Monthly Archives: November 2014

Rising with the tide in Social Media

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Many of us are involved in social media. Some do it full time, others devote an hour or more per day, while others just do it for fun. If you use social media for your outsourcing or other type of business, there is a lot to consider.

It takes effort to grow
Social media offers the opportunity for anyone to grow their presence. A high school student could acquire a Twitter profile and accumulate a million followers in a few years with some hard work and good content. But, growth is hard. You either grow by using pay-per-click which is not always cost effective. Or you could grow by following lots of others, and unfollowing them if they don’t follow you back. The last growth method is really more for larger accounts which is growth simply by publishing really good content that people love to share! I suggest mastering all three growth methods because you never know which one will be the fastest or the most cost effective.

A fourth way to grow
One thing I noticed on social media is that even passive accounts grow. Some accounts or communities have several thousand followers. They don’t publish often, and don’t really do much of anything. The miracle is that on Google+ and Linked In, passive accounts can really grow. The key is to get your account large enough so that it will show up on search results for keywords. Then, people can join the group on their own without you doing any PPC, outreach, or even much posting. The trick is to figure out how to get big, and then ride the wave (or the tide)

Personally, I have grown my Google+ group to about 600 and my community is about 300. I think that one day my community might be 10,000 and then people will find me everywhere. By that stage the key will be doing a great job moderating the community so that we post the highest quality posts so that new people will want to follow us.

Rising with the tide is my long term social media strategy.
I want to get the majority of my followers passively just by being found. I want to get even more by posting good content which only takes minutes per day. Outreach takes more than an hour per day to do if you have multiple accounts. It is time consuming. I hope I get my accounts to the point where I get gain thousands of followers per month with almost no effort at all. Wish me luck, and consider this strategy for your own social media strategy! It could pay off if you take it seriously enough. But, in the beginning it is nothing but sweating away! So, good luck!

There are tradeshows for products; Why not have them for outsourcing?

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I remember my first job in Los Angeles. My boss hated me. I was working for a company that made fancy industrial products. I went to a trade show. I stepped out for a cigarette break. The boss was furious and said he was paying $10,000 per day to have a booth there and every minute counted. I had no idea it was so costly. Why didn’t he tell me before hand?

Trade shows are one of the most cost effective ways to get leads according to some marketing experts. Asian companies that manufacture products are all over trade shows. But, why can’t there be tradeshows for outsourcing, and what would they be like?

Can you imagine going down the aisle and seeing endless data entry companies shoving their brochure at you? You might see programming companies, call centers, content writers and more. But, what about samples of their work? What would that look like? After all, they are selling services not products here. My feeling is that the best way to promote outsourcing services might be by video. Companies could create videos showing their building, staff, training process, and actual work being done. Sales people could talk about service packages and hand out cards. For a joke, a programming company could give you a page of programming code as a free sample. Nobody would be able to read what it meant unless you too were a programmer!

I guess if companies really wanted your business, they would get your email address, phone number and give you a free mouse pad with a photo of their office and their company name on it.

The idea of trade shows is interesting. Sometimes there are trade conferences for outsourcing in the Philippines or other countries. Once in a while there will be an international conference about call center outsourcing or other outsourcing topics. Conferences are fun, but trade shows are even better. Especially if there are snacks!

A new citizenship program for the USA (proposed)

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It is so annoying what foreigners have to go through to get their green cards and citizenship here in the USA. It is a pain in the neck, and just not fair. America needs lots of new blood, and there is no reason why the immigration process shouldn’t be a whole lot easier. On the converse side, I am upset that the USA gives citizenship to people who refuse to blend in at all. Sure, it is natural that we prefer to socialize with people from our own group. But, does that mean immigrants and their children should have a strictly enforced policy of excluding people who are not like them? America lets in many people who refuse to interact with others. Koreans are typical examples of this. Even their English speaking children often refuse to socialize with anyone who is not Korean or Korean-American. If America accepts them, why can’t they accept America and those who live here who don’t look exactly like them?

Immigration for work vs. immigration for joining our nation
Most people come to the United States as immigrants seeking a brighter future, or perhaps as refugees. Some are looking for money, some are coming to escape the social restrictions of their motherlands, while others come because they like it here and like the people. I feel that someone who comes to America, lives here for 20 years, gets their citizenship, and still calls themselves “Chinese” — not “Chinese-American,” but just “Chinese” should not be given American citizenship. American citizenship should be reserved for people who really want to be American in my opinion. Sure, it is okay if they still love the culture from their country of origin. That is not a problem. But, if they don’t identify themselves as a part of a whole, then they are more of an invader than an immigrant. Think about it!

Immigration for work — a new system
For those who don’t want to join our happy family, we still need them and they still need us. It makes sense to create special economic zones in strategically located parts of the USA. I am not smart enough to figure out where these areas should be. But, these special areas should allow anyone from anywhere in the world to come and work with no special paperwork. It would be a little like Dubai, except that people would be allowed to come for a few months to look for work. In Dubai, you often have to already have a job to be allowed in the country. There would be no minimum wage, so we could compete economically with foreign countries. There would be very low taxes to attract international businesses. These zones would be a place where it is easy to get started, and anyone can make it. There would be schools for each language group in the zone as well. Immigrants to this area would not be given citizenship no matter how long they stayed in the zone. However, as long as they were working, they could stay. Their children would be schooled in the language of the motherland because they would be expected to leave after they were done with however long they wanted to work.

America loves to let workers in our country. We love giving them citizenship after a while too. The problem is that their children are not always as good workers as their immigrant parents who risked their lives to come here. Their children and grandchildren often have significantly higher crime rates as well. The economic zone idea solves this problem. Since nobody is given citizenship there, the minute you or your children cause trouble — out you go. No paying $45,000 per year of tax payer money to keep someone locked up. Let their home country worry about that instead.

Immigration for joining our nation
When my ancestors came to the United States, they mostly already knew English and joined mainstream society right away. Immigrants coming these days are more like invaders. They come in huge groups, they continue speaking their language, and generally don’t want anything to do with anyone who is not part of their group. Not everybody is like this, but the majority are: and it is un-American! If immigrants want to come to join our wonderful nation, they should want to fit in to a particular extent. When I went to India, Taiwan, France, and other countries, I didn’t hide in a cultural bubble. I mixed with whomever I met and behaved like a member of humanity. I propose having an assimilation program

The assimilation program (proposed)
Since most immigrants are extremely opposed to having anything to do with assimilated Americans, by requiring an assimilation program, those not interested in mingling with the locals would weed themselves out and not come here. But, for those who really do want to interact with “real” Americans (whatever that means,) here is my idea. Every American is a descendant of immigrants. The oldest group of Americans are Native Americans. But, even the natives came from Siberia or perhaps on a boat from the Pacific Islands at one point in time. The next oldest group of Americans are those that came in the 16 or 1700’s such as many of the Blacks and Southern Whites. The Hispanics with ancestry in New Mexico also have a four or five hundred year lineage in the land which is currently the United States. I would define someone who is purely American as someone having all of their ancestors being here for at least seven generations, and having their cultural identification being purely associated with the United States. Even fourth generation Americans still have a moderate connection with their countries of origin.

The assimilation program would have friendship programs between immigrants and Americans with long lineages in the United States. The purpose of this would be to fully integrate people into mainstream society before they were given citizenship instead of waiting for five or six generations to have their descendants integrate. Participants might live with families, or engage in regular social activities. I’m not sure how the program would find Americans who would want to socialize with strangers without being paid. But, if people could be paired with others who they liked a lot, then the program might be very successful. The program might also involved living in communities where there was no presence of the immigrant’s national group, making it a place where they would have to assimilate fast. Language training would be another important facet of the program.

On the other hand, after several years of this program, the Americans would probably become expert at making tamales and egg chow foon. It is unclear who would be assimilating to whom, unless the people chosen for the program were Americans with absolutely no interest in foreign cultures — but, why would such people volunteer for such a program if they were so closed to foreign culture? A paradox is unveiled.

Having a Thai side of your personality helps keep calm in business

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When I was younger, I enjoyed multicultural areas mostly because of how interesting it was, and how good the food was. It was interesting meeting people from other cultures. Now, I am older — a lot older. I no longer find it interesting to meet boring people from other cultures (unless they are interesting.) However, I find it interesting to see the cultural effects on my life and business.

Business people tend to over-do it!
Many of us who are small business owners, managers, or executives find ourselves with too many tasks to do in too little time. Stress builds up, and instead of slowing down, we try to find ways to go faster. Sometimes you need to go slower to go faster. Studies show that those who take a vacation or regular breaks live happier lives and last longer in their careers. You are no exception. So, what does this have to do with having a Thai side of your personality?

The various sides of your personality
If you have a friend who is of mixed ancestry such as half Jewish and half Puerto Rican, the jokes never end. The Jewish side of your friend likes words while the Puerto Rican side of his personality loves to party! These are stereotypes, but on the other hand, there is some truth to these preconceived notions about culture. If you do business, you have the workaholic side of your personality. This is kind of necessary if you are to get anything done. I remember when I was in my 20’s and quite a slacker. Nobody trusted me to get anything done. Now, I am a workaholic. But, my body starts slowing down and shutting down when I over-do it. That is why I like to slow down. I like to do relaxing things.

The Thai side of my personality
The business side of my personality could be said to be similar of American workaholics, Koreans, or other imbalanced people. But, I know how to slow down too. I started a habit of having Thai food near the beach in Malibu. I find it therapeutic to be around most Thai people. They have a very relaxed way of talking, and are generally nice. Their food is excellent as well, and healthy. The soothing vibes of the nearby ocean relax me as well. I sleep better after having some ocean energy infused into me. I go to Thai massage weekly to relax my tense muscles and my agitated mind. The way they do massage is very calming — unlike certain OTHER Asian nationalities who are spastic the way they do their work!

The Thai Jeremy
One night, I had a bad headache. I frantically started rubbing my head and putting ayurvedic oil in my hair. The oil does miracles by the way. Whatever part of my body I put ayurvedic oil, it feels better within half an hour, even if I have a tummy ache! But, my feverish way of massaging myself was too much. I stopped and said to myself, “Let me do the same calming movements that Thai people do when they massage people.” So, I slowed down. I entered into a Zen or Thai Buddhist state of mind. I said, “It is o-kay, just re-lax.” I said this very slowly the way Thais would. Then, I said, “I am the Thai Jeremy, I massage for you!” Wow! What a transformation. I never knew I had a Thai side of my personality. Then, I decided that I needed to change the pronunciation to Jelemy to be more authentic. The Thais confuse n’s, l’s, and r’s together. It becomes a syllabic mess if you ask me, but that is okay.

Even though my hands were moving more slowly, the soothing effect of my self-massage was faster! The way muscles react to massage is actually quite complicated to understand. The muscles feel relaxed more easily if movements are a little slower, and especially if there is a mental energy of calmness being transmitted. As a matter of fact, if you were a Shaman or Yogi, you can massage yourself without moving a muscle — just by using your mind to transmit relaxing or cleansing energies to various parts of your body.

After this unusual or perhaps bizarre experience that I created for myself, I decided that this was excellent. Why depend solely on other people’s calm energy to sooth myself when I can create this energy myself with a little oil, massage cream, and Thai Tiger Baum (use with caution.)

Periodic bouts of relaxation and vacation do the trick.
By virtue of the fact that I have learned to relax periodically during the week, I am regenerated and able to handle rigorous, and emotionally difficult tasks during the week that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to handle. Additionally, I like to go out of state once a month for a few days. Yes, it is expensive, but the desert, mountains, and beach really revives me and I don’t function the same without a break of two to eight days a month! I often bring my work with me which is not a problem. It is not about avoiding work, it is about being in an environment which stimulates my body’s energies and/or relaxes me. Although stimulation and relaxation seem opposite in nature, they are actually not. Stress and relaxation are opposites. Relaxation leads to the ability to be stimulated after the fact. But, in my case, after a trip to the desert, I am able to work eleven hours a day for several days and then gradually slow down. After a trip to the beach for a few days, I am on high energy for four days. If I don’t travel for a month, then I’m on low energy, and can only work about six hours a day. My body’s energies are fascinating, and I’m glad I know how to keep them in harmony and balance.

Warren Buffet works two hours a day; Are you a workaholic?

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To be successful in business, do you need to be a workaholic?

Buffet works two hours a day and is more successful than any workaholic
Warren Buffet is more successful than anyone else I can think of. He works roughly two hours a day. His philosophy is that he needs to keep his schedule open just in case there is a last minute reason why he needs to be available such as an important meeting or opportunity. He is an expert at delegating work to the best people with the best terms. But, he is on a very high level, and we are not. So, perhaps we can’t apply his wisdom to our own situation.

HBR says work less!
Harvard Business Review has many blog entries that keep telling us that managers need to do less, not more. Managers tend to spend too much time at meetings and doing emails and other tasks which are less than optimal use of their time. They need to delegate more and do less.

Koreans say work all the time……
Korean culture has an interesting perspective. I live in a very Korean area and find them fascinatingly imbalanced as a culture. It is cultural to force your kids to study until 2 am for school and exams. Koreans are expected to be busy all the time and be successful. There is no room for failure, and no sympathy for losers. You fight, or you die! Very warlike just like their 5000 year history of being attacked by countries that were larger than them all the time. I believe that their history contributes to the toughness and endurance of their culture.

Korean breakdown syndrome (KBS)
In any case, something very bizarre happens to Koreans in their 30’s. Although Korean culture demands hard work all the time, they allow you to slow down a bit when you get older and still be tolerated. Maybe that is a Confucian idea since respect of the elderly is required. I have seen this happen to one girl and one guy. They started being very smart and hard working. But, something happened in their mid or late thirties. Their desire to work all the time was lost. The meaning of life and meaning of work just faded away. I personally feel that the Korean style of overdoing it to the point of insanity causes very long-term problems later in life. You lose track of the meaning of life, of relationships, family, and balance. Life becomes an insane competition to the death. It is interesting that I am sort of the opposite of Koreans. I was a slacker in my 20’s and a workaholic in my 30’s and 40’s.

To get ahead in business, it is imperative that you slow down
You can’t do everything yourself and get ahead in business. As a business person, you need to become an expert at analyzing which tasks are the most important, and why. You also need to know which tasks you can delegate and how to delegate those tasks. If you just read some blog article about how you need to delegate, and delegate critical tasks to someone who is not committed, you could lose more than you can imagine. You need to become an expert at who to trust, and how to find backups for this person just in case. The minute you slow down a bit, you will have more time in your schedule to do some real thinking, and to interview more people to delegate tasks to. It is a hard transition to go from doing everything yourself to forcing yourself to let others do much of your critical tasks for you. This transition will not happen though, unless you force yourself to let it happen, even if it is little by little.