Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Project: Five Signs You Might Be A Workaholic

Robert Herjavec. Ring a bell? Well, it seems even when he is with his family he does not turn his off. It’s the price you pay when you have the country's largest cyber security firms.

And I guess we have to be thankful for that. You know since we all do online banking, shopping, swiping, skyping - so much that entails personal information and everything that could endanger our species.

Known as the Mr. Nice Guy to Shark Tank’s Mr. Wonderful, he admits he’s a workaholic. While his high profile life may seem more demanding, we all have a choice when it comes to our business lifestyle of whether or not we want to give in to the demands of business both during the week and weekend.

So, take the test and tell us, are you are a workaholic?

1. You take your phone AND/OR laptop to the bathroom with you for checking notifications Non-Game related activities such as updating excel spreadsheets, and seeing if your stocks are plummeting or your latest system wide team email is getting any response.

2. You’re the Buzz Lightyear of the office: You are the first to turn the light on at the office and the last to turn it off. Your hours are long, and you get to see both the sunrise and sunset. Essentially, you have become both a morning and night person with your job description.

3. You’re easy; too accessible. Here is my home number, my cell number, my pager, my fax number, my home address, my PO Box, my personal email. I do not take sick days and what the heck is a vacation? Never heard of one. Yeah, you over-kill, but boy do you pack a punch in 24 hours.

4. You’re simultaneously thrilled and tired. You get a high from all the achievements and even the lows. Every turn and set back is a challenge, but you’re tired. Adrenaline is the body’s natural hormonal caffeine. And we all know what happens when caffeine leaves our system. We crash.

5. You find ways to exercise at work. You have prioritized your life in such a way that hobbies – and even necessities such as exercise- have become non-existent. Therefore to justify the lack of them, you have established excuses to create healthful ways to work around this. Standing desks; yoga ball chairs; walking to the printer more; salads on Tuesdays and skipping the elevators once in awhile.

And these are just five signs. There are many more red flags that exhibit signs of addiction to work and extreme affixation to office desks. The most prevalent? Denial. Because you know what they say: Denial is not just a river in Africa.

Now with the resumption of the sixth season Herjavec’s workaholic ways only just getting busier: Twelve more hours on the set and still just 24 hours in a day. And you thought you wanted to be on TV?

Here’s to the success of the sharks and all the contestants - and the sanity and safety of our companies!

-The Green Couch

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Project: Say Cheese without Being Cheesy

Kodak moments are a thing of the past. Everyone is instagramming, tweeting, snapchatting and adding filters cropping and for aesthetic purposes, and these images have overtaken social media.

However, these should never grace your professional profile, resume, business cards or web pages; It is cheesy. Although these candid or even posed scenes may seem truer to your authentic self and are a great a way to interact socially online, highlighting a side of your personal life they, unfortunately, often do not give your clients and associates the professional personification of your business.

Blurry images, outdated images, images with date marks – all these indicate someone who hasn’t invested energy, time or finances in their company reputation.

Here are five ways to present yourself professionally:

1) Headshots: Before your clients meet you, they want to meet you virtually, they want to put a face to the voice they might hear over the phone, or the bio they read online. They want to get a sense of comfort that they know you and feel a sense of trustworthy connection.

2) Filler Images: Things like heading images for your blogs increase not just your SEO but your viewing pleasure. There is a fine balance between white space and blank space. No one wants to look at your web pages and think that your site and an overly blank page is a reflection of your company: blank and bland.

3) Landscapes and Offices: Showoff your accomplishments. Whether you are in construction or you have a medical practice, why would people choose you if they cannot see your craftsmanship or you establishment?

4) Stock Photos: If you do not have any of the above, and if you do not have a way to create any of the above, stock photos is an affordable, legal way to purchase and own the copyrights to images that match the theme and needs of your company.

5) Renderings: I cannot believe it’s not butter! Whether it is the future architecture project, a visualization for a presentation or just a grainy picture that needs to be revived, rendering turns imagination, visualization and existing art into perfection. With programs so advanced and creatives so in-tuned, one can hardly define the reality from rendering.

The eyes and our sight are perhaps one of our most valued senses and should never be undervalued commodities in whatever trade, services and product our companies provide. Vision is an asset - both in what we can physically see and what we can see happening with our physical business. We all have a good side. Perfect it, flaunt it and let the camera keep on rolling!

-The Green Couch

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Project: Understanding Your Limitations

It has been one week since S. Truett Cathy, founder and longtime chairman of Chic-fil-A, passed away.

While many of us mourn his passing, he has left us with an astounding legacy and invaluable truths. The most prominent, I believe, is recognizing and acknowledging one’s limitations and humbly accepting them.

In Cathy’s case, he even self-deprecatingly integrated his into the scrumptious Chic-fil-A’s trademark slogan so that we may never forget it, though we never have realized it until now.

“We didn't invent the chicken, just the chicken sandwich.”

Not only did they acknowledge what came first (the chicken), they also gave credit where credit is due; two vital elements to success.

1)    Know that you are always borrowing a piece of someone else’s innovation.
2)    And then pay tribute to them.

No matter how many accreditations, degrees, master degrees and Ph.D.’s you pursue and achieve, when you hang these on your office walls, you will never have an opportunity to invent the chicken. You have to understand your limitations.

Living 93 years, Cathy’s seen, implemented and endeavored to incorporate many financial and innovative practices in his business, thus influencing the general and mainstream culture. Not everything succeeded. And for every failure we may have seen come across the menu board, how many more have come across Chic-fil-A’s board of directors – but at one point or time, they learned their limitations.

So ask yourself:

1)    What’s your chicken?
2)    What’s your chicken sandwich?
3)    How are you going to market a cow to make others eat more of that chicken sandwich?
4)    What invaluable truth will be part of your company legacy?

While it seemed S. Truett Cathy ate, slept and breathed his company we, too, need to take a moment to evaluate and prioritize, we need to ask ourselves, how important is our business? Then maybe, just maybe, that chicken sandwich will taste a little better, and the chicken will not taste so bitter.

-The Green Couch Project

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Project: Three E's To Simplify Your Entrepreneur Journey

Anyone who told you it would be easy did not try to simplify. Sometimes making it easier is the hardest thing. When you are too close to the painting it is hard to tell what it is supposed to be, so you need to take ten, twenty - sometimes even thirty steps - back before you can differentiate the smile and the dimple of Mona Lisa. All those brush strokes resemble the details of your life right now. You have 100 tasks going on, and that is just before noon. If only there were a system, some abracadabra Dr. Seuss system that could aid you.

However, it is just you and your team. Or is it? Take another ten steps back and guess what? Those brush strokes blend and voila! A masterpiece. It looks simple, right? It is orchestrated perfectly, and it flows naturally. Every color has it place.

You can only see it because you took a step back.

Moreover, it is time you did the same at work. It is time to simplify things at work. Here are a few ways you can begin so you can see and differentiate the dimple and smile of your Mona Lisa, whatever she may be:

 1) The Einstein:
“If you cannot explain it to a six-year-old, you do not understand it.”

We sarcastically use his name, “Thanks, Einstein,” when someone plays Captain Obvious, but one of the most intelligent men understood the power of a child’s mind and the simplicity of words.

You can tell just from his infamous crazy hair and projected tongue; he never let his ah ha's! stop him from his haha's!

Never sacrifice joy and passion for the pursuit of a successful career.

2) The Etiquette:
There was a time that you only bit into enough food that you could chew with three bites before you could swallow. That way if someone should ask you a question you could easily answer them, without appearing rude or appearing, well, you know stupid.

Apply that today. Break it down. Bullet points. Numbers. Power point. Whatever you have to, don’t be afraid to repeat yourself and highlight so others can digest.

3) The Engagement:
It has been remarked that there are four rings to marriage.

The Promise Ring, The Engagement Ring, The Wedding Ring and The Suffering. When it comes to business, you need to simplify things to ensure that you only ever have three rings. With yourself, your employees and clients. No matter whom you deal with, start with a promise, engage them and marry them. Just make sure they never suffer or regret you. The only way to ensure that is keeping things simple. Just like with any relationship, don’t complicate things. Communicate, and things should be a-oh-kay.

The way we keep it simple here is this: everything about us, is all about you. It is just that easy. Pen, pencil, keyboard; whatever method, your gutsy matters and this is your time, your place and your space. Ready. Set. Spill.

-The Green Couch

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Project: Burger Queen And Dairy King

Dear Entrepreneurs and Esteemed Employees,

No matter how vast or how specific your talents and skill sets may be, hone them and own them. Don’t compare your blooper reel to the highlight and credit role of those around you. Don’t quantify bullet points or question the number of blazing balls others can juggle, or the fact that others can even juggle.

And just because they can do notable, Pulitzer and peace-prize-winning acts all while changing the “M” in front of their illionaire status to a “B” does not mean you aren’t great at what you do or have a personal greater calling.

No matter how many miles you can walk in someone else’s shoes, when it comes to comparing your talents, your skills and your success rate, do not feel pressured to trade in your penny loafers for steeled toes, or your sandals for stilettos. Do not feel pressured to trade in your Queenly status for the King’s. Whether you flip burgers or serve ice cream, go with it; hone it and own it.

It is not about being better; it’s about believing in your dreams and your capabilities.

It’s about believing in your burger flipping capabilities and being a King at it.

-The Green Couch