Looking forward to speaking to the group at Asbury Career Transitions Ministry!

Date: March 2, 2015
Time: 06:30 p.m.
Event: Asbury Career Transitions Ministry - March Meeting
Topic: Finding the Job that Where You Can Prosper - and Not Hate Monday
Sponsor: Asbury Career Transition Ministry (ACT)
205-271-9934
Venue: Asbury United Methodist Church
Location: 6690 Cahaba Valley Rd
Birmingham, AL 35242

085: How to Keep Someone from Stealing Your Idea [Podcast]

How do you keep someone from stealing your idea? This is one of the most frequent questions I get from budding entrepreneurs. Here is my common sense advice that will help you move past being frozen without totally abandoning common sense.

How-to-Keep-Someone-from-Stealing-Your-Idea-Grégoire-Hervé-Bazin-edited.jpg

“Creative Commons” by Grégoire Hervé-Bazin is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Dale’s Rule of Thumb: 

Corollary: 

 

Five Things You Can Do to Protect Your Idea

  1. Make sure your ideas is really unique. Most people think their idea is new, but often it is not. So before you get too worried about protecting something that someone else owns, search and find if it has already been done. Beware of the red jeep rule. (Do a quick patent search)
  2. Document your idea. Use photos, notes, emails to trusted people or even to yourself. Common sense stuff.  (Engineering Notebooks)
  3. File a provisional patent. (See provisional patent forms)
  4. Sign a non-disclosure as you are discussing your idea.  (Non-disclosure Form)
  5. Execute swiftly. The sooner you capture the market the better.

What’s the Worst that Can Happen?

Your idea will be stolen. But, you will know you have good ideas and you can now move to idea #2 with lessons learned.

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

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Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Will be working with the Hoover Library on their Business Series to talk about Blogging and Podcasting for Small Businesses.

Date: May 23, 2015
Time: 10:30am-11:30am
Event: Blogging and Podcasting for Small Businesses
Topic: Blogging and Podcasting for Small Businesses
Sponsor: Hoover Library
205-444-7800
Venue: Hoover LIbrary
205-444-7800
Location: 200 Municipal Dr.
Hoover, AL 35216
Public: Public

084: My Most Popular Shows of 2014 [Podcast]

In my annual review, I wanted to find my most popular shows of 2014. Why would you care? First, many of you are content creators and I wanted to show you how I find new ideas. Second, it is just fun to learn what others are thinking. So here is a quick review of my most popular shows of 2014.

My Most Popular Shows of 2014

“Creative Commons ” by Rula Sibai is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Looking Back to 2014

I hope by now that all of you have had a chance to look back at some things that worked in 2014. Looking back to my most visited pages tells me what people are thinking and what matters most to them.

Live Webinar – How to Create Your First Information Product

On January 20, 2015 I am going to do a live webinar on How to Create Your First Information Product in 30 Days. I’m getting ready for the next release of Product Creation Academy so I’m going to cover some steps about how you can create information products.

Most Popular Pages of 2014:

 What Did I Learn from This?

  • What’s the meaning of it? The thinking time was such a big post, it must be a big issue
  • Should I be creating more content around this subject?
  • What’s the need? What do I need to do with that?

And perhaps you could let me know as people are looking at these pages and links, what is it they are looking for? Are they misunderstanding what the page is about? I rarely seem to get a lot of questions from these pages so I’m not sure if people are searching it and get to the page and it’s not what they want. Or they come to the page and it’s exactly what they want and it answers all their questions and they go away. I have no idea. I would to hear any thoughts you have.

Encouragement for 2015

My encouragement to you is to go back to 2014 and look at your calendar, look at maybe where you spent money, look at things you did, look at interactions and just take a look. When you look at those things what worked, what didn’t work in 2014? What can you learn? What changes can you make now? You now can plow forward but, I think it’s very valuable to learn from the past.

Shout Out

Shout out to Servante, a member of my Podcast Creation Academy and he’s says,

Life changing. Dale gives his audience practical and actionable insights. He’s well knowledgeable and highly respected in both academic and business communities. Thanks, Dale, for sharing your wisdom and motivating us all to reach for that golden ring.” Servante on iTunes

Business Venture Bonus

Many people are looking at business ideas and there’s just not a lot of time. So, I’m going to just kind of share with you one of the bonuses since it’s almost tax time. From a business point of view we have to do some stuff pretty early in January. Each month we calculate income, expenses and profit. Then we take 25% from our profit. The 25% stays there and is not spent. It belongs to the IRS. But every single year when we pay taxes, it’s less than the 25% we have set back.

Having a business venture like this allows you to generate enough money to cover taxes. Even though I have a day job the business ventures allow me to generate money and take control of how we pay our taxes as well as where the money comes from. So it’s an awesome thing. So I’ll be sharing with you some thoughts about some of the benefits of owning your own business as we go along.

We want you to make things happen. We would love to hear from you so give us a shout out, email or tweet.

Reminder

Join us January 20th for the webinar, How to Create Your First Information Product in 30 Days

 

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

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Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

083: Is it OK to Want a New Job While Others are Unemployed? [Podcast]

Is it OK to want a new job that has more meaning to you when so many other people are unemployed?  Should you not just be content with your work and live the blessing you have been given? Most of my clients do NOT like their job. There – I said it – most do not like their job. For most, they work for a good company and have good people around them, but something is missing. They are unfulfilled. They do not care about the mission of the company. They are bored. So, should they just grin and make the best of it or should they go after something that matters?

Is it OK to Want a New Job While Others are Unemployed?

“Creative Commons Hope” by pol sifter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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How Can I help You in 2015? Click here to tell me!

Survey Says

If you have not taken my reader/listener survey – please do! But, looking at the data as it stands now, here are the top issues:

  • I feel trapped in my job
  • I need or would like more income

Key Indicators You Need a Change

Personal reasons

  • No Passion – You just do not feel it.
  • Morning Blues – You dread going to work. Sundays are a drag as you know Monday is coming.
  • Pain – Especially unexplained pain symptoms. These are classic signs of unhappiness or internal conflict. (Future show on this.)

Environmental Reasons

  • Dishonest company environment – You see things going on that are against your principles
  • Poor morale – “Beatings will continue until morale improves.”
  • You do not respect the mission and/or the people
  • You have no trust in the leadership
Be Careful!!
We often want to blame the company and the people for our unhappiness at work. However,  I have found that you are usually the problem. (Sounds harsh, but I have been there and looking back, it was all me).

How can you tell? If there are people in your company who seem to love their job, then it might be you. That is OK, maybe you are in the wrong place. But QUIT running around blaming them. Take responsibility for your career and your job and make the needed changes.

Two Options to Find Happiness at Work

  1. Take Control. I have worked with many clients who took personal responsibility and got control and influence through focusing on their Company of One. (The Company of One model is covered in detail in the book Resumes are Worthless.)
  2. Prepare to leave. Do not just quit and run to another job, but take the time to find what you want to do. I have walked more people than I can count through this process. First, start with your calling and identify things you might like. (See below) Then, go out and network.

Calling is the Key

Before writing about this topic, I searched it to see what others have written. But, I found a lot of people instead who were writing about how to be happy at work. I totally agree. You have to take charge and be happy where you are today. But, if you are doing the wrong job for you, you need to start the search for the right fit.

A great way to start the calling process is to do the brainstorming exercise. Download a FREE copy of my ebook on How To Find Your Calling below.

Name:

What Do You Need?

What do you need to succeed in the next year? I would love to be a part of your success. Take a minute to fill out this form so I can be searching for resources and opportunities to help you meet your goals.

Resources

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

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Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Question: Which is you? 1) I love my job. 2) I want to take control. 3) I am preparing to leave.  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

082: Developing Clarity in Your Questions [Podcast]

Want answers and solutions to your problems? Then FIRST you must get clarity in your questions. As I sit here reviewing my interactions with you and others from last year, I realize that most people are very unclear in their questions when they approach me. Instead of asking what they really want to know, they come with statements, which are often statements of hopelessness. “I cannot get more time because I have a job and kids,” instead of, “How do you find time with a job and kids?” In this podcast, I will provide you a tool to help you develop clarity in your questions and in turn find hope and inspiration for the future!

Finding Clarity in Your Questions

Finding Clarity in Your Questions  – “Creative Commons Fog Ocean Sunset” by Mike Behnken is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Help! Take My Reader/Listener Survey

 

How To Get Clarity on the Questions

  1. Goals: List the things you are trying to accomplish, goals if you will. (For more details on goal setting see Setting Goals of Next Year and Make Your Goals Actually Happen. Also see 5 Ways to Create Productive Thinking Times)
  2. Obstacles and questions: Now for each goal, list the obstacles and things you need to know. If you have a long list of goals, then focus on a few of the key goals.
  3. Questions for the expert: List of specific questions you would love to have answered. If you had the EXPERT to your question in front of you, what would you ask them?
  4. Who: For each question, who would be the best person or people to answer that question for you? Write their name or at least a description such as pharmacy manager. (More detail on making contact and finding that person can be found at Reverse Interviews)
  5. Order the questions by importance: Now with all these questions, think about which questions will have the greatest impact in your life. Focus on the most important long term impact question first.
  6. ACT: From the list you made in step 4, search and find that first person to ask, and email them (or send them some kind of message) today. If it is someone you need to meet, setup a reverse interview. (If you are looking for career advice, see Reverse Interview Questions )

Top ALMOST Questions from 2014

I sat down and tried to remember all those statements made to me that were really intended to be questions. I even checked back to old emails and social media, I found many statements from people. So I have listed the top (in no particular order) with the question that they MEANT to ask in parenthesis.

  • I am not really sure what my calling is. (How do I find my calling?)
  • I need to get my business license first. (Do I need a business license? Which one?)
  • I really do not know what to blog about. (How can I create a list of blog topics?)
  • I need to develop my expertise before I can do ________. (How much do I need to know before I start doing _______?)
  • I know my calling and purpose, but I have not figured out how to monetize it yet. (How can I make $ from my calling?)
  • I have a business idea, but not sure what to offer. (What kind of products or services should I offer in my own business?)
  • My business only has a few products, so we do not make a lot of money. (What other products and services can I offer? OR How can I add more value?)
  • I cannot decide what my niche is. (How do I  decide what my niche is?)
  • My boss always ignores me and my suggestions. (How do I get influence with my boss?)
  • I do not know anyone making a living doing what I love to do. (How do I find people doing what I love? )
  • I am not sure I am adding value at my job. (How do I show value?)
  • I do not have the time and support to do what you are doing. (How do you find time to do all the things that you do?)
  • My Twitter/Facebook audience is too small. (How do you build a big Twitter audience?)
  • My list is too small. (How big does my list need to be? OR What are some secrets to growing your list?)
  • I wish I could be a speaker. (How do you get speaking gigs? OR How do you become a speaker?)

The list goes on and on.   

Your Turn. ACT.

Remember – Action TNT!

 

 

Resources

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

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Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Question: What questions do you need to get answered?   You can leave a comment by clicking here.

081:Getting Better (or some) Ideas [Podcast]

Ever get stuck needing ideas, or perhaps just needing better ideas or more ideas? We often find ourselves stuck in not knowing what to do over even seemingly simple decisions. Just the other day I was meeting two friends, one being Jonathan, a musician who has started blogging. Jonathan was stuck trying to find what to write about on his blog and had few ideas. As two of us listened and heard about his vision, we helped him generate over 20 ideas (I bet it was a lot more than that – but I am being conservative) for very interesting blog posts. Not because the other two of us are brilliant, but because we had another perspective. What are you stuck on? What area of your life needs new and fresh ideas? Below I have outlined an approach for creating a one time mastermind session.

Better Ideas

“Creative Commons Good Idea” by Celestine Chua is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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How to Create and Ad-Hoc Mastermind Group

Since you are stuck on your limited thinking of ideas, how about we think about this…

  1. Get people together. Asking advice one-on-one is good, but bringing a small group of people together generates synergy and new ideas as each person plays off the other. Sure, ask individual advice, but really go crazy and creative with a team of 2 to 6 people.
  2. Get the right people together. Make sure you avoid the naysayers and those who are negative about everything. Also perhaps best not to invite two people who dislike one another. Look for positive people who you think would like to give their advice (most people do) and who will be willing to help.
  3. Mix experts and novices. Having both the expert and the novice giving you feedback really helps. Sometimes the expert is missing that fresh view.
  4. Avoid those who have an agenda. Anyone who has skin in the game might reduce the flow of ideas. To get unbiased opinions, find people who are not going to be impacted when you decide.
  5. Take notes. Be ready to write it all down. The ideas, once they start, will come like crazy. You might even ask them if you can record. Use you iPhone or other smart phone in some memo mode to record the conversation. (Be sure to get OK first.)
  6. Tell them what you are doing. Let them know up front they are one of  few in the group and you will need about 1-2 hours of their time. Offer to buy the pizza in return.

 

At The Meeting

  1. Give them the scope. Start the meeting by explaining what the problem is you are trying to solve. Best if you get clear on it first, but not critical.
  2. Answer honestly any question they ask. They may feel off topic for a moment, but go with it as you can. For instance, when people are starting a company and need product ideas, we will often start asking them about why they want to start a business. While not what they asked us about, these questions help direct the conversation. Also, you might learn you were asking the wrong question. (Which happens OFTEN.)
  3. Do not kill ideas. This is brainstorming, so do not tell them the ideas are stupid or will not work. You might need to clarify constraints, but again, be willing to learn what you thought was a constraint is really an opportunity.
  4. Wrap it up. After your alloted time, wrap it up even if ideas are still flowing. Tell them you would like to hear more but you want to let the group get on to other things and not monopolize your time.
  5. Expect to create more meetings. Everyone at these mastermind meetings wins. They all walk away with ideas about their problems and new ways to think about it. So,  expect that some might want you to return the favor and attend their mastermind session.

 

What Kind of Problems?

Here are some of the challenges you might consider for an ad-hoc mastermind group.

  • What do I do about this situation at work where my boss does not listen?
  • Should I take this other job?
  • What kind of work should I be looking for?
  • Should I change jobs?
  • How do I decorate my den? (Do this standing in your den)
  • What kind of business should I start?
  • What kind of products should I create?
  • What gift should I buy my spouse?
  • What school should I send my son/daughter to?
  • What should I name my dog?  

Resources

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

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Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Question: Have you tried this before? Would love to hear how it works for you. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

080: Avoiding Overwhelm [Podcast]

Do you feel overwhelmed? Just a few days ago I was sitting ready to get to work, looking at a list of things to do. But the list was huge and some of the individual items seemed overwhelming on their own. I sat for some time staring at them and wondering what to do first. I finally shook out of it and went to get coffee. But, when I came back, the list was still there. I needed a better way to deal with all I needed to do. Hours later, Lea was telling me the same thing – she was overwhelmed. What about you? Do you have more to do than you can handle? When you look at things do you ever feel stuck, wondering what to do first?

OverWhelmed - Dealing with Decisions

“Creative Commons Stress Level: Midnight” by Sara V. is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Your Ability to Decide “What  Next” is Critical to Your Job

For the first time in history, our workforce has to make daily and possibly hourly decisions about what to do next. Few of us upon waking up have to immediately go get water, start a fire to stay warm, or milk the cows. No matter if you are an executive, software developer, administrative assistant, or mom at home with kids, you still have many decisions to make.

Today every employee (even those who feel they are at the bottom) has many decisions to make through the day. Do I read my email now? Do I answer that email now or wait till I have more information? Should I speak up at the meeting? Should I call a meeting, send an email, or just go talk to the people I need to get information from? How long does this report need to be? Etc, etc, etc. We are buried in tiny decisions daily.

As I sat with my hot coffee I was consumed with these simple decisions. I had to break out of the cycle myself. I flipped through some notes and found an email I had shared with a client who was suffering overwhelm at work. He had asked me how to get past overwhelm and followed my advice to much more peace and success. And now I sit here struggling with the same.

Perhaps we should listen to the advice we give others. I took the list I had written him and started acting on it. Thought I would share it with you.

When You are Overwhelmed with Indecision – Review These Steps

1. Pick Something. Accept that you cannot do everything – at least at the same time. You have to pick what needs to be done next – and it does require a decision. That means something comes later.

2. Mundane Must Do’s. Remember, some things feel mundane but are really critical and must be done. Some of these will consume your day. You might can improve on them through better processes, but right now you just have to get it done. Things like going to meetings (those you must attend), taking the kids to their game, and answering critical emails. Most of these “must do” items rarely take all day (unless you are caring for a small child), but they still must be done. Accept it and accept that this means your list of 20 things to do today is unreasonable.

3. Triage. Emergency rooms do triage. This is the process by which they decide what is critical and must be done now vs what can wait. Triage is setting priorities. Someone who walks in with a minor wound goes to the back of the line behind someone who has chest pains.

So, triage your work. If you can only do one thing today, this week, this month, what should it be? One place I do this is in my thinking times.

As a side note, I find the most successful people have a knack for doing what is critical and leaving out those things that are of less importance. For instance, I have a friend who is a business owner and he has a knack for focusing on things that bring value to his customers or adds income to his company.

4. Is it a task or a project? A task is something you can do in one step and will take a few minutes. A project takes multiple steps and will take over an hour. Be realistic.

If a task, do it now.

If a project, decide on the first action you need to take. Take it and then make a note of the next action. Put it on your to-do list or in a calendar. You might also decide to track it in a tool such as Nozbe or Outlook.

5. Break projects down into small parts in the order of importance. For instance, painting a room is not a task. You have to pick a color, buy paint and supplies, prepare the room, paint, and cleanup. This might be more than one day of activity. It is a project.

If it is something you have done before, what are the steps? What is the process? If it is something you have never done before, you can learn from an expert the steps.

The key is to get off dead center and move things along. Your ability to make wise decisions with your time, recognizing you will never get it all done, will have a real impact on your income and your peace of mind.

 

PS: Recently while I was coaching some people who were new to blogging, I sensed this overwhelm. They felt they had to do everything now, and instead needed a step x step list of what to do first. Here is the list I provided them to help them get past overwhelm procrastination and move to productive. AvoidingOverwhelm

Resources

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

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Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Question: What do you do when you are overwhelmed? You can leave a comment by clicking here.