The first impression you leave with someone is often long-lasting. The horns or halo effect refers to the nature of your first impression on someone.

If you leave a negative first impression (Horns Effect), most everything you do from then on out will be viewed through a negative lens. What does this mean? It means you will have to work harder to get the same results.  If you leave a positive first impression (Halo Effect), that person will view you through a positive lens. Everything you do will seem that much better, brighter and worthy of reward.

Seems unfair or inaccurate. Unfortunately or not it is a reality. Know that all is not lost if you get the horns from the get go. It just means that you have to buckle down and earn your wings.  The upside is that after a bad first impression, if you decide to turn things around, there is breaking point where people drop the lens and begin to see you for who you really are.  At that point their expectations have been dropped just a bit.  It`s the second best time to show what you can do.

The Art of Adaptation: If you blow the first impression it isn’t to late. It just means more work.

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The Real F-Word

June 14, 2013 — Leave a comment

The real f-word is finished.  

We are never finished.  This is why I write.  Every single day that you get to open your eyes in the morning is an opportunity to grow.

We are people.  There is not one perfect person on this plant. Perfect is an ideal, a concept.  It is something you are working towards.  It’s a two-sided blade.  It’s good as long as you realize it is unattainable.

What the ideal of perfect does is create is a gap.  A distance between where you are and where you would like to be.  That gap is where we learn but more importantly, where we develop a mind-set and desire for constant improvement.  It’s good to never be fully satisfied.

Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.

- Thomas Edison 

So how do we develop this mind-set?  

Focus daily on your development but in a different way.  Most of us have been conditioned, in multiple ways, to think of progress in a linear fashion. We look at “A” where we are and “B” where we are moving toward.  Then we are told to celebrate and be happy when we get there.  The problem with this is twofold.

  1. When we get there most people stop.  They don’t pick another place to go to.  They don’t set another goal.
  2. In A-B progress we neglect to evaluate the intensity of our learning.

What good is a goal if it will take you 500 years to achieve?  We need to focus on the intensity or the slope of our learning.  Slope = rise over run.  The rise is our intensity of learning.  Is it challenging enough for us?  It should be just above our skill level to encourage us to strive to improve but not so difficult as to discourage us in the long run.  The run is how long it takes to achieve this goal. Look at the intensity of your learning.  Can you sustain that for the time it will take to attain your goal?  If not, adapt.  The point is that the steeper the slope of learning you can support the quicker you will get to where you are going.

It’s not the destination, it’s the journey that’s important. 

I hear it all the time.  They are right.  Enjoy the journey but if you get the full experience and process information 10 times faster than the person telling you this, don’t worry about it.  In fact, your journey will be much longer in terms of distance covered.

The Art Of Adaptation:  Don’t cut your journey shot by being finished.  

Personal finances can be as simple or complicated as you want to make it.  Personally I don’t have copious amounts of time to budget.  I like to spend my time actually working for money.  I will quickly explain the nuts and bolts of personal finances.

Don’t do it for the money.  Those who do what they love, have passion for their work and dedicate themselves are able to put in more effort, more consistently.  That effort is what will get you paid.  What other respectable way would you want to make money?

Keep some.  If you spend more than you make you will go into deeper and deeper debt.  If you spend exactly what you make you will also go into debt.  Why?  Shit happens!  Bad things happen to good and bad people.  Plan for it and save a little.

Never be proud.  I had this sense of entitlement at one time.  I had a degree, I was smart and talented.  I should be paid just for being born.  Alright, maybe not that extreme but I did feel I deserved better.  I see this all the time.  People who snicker at paper routes and working at McDonalds.  Every single job is an opportunity or has small opportunities for learning.  Not pursuing or turning down opportunities because you think you should be somewhere better is flawed financial philosophy.  If you deserve more other people will let you know.  Especially when you are at the entry level.

Death by dependency.  No one makes logical decisions when their arm is twisted.  If you need something you don’t have the freedom to choose.  If you are led around by the carrot tied to the stick it doesn’t matter if there are fields and fields of carrots right in front of you.  You will go where you are told.  Oh yea, that little carrot you’re so worried about catching… I’m referring to money.

The Art Of Adaptation:  Less time worrying means more time working. 

My job with an online marketing agency has made me fully realize something about technology and our futures.  This isn`t a new trend or movement in the employment landscape nor will it stop anytime soon.  Technology is becoming more advanced as I write this.

Technology is eliminating and changing the skills which are required to work in your industry.  At the same time it is allowing people from around the world to compete for a job which would have in the past only been known and available to those in close proximity.

What does that mean for the individual?

It means that companies have more resources and options at their finger tips.  The more resources (employees) options companies have the less they have to pay to retain them and thus the slippery slope we are in now.  You see companies outsourcing work overseas for a fraction of the cost and choosing to leave behind trained qualified people.

On the other hand this creates more opportunities for people to compete for the jobs they would like to do.  It also allows companies to really select the best fitting employee because they have more options.  There are pros and cons.

The Art Of Adaptation:  Skills are now less valuable now.

Success in this market will depend on your resourcefulness and ability to adapt.

I am greedy with information

I am a very competitive person.  When I read a good book, hear a new song, see a cool video, find a new blog, I instantly want to hide the information.  I don’t want anyone else to see it because I am type A, I want to have an advantage, I want to be an early adopter.  I want to win damn it!

Why Information Greediness Is Bad

Let’s say hypothetically you make something you think is awesome and put it out into the world (a song perhaps). Then no one shares it, no one talks about it.  Let’s also say that everyone that initially heard it is like me.  They want to keep it for themselves.  What happens?  No one else will hear it and soon you think your song is garbage.  Who loses here.  Both people!  The person putting out information gives up and the person hoarding information is left wondering why that person is not producing any more of that awesome music.

We need to share information to encourage people to continue, to make the things that will give us that feeling of discovery and satisfy our sense of competition.  If we encourage people to put this out into the world more and more will be made.

Why Is It That I Hate Sharing Information?

I hate sharing because I’m scared.  I’m scared others are going to claim my thoughts and ideas as their own and get the credit.  So what do I do about that?  I keep it to myself.  The problem with that is that thoughts and ideas will eventually be generated whether they are yours.  They will steer your world in different ways than your ideas would have.  That could be good or it could be bad, who knows.  The only thing we do know is that no one will ever know what you thought or potentially where you would have taken us.  No one will know your Genius!

There Is A Solution.

Don’t be afraid.  Put your information out there.  Forget about taking credit.  You will never get all the credit you feel you deserve.  No one does.  What you will get is a chance for someone to really appreciate your contribution to our history, business, families, cultures, thoughts and feelings.

If you’re like me and you are greedy with information beyond belief.  I not only want to contribute, I want to get paid!  This will feel counter intuitive but if your ideas are worth money share them for free, at first.  Until you are paid, what you put out into the world is available to everyone.  If you are greedy like I am with information than you can guarantee other people and companies are as well.  What will a company do if they see value in what you offer?  Pay you to shut your mouth so that you only give that information to one person, the person paying.  Voilà!

The Art Of Adaptation:  The competitive landscape is changing and there is a new way to distinguish the A’s from the B’s and C’s.  Check who is sharing.

I never understood why a company would outsource for their social media needs.

The reason is now clear.  I never understood this because there is no logic behind it.

Outsourcing social media happens for two reasons.  The first is that Public Relations (PR) firms or advisors are becoming increasingly worried about what their role is in the business environment.  Information is available to companies and people about what they should and can do for marketing and advertising.  There is less and less need for an all inclusive PR management role to handle all communication.

The second reason is that employees, managers and companies are not educated on social media so they listen to their PR managers/advisors and send the work to be done elsewhere at inflated costs.  Social media companies realize this and are providing more learning tools.  Plus, as time rolls on and social media becomes a normal part of our lives people will naturally pick it up one piece at a time, especially the people whose salaries depend on beating this learning curve.

People claiming to be social media experts and gurus and those PR professionals looking to scalp a dollar from the company they claim to want to help will need to look else where for that resource as social media moves in-house.

Tisk, tisk PR people.  What happened to mutually beneficial relationships.  

The Art Of Adaptation:  You have limited resources.  It’s up to you how you divide them up.  

Ignore This Post

June 4, 2013 — Leave a comment