Content Indigestion is a Real Thing

Coming off a great weekend of eating whatever I put my eyes on I came to this realization: indigestion is a real thing.

I didn’t get indigestion after eating turkey, dressing, collard greens, sweet potatoes, barbecue, macaroni and cheese, honey-baked ham, shrimp, fish, corn on the cob, and slaw (that was exhausting remembering everything I ate.). I did think that if I were not careful I could easily get sick and feel miserable.

Today I thought about how much content I inhale. Just like that delicious food I ate, here are the things I had to think about:

Do not consume content for the sake of consuming content

There are pie-eating contests and hotdog eating contents where you race to stuff as many servings of something in your mouth and down to your stomach (don’t try these at home by yourself.). At a given time it may be okay to flex your gastro superpowers. However, you don’t eat like that every day unless you are training for an event.

Consume the content that helps you achieve what you want to accomplish

Some people like buffets. Some people like fine dining. Some people like to go to casinos for the food. Some people like to eat at the state fair. It doesn’t matter where you eat but if you want porkchop on a stick (paying homage to the Minnesota State Fair where I ate porkchop on a stick for years) you have to go where that is served. Do the research to find the best content that is applicable to what you are trying to do and consume that.

Implement the Content You Consume Before Consuming More

You can’t eat all the food I ate for Thanksgiving and then go somewhere and sit down. You have got to go outside and walk around the neighborhood after that meal. If you don’t the pounds will find you. Just like real food, you have to work off the content you consume and then go for more after you have digested and implemented it. How many times have you read that article on how to write a post to sell a product or set up a business and you still haven’t done it? You need to go on a content diet until you get your muscles built up to consume more.

Hopefully, everyone has come out of their food coma and is now back to their routine. Take some time to do the same with the content you consume. Go work out what you have taken in and learn from it. Follow me for more ideas like this.

Why Eucalyptus Spearmint is my Favorite Product from Bath and Body Works

I know everyone is going crazy about AI and how computers will take over the world.

One thing they haven’t figured out yet is how to replicate good-smelling aromas in the digital world. We can create things we see and we can create things we hear – but smell, feel, and taste are lagging behind.

Until we can tell Alexa to make something smell like a fragrance we like, I’m going to keep buying and using eucalyptus spearmint products from Bath and Body Works. Here’s why:

The Product Comes in Dark Green Packaging

I don’t know if you have had an art appreciation class in high school or college but I did. I first learned about color psychology in one of our sessions. Green is one of the cool colors – like blue and purple. It has a calming effect when you see it so having a product in green packaging it a great way to market this fragrance.

The Smell Reminds Me of Good Chewing Gum

Growing up my mom wouldn’t let my brother and I have a lot of candy. But one thing she did let us have is chewing gum. Juicy Fruit chewing gum was one of my favorites but my all-time favorite gum is spearmint. I love spearmint gum, spearmint candy, and mints that taste like spearmint. Having that love for that flavor of gum set me up for liking the spearmint essence of the product.

The Product Comes in An Air Freshener for My Car

Not only can I use the eucalyptus spearmint body wash, lotion, oil, and room spray products, but I can also put the fragrance in my car with the air freshener containers. I kept the anti-bacterial spray and a small lotion in the glove compartment. Now when I get in for a drive I am welcomed by the beloved aroma I enjoy.

There you have it. This was not meant to be a commercial for Bath and Body Works but I will say you might want to try this product for yourself. If sales go up I will be asking for my royalty like Mr. Wonderful Kevin Oleary does on Shark Tank.

If you like this post follow me for more.

The Coolest Thing I Did in High School that Helps Me Today

When I was just 15 years old, I entered a contest to do something I had never done and it ended up giving me an awesome life lesson.

Here’s the story:

I was a part of a student engineering club that had different events to explore engineering as a career. We had speakers come in, we went on field trips, and we had projects and challenges to keep us prepared for applying to engineering colleges.

During my junior year, we had a contest where all the student groups participated. The contest was to develop and launch a car that was powered by the spring of a mousetrap. We had several entrants but my design won the contest. I competed at the regional level and won a scholarship for college.

Use what you have

The car could be made from anything just as long as the spring made the car move. I went home and tore up the house to find things to use. I ended up using 2 records for the back wheels, 2 canning jar lids for the front wheels, and clothes pins for the suspension.

Don’t be afraid to try something new

I had never built a car before, except for those wooden box cars we used to build and race as Cub Scouts. What qualified me to do it wasn’t that I did it before. What qualified me to participate was my creativity and enthusiasm to make it happen. Experience sometimes isn’t everything.

Iterate Until You Get the Results You Want

At first, I used a fishing line to tie the axles to the spring to power the car. Then I tried a rubber band but the rules said you couldn’t use them. Then I tried taping a string to the axle and rolling the axle until the bar from the mousetrap was set. That works the best. I would trigger the trap, the bar pulled the string, and then the string detached when the bar from the trap came to a rest.

The car went 70 feet which was a record for the contest.

Those three lessons taught me a lot and I still refer to them today.

What were you obsessed with when you were younger? And what life lessons did it teach you?

Let me know in the replies!

A Proven 3-Step Framework to Unlock Your Full Potential with OKRs in Personal Development

The OKR framework is a powerful tool to help achieve great results within companies. Many have adopted this approach for their strategic goal-setting process and performance management system. The system doesn’t have to stop with organizations. You can use it for your own growth and to achieve results.

There are 3 steps you need to follow in order to create a great OKR for your own personal development:

1. Clear and measurable objectives

I have a clear objective for the Ship 30-for-30 program I joined. It was to become a better writer. But that wasn’t enough to be a good OKR. A better-stated objective is “To increase my ability to produce and publish content on all my social media platforms consistently.”

2. Specific and actionable key results

Now I can write the results that will help me measure my progress. The program requires that you write a 250-word post every day. Also, it is recommended that you set aside a specific time to write consistently. So my key results are 30 pieces of published content.

3. Time-bound deadline

It is not a smart goal if it doesn’t have a deadline or time limit. We have 30 days to publish 30 pieces of content. We are required to publish 1 piece of content each day. I’ll state the results like this: publish 1 piece of content per day by 12pm for the next 30 days.

That’s it. I think I have all the pieces to have a good OKR. Now I need to keep shipping to make it happen.

A Simple 4-Step Ansoff Matrix Framework To Ideate Your Next Groundbreaking Offering

Is your innovation pipeline empty or overflowing right now? Are you struggling to come up with the next big thing for you and your company.

I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite tools that I learned about during my MBA studies that I still use today. It is called the Ansoff Matrix. It will help you come up with ideas of what to do next for your company. It is a 2×2 matrix showing where existing and new products intersects with existing and new markets.

Market Penetration (Existing Products in Existing Markets)

This is basically figuring out how to sell more of what you make to people who already buy your product or service. You can do things like increase brand awareness, strengthen relationships, improve service delivery, and/or look at competitive pricing

Product Development (New Products in Existing Markets)

What you want to do here is figure out what is something new that you can make and sell to existing customers. For example, if you offer recruiting services then look at creating courses on how to interview that you can sell to your clients. You want to create things that are complementary to your main offering.

Market Development (Existing Products in New Markets)

This strategy involved taking what works and trying to replicate that success in a new market. It could be a new geography or demographic. See if a new customer gets value from the things are you already doing for others.

Diversification (New Products in New Markets)

This is always a fun one to experience. Here you are getting into a different market with a new product that you may have little experience or traction with. You could acquire a company or product from someone else that works with your company. You could buy a stake in a new emerging technology or a new process for producing goods and services. This is a way for you to get into a business different from yours.

I’ve used this framework for my executive search business and doing adjunct work for universities. You can use it for anything. If you would like help figuring this out follow me and let me know.

Need a business idea to start? Create your own media company today

I love to follow folks like Gary Vee and Grant Cardone. They have big personalities and usually have something useful to say on their platforms.

One idea that came to me while listening to a podcast was that everyone could start a media company as their first entrepreneurial venture. I totally agree with this (which is one reason I signed up for the Ship 30 for 30 program) so here is how you can create your own company

Figure Out What Kind of Media/Content You Want to Create

I’m going to use the terms media and content interchangeably here.

There are 3 basic types of media you can create: written, audio, and video. Written content could be a blog, a book, or an article that you publish on your platform and other people’s platforms. If you like to talk you could create a podcast or audiobooks. If you like to be on camera or work a camera then YouTube might be your thing.

Think about which type of content you are comfortable creating and decide to start your media company now.

Figure Out What You Want to Put Out There and Who You Want to Serve

I’m going to be creating content for an audience I developed a passion for: people who are mid-career or mid-life and lose a job or have to make a big change in their career and go a different direction they didn’t plan. For this audience, I want to share my story of how I left engineering and information technology and now own and operate my own executive search firm placing executives in nonprofit organizations. Sharing my process and experience will hopefully help those who struggle with this pivot point in life move forward. All my media and content I create will go to serve them in my media company.

Start Creating and Marketing The Media

Come up with a cool name for your company and start creating the media under that name. My media company is called DEJ Media (because my initials are DEJ) and everything I’m making is now going to be a part of that company. All my writing, my podcast that is in the works, my book that I’m working on, and any videos I capture will be a part of that entity.

Build Your Audience Through Email and Continue to Give Them Value

As you start to share your content with people try to capture feedback and their email addresses for your mailing list. Once you have that you can market other things to that list down the road. For now, focus on creating high-quality content and sharing your message with the world. Make sure you are not just making noise but generating value for those that follow you.

Study the Process of Creating Content and Get Better At It With the Feedback You Receive

This is a shameless plug for the Ship 30 for 30 Program.

I’m almost done with the 30 days of daily writing which has been a tremendous experience. I’m using everything I learned to continue my daily habit of creating media/content and pushing it out there. I now have a library of content, tools, templates, and a habit to keep producing. The better I get the more I’ll produce that I can eventually market as digital products and services. For now, I’m going to continue learning how to write digitally and you should do the same

I look forward to publishing more posts, recording more podcasts, and creating videos as an output of my media company. If you want help with this for your own set up follow me and send me a DM. I would love to talk it over with you.

5 Trends in Executive Search That You Need to Know About To Succeed

Everyone is looking to get the next promotion and possibly ascend to a new level of responsibility. In doing some research I found 5 key things you need to know about how to help with your next steps:

A Critical Skill to Work on is Communication

Communication skills like empathy, active listening, and clear articulation of vision are critical for leaders in hybrid work environments. Adaptability and emotional intelligence are also key.

Those That Drive Efficiency are In Demand

Currently, there is a laser focus on hiring for CEO, CFO, and CRO roles to drive efficiency at companies. If you are one of these people you should start to market yourself as an expert and look for roles at companies looking to do a turnaround.

Leadership development is a top priority for successful companies to empower teams and foster an inclusive culture

People who consistently improve themselves and others are assets to the company. They help the company stay competitive and increase retention. Ongoing learning, coaching, and modeling desired behaviors from the top are important.

Leaders are embracing AI and Leveraging It

AI is becoming more ubiquitous and leaders need to understand how to leverage it to benefit their teams and companies. It is helping emerging competitors punch above their weight and deliver services and products efficiently and effectively.

Soft Skills are Still in Demand

Soft skills like listening, communicating with empathy, and speaking about diversity require constant honing. The best executives commit to continually developing their leadership abilities and improving their communication skills as they ascend to leadership in their respective organizations.

If you are starting to look for the next opportunity in leadership for yourself, remember these tips and follow us for more!

A Proven 5-Step Framework for Older Workers to Future-Proof Their Careers in the Age of Technology and AI

The growth of generative AI has spooked a lot of people.

Many are afraid of losing their jobs and their ability to make a living for their families. Others have a technophobia and don’t want to deal with emerging innovations. AI is here to stay and we all need to embrace the change.

Here are 5 critical areas for older workers to work on to stay competitive and relevant:

1. Continuous learning and upskilling to stay relevant.

Don’t stop learning and don’t let a job define what you can do.

The Internet is full of information and knowledge you can harvest. Search for topics that are relevant to your passions and interests. Take free classes on YouTube and other educational platforms to keep your skills current.

2. Critical thinking and problem-solving to identify areas for automation.

The best skill you can develop regardless of industry is how to solve problems. Improving your critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills is key to being a valuable asset and a thought leader. Being able to make constant improvements increases your marketability for sure.

3. Adaptability and flexibility to embrace new technologies.

My pastor said, “Those that are flexible do not get bent out of shape.” Don’t let AI and technology bend you out of shape. The best way to do that is to learn to adapt. Those who can will thrive in new environments and make progress.

4. Emotional intelligence to navigate changing work dynamics.

Learning to not take things personally is a tremendous skill. Improving your emotional intelligence helps you be heard and seen in a different way. You will be able to build trust and form new relationships that will help you in your work environment.

5. Collaboration and teamwork to work alongside automated systems.

Collaboration is part of the playbook. Working with others to achieve a shared goal shows how you fit into the puzzle. When a piece is missing everyone knows so be that valuable piece of the workplace puzzle.

Hopefully, these tips will help you figure out your next steps and how to navigate this new world we are all entering. Don’t let AI and technology control you. Get into the game and make great things happen

One of My Greatest Jobs on Earth is being a Grandfather

Everyone has had jobs they liked and jobs they hated. I’ve had my fair share of great working opportunities and dreaded dungeons in a cubicle.

One of my greatest jobs on the planet today is being a grandfather. I am affectionately known as “Pop Pop” to a beautiful 1-year-old girl.

Here is what I get to do with her:

Spoil her rotten

Anytime she coughs or cries an Amazon truck shows up. I get to give her all the cool things she needs and it is fun. She has a baby Keurig that makes bottles of formula (that thing is so cool)

Spend time with her

Now that I’m closer to her parents I get to see her often. I sometimes pick her up from school and we come home to hang out. She is the cutest thing and I just love her.

Create a Legacy For Her

She is the Chief Cuteness Officer for the executive search firm that I own. Yes, she has a job. And she is a part of our marketing (follow me on Linkedin and you will see her from time to time.) Because she is an employee I get to build a business that one day she could own. That would be something to see down the road.

This by far is one of my greatest jobs. I plan to work at it for the rest of life and I don’t plan on retiring from it. Time to go pick up my grandbaby.

Is Fear Holding You Back from Becoming Your True Self? Discover the Path to Courageous Change

Some of us thought we were going to become something we dreamed of from childhood. I wanted to be an astronaut at one time which didn’t work out the way I thought.

Some people are facing new challenges as they reach a point in their careers where they need to do something different. It could be because of a layoff or because they are stagnant in their roles.

Here is a sure-fire way to take the next step to do something different:

Identifying Your Fears

Fear is a worthless emotion but can definitely control what you do.

First, acknowledge the fears you have that keep you from doing something different. It could be that you are afraid to fail. You could be scared of what people will think of your new direction.

Acknowledge the fears you have so you can deal with them

Adopting A Growth Mindset

Someone said when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change, you will change.

This can happen when you have a growth mindset. Change isn’t about just doing or being different. It is about exploring and accepting that you can do whatever you want if you want to grow.

Having a growth mindset will push you past your fears.

Put A Support System in Place

If you want to go fast go alone – if you want to go far go with others.

It is easier to start something new and different if you have people on your team who support you. Look for people that are going to be in your corner. More importantly, look for people who are going to hold you accountable for what you are trying to accomplish.

A team can make the dream happen.

You can turn the corner in your life and make great things happen for yourself. Go ahead and take the plunge. Your best ‘you’ is waiting on the other side of you making the change.

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