

We all know by now we should be using compact fluorescent light bulbs, unplugging electronics and appliances that aren’t in use, washing our clothes in cold water, and adjusting our thermostats when we aren’t home. These will all help save us money every month on our utility bills and it’s just better for our earth. But what other ways can we be green in our lives and help us keep more money in our pockets?

Some retailers will pay you to recycle! Office Depot and Staples offer a store credit for every ink or toner cartridge you recycle with them. M.A.C. cosmetics will give you a free lipstick when you return 6 of their primary packaging containers. Recyclingforcharities.com allows you to recycle electronics such as cell phones, cameras, and PDAs. You select the charity you want your unused product to benefit and then you can take a tax deduction (assuming you itemize your tax returns).

Another great idea is Freecycle.org where you can find items other people no longer need and get them for free! No, you aren’t going to find a brand new stainless steel fridge, but if you want to try your hand at camping, you can probably find someone who has an old tent lying around that they no longer use. In fact, it’s a great way to help clear out some things you no longer need but are still in usable condition. After all, we want to enjoy life, not just a garage full of clutter.

(Photo credit aussiegall)

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Rule Your City

by Derek Sisterhen on August 27, 2010

worldI’m surrounded by people starting businesses every day and the excitement is contagious.  You can sense the thoughts about world domination rattling around in people’s minds sometimes.

What’s not to be excited about?

When you start a business you have complete control over your life by setting your own hours and schedule.  You get to travel whenever and wherever you like, and people all around the world will know your name.

Launch Time

You launch your business and something unexpected happens.  The newly minted business owner has to figure out how to bridge the gap between his town of 100,000 people and the rest of the world.  A remote business is about being connected and known everywhere, right?

Become a Local Expert

When you start a business you can jump directly in and get your name everywhere, but it’s usually not the most effective strategy.  What if you could grab some low-hanging fruit and be profitable quickly, instead of doing a lot of work for little return.  The answer is to become a local expert before expanding into bigger areas.

But that’s no fun, right? Big businesses aren’t born in places like Sioux Falls, SD (population 157,000), Cedar Rapids, IA (population 128,000), or Warren, MI (population 133,000) after all.

The truth is that they really are.  You don’t need everyone in the world to know you when you’re starting out.  What you need to be is the best in the world at what you do; and by “world” I mean your world.  It’s your center of influence; the people who know and care about you.

Build Your Influence

You can build your influence locally by focusing on three very specific things.

  1. Website
    Create a professional website that’s updated frequently, meaning more than once per week.  Install a blog and talk about things that you care about and are helpful to others.
  2. Speak
    Hit up every group that will listen.  Nothing says “expert” like someone on a stage.  Back it up with real knowledge and connect with your audience.
  3. Write
    Write a book, contribute to an article, do it on your blog, respond to newspaper columns.  You’ll be noticed as someone who knows what they stand for.  For extra points, bring copies of your book with you when you speak and give them away.

You don’t need to be everywhere in your business.  Start small and work your way up.  It might take longer, but you’ll learn a lot in the process that will make you and your business more successful in the long run.

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Is Your Turn Signal On?

by Jory Butler on August 27, 2010

This is a post from the newest member of the Lukas Coaching/Past Due Radio team, Jory Butler.  Jory is a Career Coach with great passion, enthusiasm, and motivation.

Careers and Coaching

Have you ever been behind someone who has their turn signal on, but they never turn?  It can be a frustrating experience to those following this unaware driver.  Come on, you know you have been guilty of this.

Sometimes in our careers, we are that unaware driver and don’t realize how we affect others.  Many times our turn signal is nothing more than our personality being portrayed and/or interpreted the wrong way. For instance, a coworker could find someone with a dominating personality abrasive or controlling.  Another turn signal could be a decrease in work performance due to outside stressors. Maybe a negative attitude at work is affecting your coworkers or customers.

Allowing others to let us know our turn signal is on can be beneficial. It’s not always easy when someone tells you that your actions or attitudes are affecting those around you.  My wife is such a blessing because we have resolved to let each other know when our “turn signal is on.  If we continue to embrace the corrections in life and use them to make us better people, we will have a higher probability of success.

My encouragement to you is to really take a look at yourself, rather than just the circumstances.  Find a trusted friend to hold you accountable or a coach to come along side you, with motivation and encouragement. In your career be a driver who is aware of how you are affecting others.

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God Doesn’t Care What You Do

by Derek Sisterhen on August 24, 2010

Does God really care about all of the choices you make? I’m faced with some big decisions right now and am trying to figure out a direction. What do you think? Does God care about all of the decisions you make?

 

Seriously, I want to know what you think. Where’s the line?

Click here if you can’t view the video

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My Move to Wisconsin

August 20, 2010

When someone mentions they might move to Wisconsin, people take notice. I talked about a possible move for my family and I on Coach Radio this week and many of you chimed in.
We put a time limit of four days to make a decision. Why only four days for a major decision you ask?
Well, [...]

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Dating In Financial Darkness

August 19, 2010

Alright, I’ll admit it: I get some twisted form of guilty pleasure from a few reality shows. Last night I was watching “Dating In The Dark” – ABC’s show about twenty- and thirty-something singles who go on dates in a pitch-black room. At its core this is a social experiment (which is the only way [...]

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What Makes Me Mad – The Best Question to Ask

August 17, 2010

I asked this question when I started my business. Then I decided to do something about it. It’s what keeps me going every day.
If you don’t have this same passion in your business, you’re going to run out of topics for your blog, and you’ll never be as profitable as you want [...]

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Book Review: Everyone Communicates Few Connect

August 13, 2010

Communication is a huge interest of mine, especially since I host Coach Radio a few times a week and travel the country speaking; not to mention the coaching I do. John’s book caught my attention and I picked up some great ideas.

Click here if you can’t see this video review of Everyone Communicates Few [...]

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