You Can Just Call Me The Job Hobo.

So, here I go again.

Packin’ my bags and on my way down another path, although I have no idea what path that is right now.

I feel like a job hobo or a “jobo”, if you will.  Always changing jobs, always with the new ideas, never knowing where they’re going to take me or who I’ll meet along the way.  Sounds invigorating right?  It is, but I find it exhausting to put time into something and then have to walk away from it.

I am currently actively job searching, because you see, the proverbial “poop” is about to hit the fan. It’s really unfortunate, because I really do love what I’m doing, home staging and design.  I love meeting different home owners and the challenge that comes with getting them and potential buyers to fall in love with their homes.  But everything changed REALLY fast when I realized just how unappreciated I was by my boss. My dad always taught me that actions speak louder than words . . . and in this scenario, he couldn’t have been more right. Considering how small the company is, it’s really hard to ignore it and keep moving forward. Since the day I was hired, all I’ve heard is empty promises and plans and ideas and none of it has come into fruition.

Couple that with things like a crappy salary, no vacation or benefits, 10 and 12 hour days AND no room for negotiation and I have to start asking myself what is important and what I want from my career. I’m all about paying my dues, but considering how much I have already been paying, this is a bit much.

On a plus side, I’ve gained tons of experience, I will have some pretty good contacts, I’ve pushed the boundaries of what even I thought I was capable of and I met Carrie. Our office admin/manager/assitant/phone answerer/email responder/fire-putter-outer/complaint-taker/gofer and life organizer is quite possibly one of the most talented people I’ve ever met. I have no idea how she manages to keep everything together for us, but on top of that she has another business with her husband and plans fundraisers and events. That girl is always doing something. She really is an inspiration. I’m pretty sure that the universe’s reason for me taking this job in the first place was for our world’s to cross. So I am trying to channel her energy . . . unfortunately I’m a really messy juggler.

And right about now, I feel as though I’ve got a whole bunch of balls in the air and I have no idea which one I’m going to end up catching. (Which would make me a juggling jobo? 🙂 ) I feel so torn as to which direction I should be moving in. On the one hand, theathomecouple philosophy is still engraved in my brain, and I think it would be awesome to be able to be a freelance designer, working from home, helping people like me with little or no money improve their homes and make them comfortable places to live.   (My philosophy is that interior design does not have to be expensive.)  On the other hand, real life and being a grown up means that I have to be realistic about money and helping to support the life that Eli and I live.

So I’m doing both.  Actively job searching to go work for someone else again and trying to get my own thing going.  I have made some headway though.   I’ve got my design blog going . . .  All my facebook pages and twitter accounts are up and running to try and get my name out there using social media. My methods are pretty primitive, but I’m learning and teaching myself as I go.  And to be honest, I end up checking back here to see what Eli’s been posting in the hopes that I can apply some of it to what I’m doing.

Another ball that I’ve got up in the air is Etsy, although I haven’t been as active lately in tossing this one.  And this area is  a microcosm of my indecision.  For those of you who don’t know, Etsy is a marketplace for all things handmade and vintage.  For those of you who know me, know this is right up my alley.  So I’ve got an account and a shop, but do you think I can pinpoint what it is I want to sell? Of course not.  I guess I should just put everything out there and see what happens . . .

I guess this is what being all growns up is about.  As Eli thoughtfully posted, I’ve recently turned the big 3-0 (thanks for all the b-day love!) and I’m waiting for my experience and wisdom to kick in.  It seems like so far, it’s all been trial and error, ups and downs and constant change.  The way I look at, this is as good as a time as any to start doing this.  Eli and Bleecker Street Media are successful.  Hell, if he can do it, so can I.

But then again . . . we have bills to pay.

Ugh, who knows.  Maybe by tomorrow I’ll have a job at the Starbuck’s down the street . . . at least there’s free coffee involved, this jobo loves coffee!

The Cold Call Diaries: Silence is Golden

If there is one thing that most entrepreneurs and new business owners hate doing, it has to be cold calling.  The name in it self doesn’t suggest an activity which is warm and rewarding, but on that is frigid and uncomfortable – and rightfully so, cold calling can suck big time.

Especially when people hang up on you.

Over the last week I have been actively cold calling potential business leads for a few hours each day.  My background is in customer service, so speaking with people I don’t know comes fairly easy to me.  But it’s not as simple as that.  Just because you used to be in sales, does not mean you’ll be good at converting cold calls into warm leads.  Let’s revisit that one more time…

Converting cold calls into warm leads.

If you’re trying to do anything more than this (at first) you will fail.  Last Monday I spent an hour calling up small businesses asking if I could speak with the person who manages their marketing – in hopes to pitch and hustle them on potential business opportunities.

This is wrong.

I discovered through trial and error that I have a better chance if I’m speaking to the owner i.e. whoever is on top and calls the shots.  They make the decisions at the end of the day.  They write the checks.  They have the power.

Secondly, why the hell would someone listen to me if all I was doing is trying to pitch them?  This isn’t telemarketing, so don’t pick up the phone and try to sell right off the bat.  You might find this weird, but similar to generating leads on Facebook, you shouldn’t cold call and think about making the sale.

Whatchu talkin bout Willis?

Seriously,   if you do you are skipping over the entire process of engagement and going straight for the kill.  Your potential lead will hang up (which a bunch of them did) or insist that they have no use for your service (which they probably do).

There’s my two cents.  Today I did about 3 hours of cold calling in total. Made 2 appointments to meet up and got 5 people requesting more info via email (very interested).

That’s potentially $1000’s in new business over the next 30-60 days.

Not bad.



7 Ways To Keep Your Hustle On Point in 2011

Pimp slap your way to the top!Sit down and get ready, because I’m in the mood to write like nobodies business!

Sure – the average person thinks of a hustler as being some 5 foot 2, shady black dude with greasy hair and suede shoes.  Though this “character” brings me tons of joy in the form of Snoop Dog and Premium Pimp Suits – I’m referring to the mindset of a hustler and how important it is to keep the “do or die” survival attitude, especially when times are not so great.

I’d like to remind everyone reading this (especially those of you who are still struggling to get things popping online) that in 2011, if you don’t hustle like your home is about to be foreclosed, you will never make it in the years that lie ahead.  As much as I am writing this to you, and am repeating this to myself as well.

Why is 2011 the year to HUSTLE your HARDEST?

Because EVERYONE and there mother is hustling.  Your aunt is on Facebook running a group about arts and crafts while you’re little nephew is raising money online for his school’s theater program.  This is a fast paced, technology infused world we live in – and if you’re game isn’t on point, you’re money situation will blow goats and you’ll be a loser just like me (sometimes).

I figured to stay on top of things I should make a list of reminders or “best practices” to follow when my hustle juice is running low – so why not put it up on the blog and share it with the best readers in the world (that would be you)?

7 Things You Need to Hustle in 2011

  1. Hustle the living crap out of your passions.  I know the whole “hustle” and “passion” thing is quite popular with guys like Gary V, but those who know Veronica and I know that passion has been the name of the game for us since day one.  I’m passionate about music, business, ideas and technology.  She’s is passionate about architecture, design, crafts and functionality.  These are the areas where our hustle juice should flow 80% of the time moving forward.
  2. Keep yourself looking pimp at all times.  The truth is, the better you look, the more confident you will be the better you will feel.  This includes weekly shaving (men and women), showers and clean clothes.  If you hate doing laundry like me, keep your outfits clean enough that you can rotate effectively and where each item a little longer.  If something starts to smell – wash it.  If a shirt is only “decent” – iron it so it looks fresh.
  3. Purchase nothing without finding a deal first. Perfect example, we’re taking a road trip soon and need to replace our tires.  Veronica hustled online, made a bunch of phone calls, and found a great deal – saving over $100 compared to a major tire installation package.  That hundred dollars can now be put back into the hustle machine and used for something else.  Goal scored for the home team.
  4. What you put in, you will get out. Pretty self explanatory.  The better you eat, the better you feel and the more “regular” you are.  What you read, watch and absorb through your senses will directly reflect in your behavior – so stay away from CNN and Halo Reach every now and then – because violence and fear, as much as it makes for great entertainment, is not good for your soul.
  5. Surround yourself by other hustlers. My good friend and skype buddy SuiteJ reminded me of this in a convo last night – if you’re always hanging out with negative, broke people – you’ll always be negative and broke (something like that).  Surround yourself with people who have just as much drive as you do.  Spend time with those who love and support you as well as those who you can directly benefit from – and don’t be ashamed of this.
  6. Stay on the low down, when permitting. A huge part of having a good hustle is the ability speak with your actions, and only get into details when absolutely necessary.  Don’t go around telling people how great your business is doing and what you’re working on – I have a bad habit of always talking work, and it’s time that became more strategic.  Speak by getting shit done – period.
  7. You are your most valuable asset. If you are not in the game of branding yourself, then it’s time to step things up.  Get your online accounts in check and up to date.  Always have business cards – even if you work for the man in some cubicle – print out some cards with your name, current job title and personal email etc.  If you don’t have a blog, start one – because you never know who is looking you up on or off line.

What are some things you feel is CRUCIAL for the ultimate HUSTLE?

Do the comment thing below – let’s take this list to 50!