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Hoovering

Hoovering

I just finished hoovering the living room.  Why I did it is a complicated story involving teens being on holidays and refusing to do chores.  If you have teens you would understand and if you don’t its like trying to explain advanced astrophysics. I did it during work hours.  Heaven forbid! There are companies and people in my town who will clean your house from top to bottom in about 3 hours for about 90e uro,.  I used one of them once when my wife was on vacation.  They do a great job.  They did it while I was out and the house looked spotless and I was happy (as my wife was on her return). For the mathematicians amongst you the above task is about 30 euro per hour.  But hold on buddy.  Two of them do the job. I know as I arrived as they were leaving moving on briskly...

The Little Things

The Little Things

As creatives and freelancers one of the challenges you will encounter is when customers come back to you to do “a quick job” or “a tweak” or a “the quickest of quick jobs’. These phrases are all code words for free work.  Don’t do it ever. This may sound like a very aggressive statement -.  Why not do a quick job for a client who may have paid you a decent invoice as it probably take too long. The answer is two fold, First is that there really is no such thing as a quick job.  But let’s explore the anatomy of a quick job. Phone rings or an email comes in. You process what the client wants. Perhaps there is the need for a reply to a follow up to clarify. You look into the task. Execute it in 10-15 minutes (or less). Give feedback to the client....

Call Out Charge

Call Out Charge

Our oven broke recently.  Some element deep down the back was hosed.  Don’t ask me I can’t change a plug.  My wife does that (seriously). We called THE MAN.  You know the guy.  You ring him up explain the problem ,  He asks a few questions and quotes you a call out charge (75 euro in this case) and the price of the part. The man arrived that afternoon as I was working.  For the mad laughs (its how I roll) I timed how long he was here using Toggl for Deskttop  I use Toggle to see how long a job I have procrastinated about actually takes. Between the hello, and doing the job he was here for 5 minutes. Call out Charge €75 Replacement Part €22 Total : €97 Now I know there are other costs associated with doing jobs, running businesses and so on.  but it was fucking (oops he cursed) good money...

What to Bring to Meetings

What to Bring to Meetings

I don’t  do tons of meetings and when I do I try to have them in my own office.  This was one of my New Year Resolutions to myself in 2014 which worked well.  If you want to talk to me come to me.  Of course there are exceptions. I started doing this as a few (not too many) people would ask you to come meet and within seconds you knew that they were wasting your time and you were wasting theirs.  At least when they are in your own office you haven’t wasted a few hours going to and fro. This has lead into another of my New Year Resolutions which is to be much better at customer needs collection and filtering.  This may sound like I get thousands of requests but it just means understanding that we (you and I) are talking the right language. This can refer to price, scope and your...

Textexpander Saves Me Seconds and Thirds

I try and make the mundane tasks as fast or as automated as possible.  I love Excel macros.  Shortcut keys, Photoshop actions and all the little things that help me do things that are mundane and boring faster. Textexpander for the Mac is head and shoulders above all things the most important App I use.  I could survive without PhotoShop (Gimp), could survive with lots of the clutter I download use for a bit and abandon but Textexpander stops me looking like an idiot. I come from keyboard land.  I start programming on PDP-11s in the early 1990s and then Sun Workstations (still one of the most amazing machines I worked on) and Unix and keystrokes were the way to do things.  I worshipped Perl.  But I digress I like to have my hands on the keyboard.  I type fast and noisily.  When I sued to work in the office...

Are You Broken Down on the Hard Shoulder of the Content Highway

Are You Broken Down on the Hard Shoulder of the Content Highway

I think a lot about the elusive great piece of content that one day I am going to write.  Hundreds will share it. Thought leaders will quote it and for years to come it will be linked to organically. Most people who create content aspire to creating such a piece. All too often however I don’t even write one word. But I do drag my ass to the keyboard now and then and pound out 4-500 words like what you are reading now.. Copyblogger is safe for the time being. One of my biggest frustrations is when people write nothing new on their websites – ever. They just put up some old shite about the business, some half hearted blog posts and then leave it rot.  They don’t  care about Internet Marketing at all. More often than not they just tire and don’t see the value. They don’t realise it just...

The Impatient Person

The Impatient Person

Tap, tap, tap.  You can hear their feet tapping impatiently.  You know them  Waiting looking at their watch. For a website it is the same.   They don’t  have time to read about your years of experience and how fab you are.  Guess what they don’t  even read anymore – they scan like Star Trek looking out across where no man has gone before. Get in their minds.   Make the website deliver what they want.  Remember yesterday when I wrote about Win,Win? Not Graphics 101 from college or Behance lovely bunnies. Tap, tap, tap.

Make it a Win Win!

Make it a Win Win!

One of the first self improvement books I bought back in the early 1990s was “The 7 Habits of Successful People” (affiliate link!).  I still have it.  It is bruised and battered now and well underlined and thumbed.  It sits on my bedside locker all the time.  In the picture above you can also see I have two other of his books.  Not as battered.  The 7 habits is a classic. One of the many great points he makes is about  Win/Win.  The phrase Win/Win is now like a pandemic in management speak and this book is potentially the source of it. When you create content and share think of this.  Make it a Win for the person reading it.  Now it needn’t be a Life Changing fist pumping roar of happiness Win (although that would be nice).  Just make it like Gary Vaynerchuck said in his recent book “Jab Jab, Jab, Right Hook”. A...