Archive for July, 2010

10 Best Things About Working On My Own
Saturday, July 17th, 2010

I love working on my own. I have been on my own for the last 6 years now. Over the past 1.5 years, I have focused on starting a new business. It has been a struggle at times, but I have always appreciated the opportunity to work on my own and here are my top 10 reasons why:
  1. Independence - Working on your own means complete independence. No person or organization controls what you do. Everything you do is on your own by your own choice. Of course you still have to answer to your customers and employees, but it is still all on your own terms.
  2. Flexibility - No regimented schedule. Your work schedule is completely up to you. Owning your own business requires a lot of work. I may work 60-80 hours a week, but I do it when it suits me best. I may work early in the morning (often arising at 5 AM) or I may work late nights and week-ends, but then I can take time off as needed for family and other stuff. No vacation requests, no sneaking out of the office, and no personal/sick time, just planning your own schedule on your own terms.
  3. No Boss - Does this really require any further explanation.
  4. No dress code - In my case, most of my work is done on my own, remote from my customers, so I can dress as I want. Jeans, shorts, sandals, sweatshirts, or whatever I feel comfortable with. When I need to, I dress appropriately.
  5. Owning your successes and failures - To me, this is the crux of it! Owning it all. The good and the bad. The successes and failures. Nobody to blame or encourage except for yourself.
  6. Using cheap/free stuff - When you are on your own (especially when you are starting), there is no need for fancy equipment, sophisticated software, or expensive services. There is a ton of free or inexpensive resources on the web for almost everything you need. Tools and services like Gmail, Dropbox, Freshbooks, just to name a few. You don’t have to make any huge investments to use these resources. I love to be able to try out something new at almost no cost. When you work in an organization it is almost impossible to simply start using free stuff.
  7. Choose who you work with - I only work with people I like and trust. I work with great people, and I do not have to work with others. It is even true with customers (in most cases). If I don’t like to work with a specific company then I can refuse their offer for work.
  8. Flexibility, again - This is really key. Above I talked about flexibility of time, but there is also flexibility of what to work on. If you want to spend time/effort on a new project or new idea, you can. Nobody has to approve what you choose to do, it’s up to you to do what you think makes sense for your business and what does not.
  9. Doing it all - You really must do it all; accounting, HR, marketing, legal, sales, etc. I think this is a great learning experience and really challenges and opens you up to other areas you may have little or no experience with. It will definitely take you outside your comfort zone, which I think is a good thing. That being said, I think it is equally important that you rely on other resources where it makes sense, because the real truth is YOU CANNOT DO IT ALL! It is imperative you realize this and pay for resources/help in areas that will help you improve and grow your business.

What would you add to this list?

Teeing It Up With Twetailer
Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

credit photo to: NRE in SC

credit photo to: NRE in SC

I recently wrote about a new retail concept, Twetailer. As discussed, this provides a unique way of shopping where the buyer can simply shout out what they want and wait for the seller to make proposals to you, the buyer. OK, this sounds good enough. But with Twetailer, you can take this one step further. Twetailer is simply the mechanism that provides this hub, and brokers the sale, and it can be used as the foundation for any demand/supply scenario. Looking for an animal shelter? Looking for a used car? Or maybe you are looking to find a golf tee time at a nearby golf course with a few of your buddies. I strongly urge you to watch this 3 part series to get a better understanding of what I am talking about. At approximately 7 minutes in total, I think you will find these videos both entertaining and interesting. Would love to hear your thoughts/feedback.

Part I

Part 2

Part 3

So what do you think? Can you see applying this concept to your business, social program, charity or other?

Crowd-Sourcing With Amazon’s Kindle
Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

The other night lying in bed, I put down my Kindle for a few minutes. I saw it flash and automatically start updating itself over 3G. That was cool enough, but the next morning as I continued to read my e-book , I began to notice sections that were softly underlined with a number next to it. At first I was confused? What is that? I did not highlight any sections in this book yet. I quickly learned that Amazon had added a very cool feature - ‘Popular Highlights‘. It tracks what sections are being highlighted, and displays those sections with the highest number of highlights and the number of times it has been highlighted.

This an excellent example of crowd-sourcing. Those reading e-books might already be highlighting important sections, but now Kindle is publishing this and ranking the most ‘Popular’ highlights of a book. Its almost like creating Coles Notes by the crowd. This is obviously not possible with an ‘ordinary’ book. It doesn’t matter how many times a section is highlighted, there is no way to know what are the most popular highlighted sections.

I can see great value with this tool, when researching books for school, business or other types of research. What do you think? Do you see this as a valuable tool?

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