My Sharing Economy

airbnb_terror

I’m an Airbnb host. That means that I am on the Airbnb.com platform, having listed my space as a vacation rental so that business/pleasure travelers have a homey place to stay. I love doing this, I love having people in my home, meeting them, talking with them, and just plain ole connecting.

It makes this world a much nicer and smaller place. My visitors come from all over, Nigeria, Quebec, various states. Its great to hear their perspectives on life.

Just recently, I attended the Airbnb Open conference in Paris, France. Where 5000+ hosts gathered to learn, network, and be a part of something larger than ourselves. I will say it was phenomenal! I used to host merely as a way to make extra money. But after the conference, I now have the understanding and a changed outlook on what this is, a close-knit community.

Then it happened. While in eating dinner in one of the cafes, explosions and terror that caused so many (over 130 people) to lose their lives. Actions done, while we were there, by those who sought to tear apart, to end, to resolve, to send a message of hate. While we were there.

As a curfew was called, and we hunkered down in our apartment, I found myself a part of something important. Recognizing the important work we do.

It hit me heavily. I am doing important work. Whatever I do it should be in the name of helping others achieve whatever it is that will move them closer to their own personal and professional goals. So that they can do what they want to with their lives. That I don’t have to serve them only from a Skype conversation or in a group workshop. They can be in my home, as my guest. From right were I am.

So what is it that you want to be known for? How does your work connect with it?

Been a LongLong Time…

181H

Where’ve I been, you ask?

A two-year hiatus perhaps? Well after my mom passed, I just didn’t feel like posting anymore. Didn’t have it in me to continue. Sometimes it’s like that. On fire one moment, then cool the next.

I’ve watched the employment landscape change during this short time. And not for the better.

Although there are many more jobs available now then during the recession in the 90s, the increased number of jobs are for lower pay and remain saddled with heavy workloads which sometimes approach overwhelm. Many of these employees are an unhappy and dissatisfied people.

Changes abound – further progression in technology (as it’s known to do) has sped up to replace more and more – including our jobs.

Often the “9-5” American worker is getting the short stick through continuous off-boarding of jobs/work to other-world countries.

The global competition for jobs is fierce. Tensions are everywhere.

Disgruntled: both young and old. The senior Walmart greeters, our wisest; doing the best that they can.  The young college graduate, who’s incurred enough debt that could have instead supported a family of four for several years, is challenged to find work to justify the exorbitant expense.

Our world is out of control and I can no longer just stand by. I must take a stand.

I, by default two years ago, threw my towel in the ring. No that’s wrong. I didn’t throw it; it slipped from my fingers and I didn’t even notice. But now I’m here to take it back.

I realize that this is no time to give up, give in, make due, follow along or just stop paying attention. We, as a people, can no longer work jobs and live lives that are not fit for “human consumption”.

Yes, I’m here and back in the saddle. Giddyup…

Are you ready?

 

 

Video Wednesday: Getting Satisfaction At Work

Before you jump into a new job, get some satisfaction there first. In fact, the attitude you have on your current job is the same one you will take with you on your next. So this is a crucial step in the job hunt process.

Here are some of the ways that TedTalk speaker and songwriter Stephen Kellogg suggested for getting more out of the job you have now:

1) Know why you are working.

2) It’s better to be at the bottom of a ladder that you want to climb, then at the top of a ladder that you don’t.

3) The grass is always going to look greener.

4) Understand the positive effects of your work.

5) Maintain your integrity and core values.

So may you too find satisfaction wherever you are…

What Are You Waiting For?

I haven’t been here for a while. My mother passed away recently and she was a very special woman. So I couldn’t quite bring myself to post.

Yes, death is a fact of life. And if we are born, we are to one day leave this earth. But what can’t be said is that we are born to die.

Once I remember reading someone’s profile for a personal ad. In it, he described himself as “waiting to die”. I thought, what a way to live, or actually, not live.

For myself, life is so amazing, so full of potential and possibility. The idea of just waiting for that one moment when we are to pass into another existence would seem like such a waste of all that we have been given. With our limited amount of time, we have so much to accomplish, so many adventures to explore,  so many lives to positively affect, and  so much happiness to enjoy.

Life is so short. Live it to the last drop…

Dedicated to Victoria Hunter – my mother.

 

It’s Your Thang…Do What You Wanna Do With It

Hiro: …you must really hate your job. Nobody copies their butt forty-seven different ways without wanting to get fired! My advice…find something you love to do. Then it doesn’t feel like work. Hiro Nakamura, character in the sci-fi television series “Heroes”.

Why is work sometimes so much work? Is it a rule somewhere that what you do to earn a living doesn’t necessarily need to bring enjoyment? We readily accept if the job is humdrum…excusing it with a “I’m glad I even have a job!”

The economic environment, fewer jobs, or society’s mindset can be blamed for our attitudes towards work.

However, I propose that we look out of another window. This window is one where we have fun and “play” in the workplace. This is a place where we look at these activities-for-pay with wonder, awe and full of possibilities. The dreariness of work is not mandatory. And it’s not a mold that is permanently set – you can break out.  It’s okay.

So the next time someone tells you that you have no choice and that that’s just the way it is, ask yourself, “Is it?”.

Becoming the Master of Your Own Ship

The landscape has changed and work will never return to what it once was. Years ago when we had such high numbers of layoffs and unemployment was sky-high, we waited for the day when things would get back to normal.

Today, employment numbers seemed to have increased. However, it’s not clear whether this is really true – for some unemployed workers have simply stopped looking for work altogether. They seem to have become disgusted with what is or is not happening with getting a job.

The article, “Where have the jobs gone?” speak to how the unemployed with increasing numbers are moving into self-employment.

The number of Americans who have chosen to break out of the traditional workweek has been rising — with a little help from the recession. Forbes recently cited studies that predict 40 percent of American workers will be free-lancers by the year 2020. How much of that is by attrition and how much is by design is hard to pinpoint, if only because so many people who have moved from employment by others to self-employment say they are happier now than before.

I can tell you that I am one of those who have opted for this way of employment.  And I will also say that I am amongst the happier now than before. In fact, I’m smiling as I write this…

So, have you ever considered self-employment for yourself? Think about it. You never know what possibilities are out there for you.

 

The Paycheck Mentality

In the article, “Bad Logic, Desperation Has No Place in a Job Hunt, Andrea Kay writes about her perspective of the job hunt. She states,

Finding your next position is not a number’s game. It’s about targeting and discovering the right person then connecting with them by speaking their language and precisely pointing out what you can do in the particular job you want.

You’ll never do that if you send correspondence that screams: I don’t know who you or your company are, nor do I particularly care. I don’t value your time. I don’t pay attention to details nor take pride in my work. I’m just looking for a paycheck.

It’s meaningless when you are just applying for jobs only for the paycheck. It  has got to be more important that that.

I know. I did it for 7 years.

That paycheck had me all wrapped up, bound by the so-called stability it offered. It really didn’t provide anything but a means of holding me in place. I was afraid to let go. The fear of having nothing else was too strong. Or at least I allowed it to be.

There are so many opportunities out there available for us, but we are led to believe that the opportunities are few.  In order to change a mindset requires that you see what is possible and then believe it can happen for you.

So when it comes time for you to get out there, you don’t feel enslaved to the paycheck and can just focus on finding work that you want for enjoyment and passion.

So how can you open yourself to believe in more than just the paycheck?

Networking Hesitations

Question

People have all sorts of thoughts when it comes to networking. For some, just the idea of facing a roomful of strangers, all with little 3 1/2 x 2 inch cards in hand gives them the Willies. “What do I do?” and “what do I say?” are often thoughts which float through their mind.

This is understandable. You know what your goal is – to make contacts. But if you feel a discomfort with the whole idea of getting up and going, you’re not even at step one.

Perhaps we can look at it in another way. The preparation of your mind is actually the first step. Asking yourself continuously the “whys” you should take part in this activity is of ultimate importance. It is the reason that you move forward, the motivation to do, to act. The ultimate “why” must have an emotional element in it – with that you are energized with desire to do what you must do. The answer to that question will help in creating the right networking mindset for you.

So next time you are planning on attending an event, ask that important question of yourself. Why? And see if it makes a difference.

Productivity Stealer

Reloj despertador
I am on a “Fringe” kick. This is a series that I’ve been fascinated with for a week now. Watching it on Netflix back-to-back; it’s got me hooked. I watch while I’m writing, editing, working on some project or supposed to be sleeping.

I’m tired. And behind schedule.

At times, I consider myself a workaholic. Now with that mindset, it may seem to be fine to take a break for entertainment from time to time. But with some balance.

We hear time and again to balance our work with our play. But how to do so, when you feel compelled to take a bulk of time on the enjoyable (not that work is not fun…) activity. I have worked out that I need to increase my productivity during my working hours.

I do see the benefit in setting a daily plan plan. I do it – most days – and they are the most productive. But to gear it up a notch, I think I will make one modification to plan at night before bed instead of in the morning. That way I can get a running start to the day. More gets done earlier.

There is definitely time for both work and play. It’s just a matter of how we go about it.