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November 29 2010

The Quick, 12-Step Guide to Quitting That @#$%ing Job You Hate

Guess what, it’s Monday! And you’re still at that job you hate. Nice.

1. 9am. Get to the office. Go straight to the coffee machine. Hang out there for 10 minutes before heading to your desk. Dread the workweek.

2. 9:10am. Check Facebook and email, despite having just done so on your iPhone 15 minutes prior. Delay the inevitable start of an empty, energy-draining day which will leave you uninterested in social interaction, learning, and sex.

3. 10am. Look around at your co-workers. Realize that they are all either a) mindless drones, b) shriveled, pathetic versions of their former, bright selves, or c) social-climbing douchebag sociopaths. Question the purpose of your existence as you stare at your reflection in your computer monitor circa 1995.

4. 10:05am. Realize how much longer you’ve been at this job than what you intended, awakening in you a horrible, hateful anger which had until now remained dormant like a sleeping dragon for longer than you thought was possible.

5. 10:10am. Begin shaking in rage. Pop a blood vessel in your eyeball. Briefly choke the telephone as if it were some unknown person’s neck before regaining your composure.

6. 10:30am. Analyze options. Consider that, perhaps, you could ask for a transfer to another department or another city. With horror, become conscious that everytime you’ve spoken to them on the phone, they seemed even more brain-dead than the mouth-breathing sycophants in Human Resources.

7. 10:45am. Think back to the time you were offered the cool job with the startup downtown. Have dark thoughts about the we-need-you guilt-tripping that was done to prevent you from quitting. Attempt and fail to slit your wrists with a stapler. Finally acknowledge that you will have to either quit, or throw yourself off the roof, this week. It’s a toss-up.

8. 11am. Awaken to the reality that you may still have much to live for. Recall that time you wanted to work on that documentary or be in that punk band. Realize the guitar is still in the basement, and that no one has yet tried out the website idea you had that your girlfriend was excited about.

9. 11:10am. Start a list of the worst things that could happen if you quit right now. Finally acknowledge the possibility that it wouldn’t actually be that bad, despite how anxious you are about it. Picture yourself on your deathbed.

10. 11:20am. Ask yourself if you can live without your daily soy non-fat latté, your gourmet BLT with aioli mayo, or your 100% pure fruit 2pm snack bar. Ask yourself if starving for a few months is better or worse than being here and simply starving on the inside.

11. 11:30am. Realize that, fuck it, you’re better than that. Walk into your boss’ office and quit with dignity.

12. Noon. Emerge from boss’ office, possibly glowing. Go to lunch. Begin your new life.

November 24 2010

Writing Web copy for your visitors maximizes your conversion rate

We’ve treated this topic numerous times, both in this blog and in white papers available on our website.  But it’s been awhile;  and because it’s such a frequently-encountered and important issue, we felt that a recent post by Tim Ash on ClickZ provided occasion for an update. It all starts from the attributes of visitors [...]

November 06 2010

Every Business is a Machine

I hear a McDonald’s franchise costs over a million dollars to buy.

When you buy one, though, it basically starts to print money. They have the system down so well that you can plop a McDonald’s down anywhere and tell ahead of time how much money it will make. Likewise Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and all those places. A franchise is essentially a business in a box– a machine.

Other businesses, the unique ones, are machines too. As I sit here at my local coffee place by the canal, I realize suddenly that the gears beneath it are identical to the place I go to downtown. Different owners, different staff, different food– same business. It’s a formula, and that means that there’s a lot of it you can predict.

The only part you can’t predict is the human element. Can the staff upsell you their lattés, or make you show up more often? Once you’ve got it running, though, that too is mostly math. You know how much you make any day of the week under most circumstances.

If you’re a freelancer and you mostly work with clients, you may never understand this, because your business doesn’t work this way. You have low overhead because it’s basically you and your work, but it also can’t be automated. You can’t let your success work for you as much, unless you use existing infrastructure. (It’s why singers release perfumes.)

I bet if you run enough businesses, you start to see the machines inside every business. If you know real estate, you can walk into a building and see how everything is going to work 5 years from now, and tell the risk of the tenants from how they greet you.

By the way, we here online should be able to do the same thing with websites. Can you?

October 29 2010

Do Not Apologize

You have no choice but to be yourself– so you can do it reluctantly, or proudly.

Either apologize as you do it, or do it with all your heart and every faith in yourself you can muster. That’s the choice.

In learning to do this, you might transition from being awkward and uncomfortable to strong and certain. That’s natural. Take your time, and don’t expect to be perfect.

Small successes will lead to small confidence, which will lead to bigger successes. And so on.

No matter how you feel today, keep on going. You’ll get there.

October 28 2010

It’s time to start holding social media accountable for ROI

No question, we’re in the midst of a veritable explosion of B2B social media usage.  Led on by numerous evangelists, increasing numbers of online marketers are pushing out wall posts, tweets, blog posts, etc., hoping to gain traction in their target market. We’d like to say, “It’s all good”;  but we know, of course, that [...]

October 12 2010

Landing-page optimization: another area where less is more

OK folks, today’s post takes us to lovely Andover, MA to eavesdrop on the recent Conversion Leaders Summit.  Well, not physically to Andover, it was a virtual meeting;  but Andover is home to SeeWhy, who sponsored the Summit.  And home base for Charles Nicholls, who posted a nifty summary of a Summit presentation on improving [...]

October 01 2010

How NOT to select – and work with – a website design agency

No question about it, finding the right web design agency is tough …very tough.  Start with the fact that it’s never an “apples to apples” comparison …maybe not even apples to oranges.  Agencies vary widely in price, methodology, core competencies, creative capability, pricing models, technologies supported, and a host of other factors. But in trying [...]

September 07 2010

Could an autoresponder keep your B2B from drowning in prospects?

Some of you are probably familiar with the notion of an email autoresponder;  but for those who aren’t…  an autoresponder is a program that sends one or more automated messages in response to either an email or a Web form inquiry.  It may be as simple as “Thanks for contacting us!” to a series of [...]

August 12 2010

You Do Not Have an MBA

If you’re John Doe, there are a lot of hoops for you to jump through if you want to become Dr. John Doe.

Between Jane Doe and Jane the lawyer, there are hoops, too. In both cases they’re pretty important to go through a certain way.

This is not the case with an MBA. But they’d like it to be. It isn’t the case for almost any degree at all. But they keep offering them anyway.

There is no single institution in the world which will go away willingly. Even if they were 100% useless, you can bet they would stick around as long as they could siphon us of our money and let us whittle away our years in exchange for their continued existence.

There is no institution in the world that has the one true path to the Answer (or the Truth, or Salvation). But all of them will convince you they will, as will your parents and mentors.

You do not have an MBA, and you do not need one. No one needs to give you permission; you need to take it.

Unless enough of us do this, these same institutions will be around siphoning your children, and their children, and so on until eternity. They will convince you that you need to read their newspaper, or their buy overpriced textbook, or follow their useless path. But none of those things are necessary at all. Many never were.

Oh, by the way, who is it that goes through hoops? Not people, just animals… and clowns. Are you either of those?

August 05 2010

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