Do You Need Help With Your Resume?

image courtesy of Yaniv Yaakubovich @ flickr.com

image courtesy of Yaniv Yaakubovich @ flickr.com

Writing a resume can feel intimidating, and sometimes we put too much importance in our resume. Yes, you want to have a good resume that is creative and will help you stand out in the crowd of papers, but the purpose of the resume is to get an interview. A bad resume can be a hindrance to getting interviews and ultimately the job you want. Take the time to write a solid resume. Make it personal and find ways to make it stand out.

If you have never written a resume before I would recommend browsing at different examples. Keep yours one to two pages maximum. I feel you would use two pages only if you have had many jobs that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Be creative with your resume. Learn about the company you are applying with and its culture. Make sure your spelling and grammar are correct and have someone (or several people) proofread it. Do not lie on your resume. Even an exaggeration can come back and haunt you. Remember to have fun writing your resume.

The opening lines below your contact information are critical to making you stand out among all the other resumes. You want this to be forward-looking about why you want the position and what you can do for the company. Talk about why you want to work for the company. Use a unique past experience that gave you skills that would help. Showcase your knowledge about the industry. This is the key component of a resume and most of the time the only part that gets read by a person before moving on to the next resume.

In the next section you want to state your education history. The education part shows what you learned and how it can help you in the position. If your education is older and not relevant, list it but focus on the other parts of your resume.

Your work history can be very helpful if the employer chooses your resume or reads beyond the opening. Start with your most recent job and list what you did to help that company, providing examples. Use hard figures to show how you helped the company. An example: “Worked to increase Region B sales from four to six million in two years.”. If you have had a lot of jobs, focus on those in which you have developed skills that would be relevant and helpful to what you want to do. Use key words and show specifics; don’t be a generalist. Work helps us develop skills. Think of how you can re-purpose developed skills for the career you want.

The skills section is a great place to list and show what you have learned and developed. List skills you have learned and your level of understanding. Explain how they could be used in the position you are applying for. Think creatively and find ways to show the skills you have learned as a way to show that you can learn new skills as needed.

The resume is part of the first step in finding the work you love and using what is your unique gift. Think outside the box about how you could present yourself to a company. I love this post about 25 creative resumes. Depending on the company you want to work for, you could present yourself differently than using the typical resume. Research the companies you want to work for and find a fun way to present to the hiring personnel.

The resume along with the cover letter are the first step in the job hunting process. Always submit a cover letter even if it’s not requested. You want the letters to be unique and creative, but they will not get you the job. You need to be a good interviewer, and be sure you know your resume when you interview.

Are You Bootstrapping Your Business?

image courtesy of Hasan Abdul @ flickr.com

image courtesy of Hasan Abdul @ flickr.com

When starting a business typically you have little cash available, and what cash you have, you need to stay afloat or make purchases you absolutely need. We cannot afford to hire the experts to do the work we are not good at and don’t really want to do. But a entrepreneurs, we want our businesses to succeed, so we make the sacrifice and learn to do the many jobs of our businesses.

We are the bootstrap business men and women who do all or most of the work in our businesses. We learn to do things that we don’t know to in order to make our businesses succeed. We hope to one day pass it on to someone else to take care of for us. Sometimes it is a struggle for us because we know it takes time away from other things we would want to do, but we make the sacrifice to accomplish our goals.

Here are couple things to remember about bootstrapping as you start your business:

  • We will be in a better position to delegate the work we don’t want to do or feel shouldn’t be our focus because we did the work and know what we want. Not that we did it the best way, but that we can work with someone or a team of people to get the work done the best possible way with minimal time invested on our part.
  • We want to be in business for a long time. This is a short period in our business life. Most of us have no plans to retire, but rather want to work and find joy in what we do. We don’t want to spend 80 hours a week the rest of our lives working; work and play tend to have blurred lines.
  • We will learn to delegate the $5.oo per hour work and focus on the $1,000 per hour work. Money is a big part of business and we want to make plenty of it. We have tasks that we do when we have little or no money but learn to delegate because financially it makes no sense for us to waste our time on it when we could pay someone to do it and focus on the big earning parts.

Bootstrapping will cause pain and will force you to expand your knowledge of different subjects ranging from business accounting to website design and email marketing. The great thing is as your business grows you can delegate your work, and today with technology it does not cost much.

I have been listing and reading the book The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, And Join The New Rich (Expanded And Updates) by Timothy Ferriss. Tim talks in his book about all the great resources available to help you delegate and outsource work. He takes it to the extreme but provides very helpful tools. It is not terribly expensive to start outsourcing work as you grow your business, and you don’t have to always hire people. He talks about the different services that you can contract with to handle parts of your business. You could get a virtual assistant or have a call center so you don’t have to take all the customer calls. I highly recommend this book. You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to use the tips.

I want to encourage you to stay focused on those long days and nights. As your business grows, explore and test the different services available and see if they can fit with your business. Some day in the near future you could be one of the growing seven figure single employee businesses. If you need any help or would like to ask me questions, contact me here.

Do You Believe You Can Do What You Are Passionate About?

image courtesy of uditha wickramanayaka @ flickr.com

image courtesy of uditha wickramanayaka @ flickr.com

Exploring a career change or thinking about starting a business? There is so much information available to help you. Find a method for processing it. You have people giving you different ideas about what you should do or what to look for in work. You have people who tell you to do what you are passionate about and others who feel not everyone can do what they are passionate about. I think a lot of people get confused about this when researching. I believe that you should identify what is your unique gift and follow your passion. The people who say we cannot all do what our passion is and love our work typically use statements like, “Just because you like to play golf you think you can become a professional golfer?” They miss the point of finding what you are passionate about and doing what you love. When exploring what you are passionate about, you have to look at other things to determine if you can make a career out of your passion.

Follow your passion. Be yourself, but check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Andy Cohen

Remember these questions when looking at your passions:

  • Is there a market for your passion?
  • Can you make viable products to sell to people?
  • Is the market big enough to make the earnings worth it?
  • Is there a unique way to use your passion to make a business successful?

When you explore what you are passionate about and want to do that for a living, don’t limit yourself to a conventional career pursuit. Look at golf. You don’t have to be a professional golfer to make money in the golf market. You have several options ranging from merchandise, books, how-to guides or videos, and so much more. Don’t look at the obvious ways people make money; explore different options and test them out. Try things, and if it does not work, learn from that to improve on the next business idea. We can all do work we are passionate about and love. We just have to make sure we know to look at the whole picture of a business when examining our passions. Now go out there and follow your passion.

My 5 Top Podcasts

image courtesy of Gary Quinton @ flickr.com

image courtesy of Gary Quinton @ flickr.com

Podcasts are a great source of entertainment, information, and resources. You could listen to podcasts that are for entertainment like comedy or about hobbies. If you are interested in a particular subject like history, there are podcasts for you. If you are starting or thinking about starting a business, there are many podcasts that can be great tools to help you and provide you with the information you need or are looking for.

The great thing about podcasts is you can do something else as you listen. You can go back and re-listen, or many times the podcaster will have show notes to go with the podcast. I like to listen to podcasts while running or cooking in the kitchen if I am by myself. Today I want to share with you the five podcasts I listen to the most.

  1. Family from the Heart is a podcast hosted by Cliff and Stephanie Ravenscraft. This show is an honest look at their lives. They talk about how they live, including the mistakes they make and the successes they have achieved. You get to hear stories and transparent conversations between Cliff and Stephanie. You feel connected with them as you listen. Cliff is an expert in podcasting and teaches other how to produce their own podcasts.
  2. The Ziglar Show is a podcast that provides motivation and inspiration in becoming an entrepreneur. It is hosted by Kevin Miller and Tom Ziglar.  Listeners get to learn more in depth about the legend Zig Ziglar and his wisdom. This podcast provides so much information and is great for a variety of audience members.
  3. Smart Passive Income is hosted by Pat Flynn. Pat provides helpful insight into growing your business and using tools to make money even when you are not working. He can teach you to work really hard on products that can keep producing income after the initial work is complete. He has great guests who talk about how they got started and how they built and are building their businesses. Pat is energetic and lively in his podcast, and I always enjoy listening to it.
  4. This is Your Life podcast is with Michael Hyatt. Michael provides wisdom in business and insight about what it takes to be successful. Michael really understands business and how to build and grow your business. He also understands the burnout that results from overworking and how to have balance in your life. I currently use a product for my website that is produced by Michael Hyatt. If you want to start a website, check out his Get Noticed! Theme for WordPress.
  5. 48 Days to the Work You Love Internet Radio Show hosted by Dan Miller is a top business, work and career podcast. Dan is a life coach and best selling author. He talks about finding your passion in work and getting out of that dreaded J-O-B. He provides information and celebrates people’s victories in their businesses. Dan answers listener questions each week on the show, which can be submitted at 48days.com. I really enjoy the experience of listening to this podcast. Dan also hosts live events. Tricia and I attended his Coaching with Excellence seminar this past May of 2015.

What podcasts do you listen to? Please share in the comment section below, and let us know why you recommend those shows.

Why You Can Go Sideways

image courtesy of Keith LeBlanc @ flickr.com

image courtesy of Keith LeBlanc @ flickr.com

So, you have been climbing the ladder at your place of work, but now something has changed. You have a desire to move back closer to family. Your spouse has a great opportunity, but that would require you to move. You or a family member gets sick or develops a chronic illness. You have always wanted to live somewhere else, and now you feel is the right time. Whatever the reason you decide you want or need to move, you have just one problem: your company has nothing in that location. You think, do I really want to start over in my career? I have a good job and have worked hard to get here. I’m not sure I want to give it up. If we move, I will have to start over and build up my career again. Moving for any reason will always have an effect on your career.

Look at moving as a opportunity to grow or take a side step in your career. Today, if you have something to offer an employer, they will be willing to negotiate with you. You could talk with your current employer and they might be willing to allow you to work from home. It may not be the same position but it could be a position with equal or similar pay and benefits. You could propose to your company the possibility of expanding to where you are moving. (Be prepared to show them how this would benefit them). You could look at the companies in the area you are moving to and find ones that you would want to work for. Show how the skills you have developed could be helpful to those companies. This could work to keep you at the same place in your career or could even be a step up. You could also look at the skills you have developed over the years to start your own business. You have many options and should look at moving as an opportunity rather than feeling that you are losing something.

Life is not perfect and our situations never will be. Look at what is before you with optimism and think, how can I make the best of this situation? Your career may change many times over your lifetime. Don’t be too concerned about short-term sidesteps in your career. You have the ability to make something great out of those situations.

Inspired by Unpolished

image courtesy of Hogne @ flickr.com

image courtesy of Hogne @ flickr.com

On September 17 and 18 of 2015 my wife and I attended the Unpolished Conference that brought together entrepreneurship and faith to encourage and build into entrepreneurs. The conference was hosted by Crossroads Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. They had a great lineup of speakers, including Todd HenryJohn GrayJohn Maxwell, Calev Myers, and Mark Burnett. I really enjoyed the conference and was excited to see some businesses developing in the greater Cincinnati area.

I really enjoyed all the speakers at the conference, but my favorite speaker was John Gray. He is the Associate Pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas and an entrepreneur. He is a singer, comedian, and teacher. His spirit on what God has called us to do with our unique gifts inspired me and gave me a push to continue to work hard at what I feel God has called me to do. If you ever have a chance to go see John Gray speak, I highly recommend it as he will inspire and entertain you.

The conference was two wonderful days of inspiration and information on being an entrepreneur. The presenters challenged us to work hard and be educated. There were many wonderful tips provided, but the one that stands out is be educated. Calev Myers stressed the importance of reading books. This confirms what I have heard and read from many other successful people. It reinforced my resolve to make sure I allocate time to read daily.

The Unpolished Conference was a great event, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in faith and entrepreneurship. This event, in addition to Coaching with Excellence hosted by Dan Miller in May of this year, has built into me and has helped me to take the first steps to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Faith and Entrepreneurship

image courtesy of Bob Gala @ flickr.com

image courtesy of Bob Gala @ flickr.com

Today Tricia and I are attending the Unpolished Conference hosted by our church. This conference is unique in that it is about faith and entrepreneurship. I am excited to hear from the speakers about how those two elements work together in their lives. Some people feel these don’t belong together and should be kept separate. People feel that you have a business side of you and a faith side of you. In my life, God comes before anything else.  I feel that if we keep faith out of the business world we risk losing the ethics and good work habits we want.

Being an entrepreneur is about hard work and faith. You have to have faith in what you are doing and that it will succeed. When you start your own company you don’t know if it going to succeed or fail. You work really hard on building your company, but sometimes it doesn’t work out and the company fails. Many entrepreneurs understand this but have faith that they can succeed, so they keep trying. Some start multiple companies or develop several products over their lifetime.

I am not saying you have to believe in God as I do. Develop your spiritual body and invest in finding a faith in something greater than yourself. If you don’t have a strong spiritual aspect to your life, I encourage you to invest in that part of your life and explore and develop your spiritual body. If you have an interest in Christianity and having a relationship with God, read the Bible and explore churches. If you live in the greater Cincinnati Ohio area, please check out Crossroads. My wife and I love it there and have formed friendships with others who are invested in us spiritually and vocationally. Spiritual growth will help build your faith to be strong in your business endeavors.

Business and faith in God complement each other. God has always wanted people to work. God gave Adam a job in the garden even before sin entered the world. God designed people to work and wants us to enjoy our work. Putting God first when starting a business gives you a firm foundation to build upon. God’s commandments guide many of the qualities we look for in good business people. You want to work with people who keep their word, work hard, and don’t steal. Faith and entrepreneurship are closely interrelated, and people work better when they embrace that.

Do You Have Smart Goals?

image courtesy of Paula Naugle @ flickr.com

image courtesy of Paula Naugle @ flickr.com

The other night my wife Tricia and I worked on our SMART goals. As I was writing I would think through the SMART goal setting framework and put down in writing my goals. Almost all of my goals included each element of that framework. I do have goals that I have not fully developed, but I will write them down in some form or get a picture. I will look back at those and brainstorm them to mold them into SMART goals. If I cannot, I will put them back to the dream goals, which if I don’t develop, will stay just that: a dream. My wife and I read our goals to each other and discussed them. It helps to talk about your goals because you can offer encouragement and if needed gentle suggestions about them. My wife and I have goals in all areas of our lives. A primary focus in our goal setting was our business as we are taking the first steps as entrepreneurs.

Let’s look at the SMART goals together. Afterwards go through your goals and write them out according to the SMART goals framework.

  • Specific – Narrow your goals down. Take broad dreams and break them down into single goals. As an example, of one of my goals is: “I will start weekly  Periscopes.” I have more, but this is the specific part and no doubt what my goal is.
  • Measurable – Do you have a way to measure the completion of your goal? An example could be that you want to purchase a home within a year and need to save one thousand dollars per month to do that. You can measure your progress by the money you save month after month.
  • Attainable – Is your goal actually within reach? Lets go back to the example of purchasing a home in one year by saving twelve thousand dollars. If you have a monthly income of two thousands dollars, your goal is likely not attainable. But if you earn eight thousand dollars per month, your goal is attainable. Make your goal something you can achieve.
  • Relevant – Is your goal relevant to want you want to accomplish in your life? If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you want to have business goals that will help you accomplish this.
  • Time-bound – Give yourself an end date to accomplish each goal. If you want to start a blog in 1 month, to accomplish this goal means that by the first of the next month your blog will be up and running.

Now that you’re equipped with the SMART goal setting framework, I would love to hear what some of your goals are. As you start to work more on goals you can add to the SMART goal setting framework by utilizing SMARTER goal setting by adding Evaluate and Revise to the process.

What Are Your Values?

image courtesy of GotCredit @ flickr.com

image courtesy of GotCredit @ flickr.com

We all have values that guide us in how we live. We place value in things like our careers and our homes. When looking for a job you need to examine the values of the company to see if they align with your own. If the company has values that go against yours, do you still want to work for that company? Is there another company whose values more closely align with yours? When developing a business, you need to establish your values for the company. People will want to know your values; if they don’t know your values, they won’t connect with you.

I would like to share with you some values I hold and look for in others – values that help in business:

  • Faith
    • I believe that people have a higher purpose. Making money is not the only reason to go into business. I have faith in God and as a Christian I believe He has called me to help people. I look not only to other Christians but also to people who share and believe in a calling. Faith complements many other values I have. I believe those values are beneficial in business.
  • Honesty
    • I want to work with people who I trust and can depend on. Make your yes be a yes and your no be a no. If you cannot trust the person or people you are working with, how can you be productive? You need to show by your actions that you are honest even when nobody is looking.
  • Graciousness
    • I want to show people that in  everything they do, I appreciate and value them as individuals. If you walk all over people, no one will want to work with you. Show appreciation to people. Compliment them on their work. If you have to criticize someone, compliment them on something to start, then be as gentle as possible when delivering the criticism.
  • Hard Work
    • Put forth the effort or stop and don’t do it. If you are going to do something, work hard. Don’t commit to something if you are not willing to do the work to see it through. Be diligent while maintaining balance by taking breaks. You will appreciate the down time and will be refreshed when you get back to work.

Think about your values. Write them down. I would love for you to share your values and why they are important to you in the comment section below.

5 Reasons to Rest

image courtesy of davide fantasia @ flickr.com

image courtesy of davide fantasia @ flickr.com

Working is an important part of our lives. We spend a lot of time working to provide for ourselves and others. We as humans are created to work. Some people actually enjoy working. No matter our work situation we need to take breaks and have days off.

Here are five reasons to rest:

  1. Our minds work in two hour intervals and need breaks. If you have been working hard for two hours, stop what you are doing. Stand up and walk around. Take a quick break and get a drink of water.
  2. Working a lot of hours puts physical and mental stress on our bodies. Working sixty plus hours in a week strains our bodies and over time can increase health problems. You will become less productive and eventually crash. Putting in sixty hours once in a while is ok, but try to keep your work week to forty to fifty-five hours.
  3. Working a lot harms your relationships with people. If you work a lot of hours you are not seeing people except those who you work with. You lose connection with family and friends. Your marriage will become strained or fall apart. Is the financial gain worth the time away? Spend time with family and friends and build your relationships. You will find it refreshing and enjoyable.
  4. Working a lot means lost development in the mental, physical, spiritual and relational areas of your life. You won’t be able to grow in those parts of your life if you put most of your time into working. You need to be balanced in your life to be healthy and productive. Build yourself up and not just your finances.
  5. God has called us to take one day each week to rest for the work week. “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (Genesis 2:2-3 NIV). God wants you to rest for work so you can be productive in all that you do. Take one day during the week to not work and simply enjoy life.

Doing what you love for a living is rewarding and can make it tough to remember to take breaks from work. Building a business can be stressful which is even more reason to take a break. Plan breaks into your workdays and set aside one day of the week to be your day of rest.