The DIY Employment Economy Is Here

The DIY Employment Economy Is Here

We are in a new era of America’s economy and it will take your breathe away.  Jobs are a thing of the past.  Earning money is now up to you.  You must find a way to offer a service on the open market in exchange for money to survive.  Corporate America, technological innovation, and global immigration have scalped the American workforce.

The Economic Shift

With the economic decline of 2009, Wall Street and the corporate world sent the citizens of America a clear message: jobs are a privilege, not a right. No longer was the massive corporate engine driving America going to give Americans jobs for the sake of employment. Profits are number one, not national employment rates. While I was lucky to stay employed throughout the economic decline, I watched many of my friends lose their jobs, their homes, and the alleged “American Dream”. America was changed forever.

At the same time, corporations started the conversation of revising the immigration policy to make it easier for American based companies to employ “talented” foreigners. Add in the tech sector’s quest for automation and America’s unemployment situation seems irreversible. Jobs filled by human beings are being replaced by software programs. Jobs which require specialization are filled with foreigners and corporate profits are now at record labels. Either you are a have (job) or you are a have not (unemployed).

Solution

The solution? The solution is DIY employment, create your own job! With sites like Freelancer.com, PeoplePerHour, and Fivrr, access to paid projects is very good, albeit competitive. In addition, solutions like vTiger, FounderSuite, and even KickStarter enable anyone with a decent business idea to take control of their lives and create their employment/business.

How do you know what business to start? Pursue your passions. Books like the Lifestyle Entrepreneur have a great set of tools to help you identify the intersection of your passions, hobbies, and interests. For me, I love data, finding the patterns in the data and producing visualizations to communicate findings. I also love measuring businesses (I develop KPIs for executive teams). I also have a soft spot for fitness and helping people become healthier. The intersection of all of these is the quantified self and creating a business around self data. TrainingMetrix is my first company and focuses on analytics for triathletes.

You also have to decide which type of business to create and how involved you want to be. A restaurant will likely be a 24/7 “job” until it is established, profitable, and you are able to hire managers to run it for you. On the other end of the spectrum, potentially a much more hands off type of business, is a tech company where you can outsource development, customer service, and marketing. With just an hour per day, you can run a successful and profitable online tech business.

Empowering Yourself

DIY employment is not as scary as it may seem. Today, it is easier than ever to start earning money for no one but yourself. Every action you take when you create your own business is all about you. Empower yourself today, embrace the DIY employment economy and create a business to change the world, or just your part of the world.

Triathlon Intelligence: A Calendar View Template For Triathletes

For the past few years, I have been not only training for triathlon, but also talking to fellow triathletes about triathlon performance.  The concept of triathlon intelligence is alive and well in the minds of anyone looking to improve their triathlon finish times.  Not finding much excitement with the training and workout logs on the market, I created TrainingMetrix  (out of business – Oct-2015)to explore the intersection between data and triathlon, as well as data and fitness in general. From usability and access to data to creating KPIs for workouts and nutrition, TrainingMetrix took an open exploration of this often overlooked intersection.

Our latest template, based on feedback from our users, is a modification of our free Triathlon Foundation Template and adds the ability to view both workouts and training plan in a calendar view.  Now, you can see your workouts compared against your plan! This is in addition to the powerful performance dashboard already a part of the free template.  The new Calendar View Template also allows you to build your own training plan.

calendar view triathlon workout and training log

Track progess, merge your plan and workouts into a calendar view, and create/modify your own training plan, the Calendar View Template is a powerful for triathletes

I am excited to show off this latest template.  We are combining a number of KPIs for triathletes into an easy to use template which resides locally on your computer, so your data is private and protected.  Being based in Excel, the template provides a foundation for you to customize and create your own charts and data views.  The power of workout progress and trends come alive.  The ability to create and modify your training plan is another powerful tool.  Lastly, the comparison of training plan to actual workouts is the intelligence the triathlete needs to stay on track, plan ahead and adjust as necessary.  For more information, please visit the Calendar View Template website.

What’s next for TrainingMetrix and I?  A lot, stay tuned, we are just getting started with understanding this intersection, data and triathlon.

Update 10/15 – TrainingMetrix was shut down in October 2015 due to increasing costs and lack of an effective business model.

Why Hierarchies of Data in a Business Matter

thData, business, sales, insights, and revenue are popular keywords found in abundance around the internet these days.  As a Founder of my own company, I can certainly understand the need to focus on such keywords in daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly discussions.

But, as a Data Analyst, not all keywords are created equal for each role in the company.  Let’s simplify and break the business hierarchies down to three levels, which have a direct impact on how data can be used:

  1. Executives: The top of the chain that defines long-term strategy, implementation, and overall decision making.
  2. Manager: The mid-level staff responsible for action of strategy, interfacing between the needs to the subordinates and the Executive teams.
  3. Operational: The largest population of the business with the responsibility to make it happen by pushing the buttons, interfacing with customers, and carrying out decisions hour by hour.

This three tier pyramid of decision making in a business is streamlined to illustrate key areas that any serious Data Analyst should have Continue reading

Customer Experience Is A Journey

Reflecting back on my career I can appreciate the value of a customer centric organization. Not only are customer centric organizations aligned around the customer, but they typically embolden the employee with value and the ability to make decisions.

Successful organizations are those that embrace business as an ongoing conversation that involves customers, employees and a larger ecosystem. Think of successful business as a conference room where management sits at the head of the table, customers on one side and employees on the other. The dialog must be chaperoned by all parties with listening and development of dialog constantly at the core. The ecosystem enters from time to time in the form of external speakers who discuss larger topics pertinent to the business.

Sure the conference room changes over time as do the players, but the conversation must always be ongoing and open. It is like being on a trip and exploring local establishments including restaurants, shops, and even people’s homes.  It is a journey of collaboration, communication and life.

Is your customer experience a journey?

Ten Rules for Being Human by Cherie Carter-Scott

Ten Rules for Being Human

by Cherie Carter-Scott

1.

You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it’s

yours to keep for the entire period.

2.

You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time

informal school called, “life.”

3.

There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of

trial, error, and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much

a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately “work.”

4.

Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A lesson will be

presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you

have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.

5.

Learning lessons does not end. There’s no part of life that

doesn’t contain its lessons. If you’re alive, that means there are

still lessons to be learned.

6.

“There” is no better a place than “here.” When your “there” has

become a “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will again

look better than “here.”

7.

Other people are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate

something about another person unless it reflects to you something you

love or hate about yourself.

8.

What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools

and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice

is yours.

9.

Your answers lie within you. The answers to life’s questions

lie within you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

10.

You will forget all this.

These are so true! Number 8 is especially powerful.

Immersion, The Good, Bad and the Ugly!

Immersion is the concept of surrounding yourself with a given subject to concentrate on learning it.  But, do you really know what you are getting yourself into?

The GOOD
The good is that immersion is a very efficient way of learning something.  You can jam pack a lot of information in a very narrow window of time.  Picking up the basics of a new language or skill is possible over a long weekend.  

The BAD
Immersion usually occurs for a limited time.  From a day to a few weeks, immersion is not something that you want to do for long.  The learner risks burn-out as the human body needs to time break old habits and adjust to the new knowledge. 

The UGLY
Immersion can overwhelm the learner.  In such a short time, a lot of information gets thrown at you. While it is important to absorb as much information as possible, sometimes grasping the larger picture and concepts is all you can do.  

 My weekend at the Total Immersion swim clinic was definitely, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  But, I would do it again in a heart beat!  
1) It was good because I made huge improvements with my swim stroke.  
2) It was bad because it was so short and I wish I had a little more than two days to grab all the information and absorb more detail.  
3) It was ugly, by the end of the second day, my brain was so overwhelmed with information that it was almost exploded.  

Have you ever tried immersion and experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly? 

If You Say It, Mean It

If you offer a service to a customer, make sure you going to follow through and that you really meant it.

There is nothing more annoying as a customer to end up with a broken promise.  Such situations do not build trust, branding, relationships, etc.

Leaving your customers high and dry is the ultimate evil in the business world. 

And I don’t mean offering a service and then giving some half assed attempt at following through.  Offering training and then offering yet another sales pitch is horrible.  Offering someone a white paper and then giving them a simplistic newsletter disguised as a white paper just doesn’t inspire the customer to come back.

If you say it, mean it and follow through!  It is that simple!