Monday Mornings with Madison

Monthly Archives:
November 2014

A Good Time To Do Good

There is no shortage of blessings for which we should express appreciation. Solid health. Supportive spouse. Loving family. Long-time friends. Thriving business. Great success. Acclaim. Good fortune. It turns out that giving thanks is good not only for the people receiving that appreciation (after all, it feels good to be told “thank you”) but also for the person expressing gratitude. In fact, gratitude seems to work like a “booster shot” for relationships. This goes for relationships at work as well. An employee expressing gratitude for a boss’ generosity makes both the boss and employee feel better. The same is true for a boss expressing appreciation for an employee’s hard work. Both boss and employee feel better. Giving thanks — the actual act of expressing it — is mutually beneficial.

People should take time to count blessings and be thankful every day. Indeed, taking it even a step further, perhaps the best way to show genuine gratitude for abundant blessings is to pay it forward by doing good and being the good we want to see in the world. It may be that the best way to show real appreciation for blessings and kindness is to be a blessing and show kindness to others…. and give others reasons to also be grateful. That would complete the circle of gratitude. And, it turns out that this also could also be good not just for the recipients but for the do-gooders too! Continue reading

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Time Matters

Every business on the planet would like to improve its use of time. As the saying goes, time is money. Better time management means more profits. It is therefore understandable that businesses — which constantly strive to be ever more profitable — are obsessed with time. Saving time. Managing time. Not wasting time. It especially makes sense given that time is the one truly finite resource. A company can hire more staff. It can buy more equipment. It can till or mine more raw materials or recycle old materials. However, no company can make a day longer… or recycle a minute…. or find a new source of time. Once a moment is gone, that moment can never be regained. Scarcity is what makes time so precious.
Managers from Boston to Beijing and from San Francisco to Singapore want employees to better their manage time. CFOs and efficiency engineers crunch every number related to and study every aspect of time management. Called ergonomics, they study their staff’s use of time, calculating how long each task should take and analyzing how each task can be done faster. Employing logistics, execs estimate the time it takes to move a certain volume of products from point A to point B and focus on how to reduce that time as much as possible. Businesses relentlessly measure, count and calculate and apply time to every workplace activity and process. Likewise professionals strive to manage their own time. Just how well business owners, managers, execs and professionals manage time can have a big impact on their success. Continue reading

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Writing a Great Resume and Cover Letter

Writers and marketers are often asked to help write, revise or review a Resume and/or Cover Letter. Sometimes, it is for friend in search of a new job. Sometimes, it is for a business owner who needs to raise capital or increase a line of credit. Sometimes, it is for a colleague being considered for a seat on a company’s Board of Directors. Resumes and Cover Letters are the most basic, fundamental tools used to speak on behalf of professionals today. After all, what is a Resume and Cover Letter but self-marketing… an individual’s own personal brochure and commercial.

After decades of helping others to draft or tweak their self-marketing documents, the average writer or marketer becomes something of a Job Connoisseur or Resume Coach. In providing this support, the seasoned Resume Coach sees a lot of the same mistakes over and over. Regardless of age, experience or occupation, many people — from the greenest up-and-coming novice to the most experience executives and professionals — commit the same errors on their Resumes and Cover Letters. The most common errors are basic fundamental glitches having to do with grammar, spelling, syntax and punctuation. Another common error is overstating or saying too much. Another common mistake has to do with the mindset or perspective with which the documents were written. For anyone in the process of writing or updating a Resume or Cover Letter, here are some words of wisdom to consider. Continue reading

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Basic Marketing Tips for Startups

As a result of the downturn in the real estate and financial markets beginning in 2007-2008, many professionals changed careers. From realtors to lenders and from developers to appraisers, people left the lending, construction and real estate industries in droves. As the market contracted, many small companies went out of business. However, in recent years as the market has rebounded, professionals are slowly returning to these industries. Many are starting new businesses. Also, the adult children of real estate moguls and successful entrepreneurs see this as a good time to leave the parental nest and start businesses of their own. Moreover, changing market conditions has created opportunities for new businesses that never existed before such as crowd funding and trailer document tracking. For these reasons, real estate, building and lending startups are springing up at every turn.

Even though many of these startups are being led by seasoned professionals, starting a new business can be a challenge for even the most experienced businessperson. It is especially true for any startup on a tight budget which, let’s face it, includes most startups. While professionals launching a business in real estate, construction or finance may have a lot of technical knowledge and industry experience, they may not necessarily have much marketing know-how. Here are some basic marketing tips to keep in mind for any folks starting a new company or expanding their business with a new division.
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