Monthly Archives: August 2010

The summer may almost be over, but given the awful state of the economy, the job market continues to falter, and there is NOTHING good on TV, NOW is a GREAT time to lose ourselves in the clssics! I submit for your viewing pleasure, my personal “TOP 10” list (in no particular order) of the greatest all-time films that many people I know have NOT seen. What are yours?

Breaker Morant


Mad Max

Eye of the Needle

Ordinary People

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest

The China Syndrome

The Manchurian Candidate

12 Angry Men

What "Social Media" REALLY Means

No matter where you are or what you’re doing, we’re constantly being bombarded with the importance of “social media” and “social networking.” But, what does it all really mean? And how do you use it to your benefit in your every day life, whether finding a service provider, searching for a job, finding new clients, starting a career, making contacts in your personal and professional lives….how do you actually “DO IT?”

First off, it’s important to understand that social media and social networking is all about making relevant contacts ONLINE to build a relevant community for whatever your ultimate purposes are.

For example, if you want to build a social network for keeping in touch with friends or family, finding a spouse/mate, or building “contacts” you would create a profile/register with social networking sites like Facebook (, Unyk (, MySpace, Stumbleupon (,Friendster, etc.

If your goal is to create a business/profesional network of contacts, then you create profiles in “business” oriented sites like LinkedIn, Vox, MeetUp, Bizpreneur, TakingItGlobal, 43Things,etc.

In either scenario, your goal is to build an online BRAND. You are creating and projecting an image of yourself as a product or service to deliver a set of solutions. Branding is all about making a promise with your networks to deliver a consistent experience that is invaluable, unique, and memorable – consider it your own personal marketing campaign to establish and maintain your USP…Unique Selling Proposition.

But you also need to be seen as a subject matter expert to build your ONLINE credit. So, that means finding people in your industries or Associations of peers, and “hanging out” where they do online. Follow the most popular bloggers in the industries you’re interested in, post comments on their blogs and discussions, start your own discussions in LinkedIn, form Groups of your own, or start groups in MeetUp.

But wait…there’s more! You want to be engaged in as many areas as possible, so you also want to research the Forums/Groups that are populated with people you want to meet. You can do that by joining all relevant groups in Yahoo( and Google (

Before you begin registering on these sites, you’ll need to create a comprehensive list of all the characteristics/key areas you want to use to define yourself. For example, if you are working on expanding your professional network using online media, you use all the combintations of relevant keywords that define you. Using myself as an example, I enter terms like career coach, career counseling, busienss coach, busiensscoaching, etc. when I create my online social network site profiles. Be sure to use all the phrases and all combinations of terms that define you.

You can ask people you worked for/with to give you recommendations to build the relevance of your professional profiles. Be sure to build the size of your network by expanding the number of people you invite to join you in your networks.

But it goes further. If you are a business owner, consultant or solo practitioner, you should be blogging on a regular weekly basis, have your own website, connect your blog with your website, and Tweet.

Social media ALSO requies you to apply these branding/marketing atrategies with your off-line or personal networking strategies. Again, with branding yourself it’s all about being consistent.

My partner Sherley Duncan of GoldPlaceNYC says that using social media is like twirling in a circle and wherever you stop, you are opening doors to your personal and professional self ONLINE. It’s a great metaphor.

My Year-long Ordeal With the GSA

This is a story of pain, suffering, persistence, and ultimately…SUCCESS…well, of a sort!

Last July, I decided that I wanted to sell my training and professional development, and my business coaching services to the U.S. Government. The Government is supposed to have all this money, right? So why shouldn’t I try to help train their people, and profit in the exchange?

First off, to sell “ANYTHING” to our Government, you have to submit what’s called a solicitation (kind of like a proposal.) There are soliitations for hundreds if not thousands of products & services. In order to sell to the Government, you FIRST need to have certain things. You have t have been in operation as a business for 24 months. You need to be able to report two years’ worth of financial performance for your business.

You also have to have your business registered with your state and have a taxpayer identification number. Next up, you also need a Dun & Bradstreet DUNS number (no worries, that’s FREE.) Go to

So, it takes me MONTHS to get through the process of completing ALL of the written documents (imagine pulling your lower lip over the back of your head) struggling the entire way. There is no one to walk you through the process. You have to read the hundreds of pages worth of instructions yourself. There are no Cliff Notes or little yellow book: “Selling to the U.S. Government For Dummies.”

After sbmitting my 25-page application last July, I received a rejection letter indicating the MANY areas that I incorrectly answered or failed to provide and information on.

So, being a glutton for punishment, I go back and rewrite the entire document (now approximately 50 pages LONG) and send it certified mail to the corrct GSA contract administrator in early July, 2010. Somehow, the document gets LOST on their end. I am informed that it really doesn’t matter that they lost it, since as of July, 2010 all solicitations can only be submitted ONLINE.

About to give up, I get a call a few weeks ago from my GSA contractor that he has located my solicitation (sitting on a fellow staffer’s desk). My GSA guy Joe (his real name) reviewed it, and gave me invaluable insights into additional areas I needed to fix. If not for Joe, I’d be DEAD!

I spend nearly a month completing it then save the document (now @ 100 pages)as a PDF then go to the website ( to upload it. Turns out in order to send anything to the Government electronically, you need a digital certificate to authenticate who you are. So, I now have to pay $200 for the certificate, but in for a penny, in for a pound (of flesh!)

I get this electronic digital certificate a few weeks later, save all the documents then I go back to the website and hit another wall. For some reason they have me attempting to file the wrong solicitation – it’s not for the right services I want to sell. After a half day calling their “HOTLINE” where I speak with a moron “Service Rep” who accuses ME of not following directions since they cannot answer my questions, I get a Supervisor that actually DOES know what she’s doing. I finally get all my issues resolved.

So, as of 12:55PM Eastern standard time on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 I have now officially submitted a request to sell my services to the Government.

I even received an emal confirmation!

Can a rejection notification be FAR behind? STAY TUNED…

John Lennon's Song "IMAGINE"

Now more than ever, we as a society need to start thinking like this…

Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Great Resources for Biz Owners & Entrepreneurs

Following are useful resources for business leaders, entreprenuers, professionals interested in starting their own business or executives looking for additional support:

1) Business Ideas

2) Women & Minorities

3) Industry Research:

4) Business Resources:
a. Market Research
b. MapStat

5) Customer Research/Surveys:
a. Zoomerang
b. Survey Monkey

6) Develop Strategic Plans, Business Plans & Financial Statements
a. NYC Business Solutions Center (SEEDCo):
b. Small Business Development Centers


7) General Management
b. American Management Assn.

8) Marketing & Product Development:
i. American Marketing Assn.
j. Direct Marketing Assn.
k. Business Marketing Assn.

9) General Business Information
a. US Small Business Administration
b. National Business Information Clearinghouse
c. Microsoft Small Biz Ctr:
d. CNN Money –

10) Social Media
a. Mashable

11) Entrepreneurial Pursuits
e. Smart Entrepreneur –
f. Entrepreneur Week:

12) Franchising
a. International Franchising Assn.
c. IFA Annual Conference –

13) Networking:
c. National Small Biz Assn:
d. Chambers of Commerce
e. Rotary Clubs
f. Kiwanis Clubs
g. Twitter
h. StumbleUpon
i. FourSquare
j. MySpace
k. Delicious
l. Digg

14) Investors
b. NY Angels:
c. LI Angels:

15) Business Incubators (NY fous)
b. Biz. Incubator Assn. of NY State:
c. Brooklyn Biotech:
d. NYC BioScience Initiative:
e. LI High Tech Incubator:
f. Your local area Colleges & Universities

What resources would you recommend?

Sell Yourself for Career Success

Build Your Personal Brand: A brand is something that is truly memorable, unique, and invaluable. What is your personal BRAND? HINT – it’s not a job title or functional area you worked in for most of your career. When you are competing with thousands of other job seekers with similar backgrounds, you MUST be able to set yourself apart through your USP.

Find your DREAM JOB: Align your Passions and Strengths: the areas that overlap between what you are best at and what you are most passionate about constitute the fertile field of a potential DREAM JOB!

Learn to sell yourself in 3-5 seconds during networking events as a set of 3-4 key bullet points that highlight your USP – unique selling proposition.

Develop a strategic networking plan: Identify who the person is that you would report to in your dream job, find out where they congregate in-person and online, and get yourself “in-front” of them.

The Marketing 5Ps of YOU: sell yourself using the traditional marketer 5-P mix of product (your features & benefits), price (know your worth), place (getting yourself in front of the right people (develop a strategic networking plan), promotion (how to sell yourself as a BRAND using your USP and Marketing 5Ps), and your packaging (dress for success.)

Develop your personal marketing plan including your core competencies, 3-4 ideal industries, 6-8 target firms in each of those industries (18-32 organizations you should be proactively targeting at any ONE point in time), your ideal employer culture with attributes, your ideal work locations.

Identify your personal product: the product of YOU is the comprehensive set of features and benefits including: your collective past & present work and life experiences, exposure to different cultures, experiences travelling and/or living/studying abroad, your subject matter areas that you studied in High School and college/University, certifications, training, accreditations, professional affiliations, volunteer work…EVERYTHING that makes you the person you are.

Get more exposure for yourself online by blogging, posting comments in discussions your peers and potential bosses are contributing to, submit articles to all of the relevant publications being read by people in the industries you want to target and potential employers, start groups in Meet Up and LinkedIn comprised of professionals that share your career objectives and interests.

What do you think?