What Well Over 10 Years Of Blogging & Consulting Have Taught Me

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “The purpose of life is not to be happy.  It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you lived and lived well.”  That provides strong principles and values, a useful framework, to live by but is it a useful definition of purpose?  I offer a simpler take:

The purpose of life is to find your true purpose.

This article will explore my journey, not for the sake of mere self-indulgence but for the purpose of helping you on your own journey and perhaps getting to know each other better.  I hope that, by the end, you’ll realize just how valuable and accomplished you are.  If you’re at a crossroads in life, this may be the article for you.  If you have any thoughts to share, please don’t be shy.  This one will be quite the journey!

This epic collection of stories and scattered thoughts will cover a lot of things, including, but not limited to:

  • How writing can be a tool of self-discovery and self-improvement
  • What I’ve learned through running Y3B as a vehicle for consulting
  • Going beyond establishing expertise and credibility
  • Toxicity and the dangerous brand of knowledge (i.e. bad advice)
  • Why culture/personality fit trumps technical knowledge and experience

Tomorrow, on April 6th 2017, Y3B turns 11 years old and it will mark an over 20-year journey.  While I’ve dabbled in just about everything and worn many hats, writing and technology have always been passions.  The challenge is translating those passions that into what Mark Schaefer calls sustainable interests, a concept that I have long taught and believed in before the book “Known” was published.  That said, you really should read “Known” and check out the discussion groups on it.


I believe blogging is still one of the most powerful tools for those wishing to be known.  On a greater scale, if you wish to establish credibility and visibility, the written word is still one of the most compelling ways to do so.  Writing forces you to really think through your ideas in a way you may not do on a podcast and certainly not video, where you may be more preoccupied with production quality instead of the relevant, uniqueness, and importance of your message/stories.  Writing is easily the most powerful form of communication and it is something everyone should strive to improve upon, if for no other reason than to structure your ideas and self-identity better.


I’m Not A Blogger, This Is Not A Blog

When folks have asked me over the last few years what it is that I do, I never answer with blogging.  It’s not my focus or core competency.  I believe that calling yourself a blogger diminishes the value of what you do; furthermore, your blog should be a catalyst for bigger things.  The term “blogger” has become synonymous with hobby or passion, not profession or purpose.  That’s fine if your blog is truly a labor of love but, if it can be so much more, why wouldn’t you develop it as such?

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Support-A-Thon: Evaluating Social Currency And Re-humanizing Online Experiences #supportathon

So, is anyone else tired of hearing all this junk about the “ROI of social media” and the “value of friendships”?

I know I am.  I think I may *SCREAM* if I hear “ROI” and “social media” in the same sentence again. #justsayin

It seems that too many folks are jumping on the social media bandwagon with only one thing on their mind: money.  Now, we all need to make a living and I know I certainly have mouths to feed (my own in particular – hey, I’m a growing boy) but are we focusing on money first when the relationships should be at the forefront of our thoughts?

Social Media Currency - Is money the only thing on your mind?

Source: NewMediator.com

These thoughts have been inspired by recent conversations with Jen Olney, Dave R. Gallant, Robert Dempsey, Karla Campos, Eugene Farber, and many other wonderful people.  While we don’t agree on every last detail, we all agree that there are too many issues with how folks approach social media.

I’m going to try to keep this short and sweet as we touch upon the following concepts:

  • Redefining social media currency, relationships, conversions, and what engagement really means.
  • Moving away from the robotic ways that have taken the warmth out of online interaction.
  • Focusing on helping others so that the stuff we want falls into place naturally.
  • Engaging in reciprocation that is more meaningful, authentic/sincere, and worthwhile for all.

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The Thirty-Second Window And How Snappy, Interesting Content WINS!

I just read an article by Max Miroff about Triond and it really put things into perspective because it was short and sweet. It reminded me that I should be more concise at times myself. What I also learned is that Triond.com offers significant residual or passive income to writers at any level. There are a ton of publishing and article submission sites but this particular one seems worth exploring.

Triond.com is unique but how?

Triond.com is unique but how?

After my most recent brainstorming session with JulioFromNY of the Mundane Chatter Podcast, I’ve been reminded that, these days, being interesting alone is not enough. Concise content will often trump more detailed content, regardless of how unique or well produced or written it is. If the subject matter is hot or trending, it’ll get attention. This is where Triond comes into play.

I see Triond as a place for writers to provide snappy teasers and mini-documents based on their existing content library. In doing so, you build up your brand and presence, while earning a little gas or play money on the side, at least for starters. Some say it’s possible to earn massive residual income on Triond (say, around $3200 a month) but, to do so, you have to research subjects and employ thorough SEO/SMO (which I try to do with all my published content, regardless of the medium or platform). I say temper your expectations – there are NO get rich quick solutions (just scams pretending to be shortcuts) out there! Continue reading

The Last Job Seeker Guide You’ll Ever Need (Sorta)

Recession. It’s the dirty word that everyone is throwing out these days.  Companies are using it as a cop-out for questionable business ethics and employee treatment.   Anything goes wrong, let’s blame the recession.  The truth is that the recession was years in the making.  I’d say that the signs were obvious as early as 1999, when it seemed like everyone was going back to school or at least changing their profession.  Most folks foolishly felt they could jump on the real estate, IT, and other trends to take advantage of what seemed like “guaranteed money”.  The only difference now is that people stopped fooling themselves and realized one thing: this job market SUCKS.

If Dubbya says were not in a recession, then it must be true!

If Dubbya says we're not in a recession, then it must be true!

As one of my colleagues put it, the gravy days of sales and business in general are behind us.  It used to be that all you needed was a good idea or a product that was in a market had high demand.  Customers would come to you and the only issue was making sure you got through to them before all the other sneezers (thank you Seth Godin, Mr. Purple Cow) in your market contaminated them with their preferred solutions and brands.  Retail stores had to staff up heavily and, even so, they barely could handle traffic.  There were only a few providers in every sector so everyone got a big piece of the pie.  Not so anymore.

Nowadays, the competitive landscape is congested and companies are cutting corners.  Training is not as extensive, quality of service has gone down the poop chute, staffing is minimal at best, and customers are far less interested in what you have to say.  Everyone has heard the ‘ol marketing song-and-dance and they’ve learned to tune it out.  This is a boon for the customers because companies will negotiate more but it is a bane for job seekers, especially those that have dreams to find the perfect job and career track.

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Little-Known Ways To Become An Expert Recruiter

Well, I did not expect so many responses on my recent LinkedIn question but I certainly welcome it! The discussion is brewing right now as we speak and I figured I would take the time out to write a slightly-shorter article touching upon some of the core issues and hopefully sharing some tips for both recruiters, since the job seeker side can produce a whole string of advice columns on it’s own. First and foremost, I want all my recruiting friends to understand that I do not think the value of outsourced recruiting is not there but I do feel that there is a lack of professionalism and effectiveness in the field as a whole. I base this powerful statement on my personal experiences as both a job seeker and business owner, and on the experiences of my many clients and colleagues.

Now, for the sake of brevity, I can’t explore every possible angle here. Let me touch upon the assumptions and understandings that we should all have before moving on…

  • There is clearly a lack of honesty both on the behalf of job seekers and recruiters alike.
  • The typical workload for a recruiter these days is easily three to five times more than what it was a decade ago.
  • Recruiters do not have time for small talk so, if you are loquacious, you may find yourself being cut off often.
  • Job seekers that are driven solely by money will often not hesitate to break prioir obligations and jump ship.
  • At least 80% of job seekers embellish or lie on their resume in some manner.
  • Some job seekers are driven by money, others are not.
  • Because of the above items, job seekers and recruiters alike are very jaded and pessimistic, to say the least.
  • Recruiters come in many flavors, though many have dealt with the typical contingency recruiter for the most part.
  • No one is fundamentally evil, recruiters included.
  • Every field has good people and bad people; thus, good recruiters must exist!

For job seekers, the reality is that working with recruiters may not be a worthwhile investment of time if you do not keep your scope very specific, be honest about your abilities, and do as much leg work as possible to make the recruiter’s job easier. Companies love using recruiters because most of the cost can be absorbed by the candidates (they take a percentage of your salary without you even knowing). How payment is handled depends on the arrangement that has been set up but that is definitely the typical deal I’ve seen. As I mentioned in my article about lazy recruiting practice and how it puts job seekers at risk (or at least a major inconvenience), recruiters are, at heart, sales people so it’s all about the numbers to them, the bottomline matters more (typically) than helping people.

If you happen to be one of those recruiters that wants to be helpful and really drive value to both your prospects and clients alike, this article is for you. After all, what job seekers has to do is a lot more simple: represent yourself more accurately, learn how to interview effectively, tailor your resume to the specific opportunities, and be authentic, energetic, and deliberate in all your efforts (in a nutshell). What can you, as a third-party/outsourced recruiter do to really be seen in a good light? I’m glad you asked. Read on…

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Bad Recruiters, Identity Theft, and What To Do About It

Job hunters throughout the United States have cited that their biggest sore point in the job hunt is dealing with inept recruiters. Who can blame them? Recruiters typically repost the job ads that the hiring companies post on their corporate sites then only do the bare minimum to screen and prepare candidates. It has been my personal experience in recent

years that, if a recruiter does more than give you a vague description of the job and ask you to tailor your resume to include certain buzzwords, you have yourself a keeper. The general approach seems to be this: collect as many close fits as possible, herd them together, sell the hype, and hope that the candidates can do the rest of the work for you.

The reality is that recruiters are suffering along with job seekers. Job market saturation is arguably the byproduct of overseas outsourcing, widespread “right-sizing”, 1990’s dot-com collapses, and, of course, 9/11. Our economy has taken a hard hit and, as more and more fresh college graduates enter the workforce, it is not getting any easier, even for the most seasoned veterans in their fields. Recruiters are dealing with easily three or four times the workload that was expected in the “golden age” of the mid-90’s. There is also far more competition from other staffing and recruiting firms. The Recruiting Animal blog cites that the typical recruiter handles anywhere from 26-30 projects at a time on average, which is definitely more than recruiters experienced even 5 years ago. It’s no wonder recruiters are spending less time preparing and qualifying their candidates!

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Skills Schmills – What About Your W2?

Quite possibly the toughest type of marketing to do these days is self marketing (that is, selling yourself); that is, if you are on the market for a job. It seems that, in any line of work, if you are not incorporated, you are going to get the short end of the stick as both a freelancer and a job hunter. The Information Technology field is definitely not an exception; in fact, it is probably one of the places where employees are exploited the most. If you are a job hunter looking for an IT job, read on but, brace yourself: it will get ugly quickly.

Any IT field veteran can atest to this: the IT market is now more competitive than ever. Since outsourcing and overseaing are cheaper than hiring people internally, the career path IT guy has very little options beyond doing some cheap labor as a consultant and hoping he gets hired full-time. It used to be that the most skilled people would get the job if they made a good impression on the face-to-face interviews but, nowadays, you’re lucky to get even past the phone interview. I’ve heard it from many guys on the field: they’ll be overlooked because Joe College who just graduated and has no work history is cheaper labor and, if he can’t get the job done, there’s always India, Russia, or China; you can hire an entire call center for the price of one US IT guy if you go that route. Heck, even Brazil is becoming a sort of mecca for IT.

Why the massive increase in competition? Well, simply put, companies still do not see IT as a valuable asset even though it is the backbone of their business. They will cut corners and salaries even after disaster strikes because they look at an IT department as a cost center. The trend now is to get the guy that gets his hands in everything so he can take on three or four distinct jobs. Recruiters have very specific needs. You need to know specific software releases (down to the fourth decimal point, if you know what I mean), printer repairs, shell scripting, .Net framework, web development, and brain surgery just to become a junior-level network engineer. Past work experience doesn’t matter – just flash some paper credentials (and place lips to rear – just kidding).

Heck, the President can write a letter of recommendation for you and employers won’t care. They just want you to have credentials and low self esteem so you’ll take their terrible salary offer. It may sound cynical and exagerrated but I have yet to see otherwise. Most jobs these days go through recruiters unless you find a way to work around them or have someone on the inside that can get your foot in the door. Recruiters will undercut you as much as possible to get a nicer bonus on their side. Your best interest is not their top priority.

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