Month: March 2011

Don’t Waste a Challenging Economy (1)

Don’t Waste a Challenging Economy By Jeff Beals While many indicators point to an improving economy, it’s far more difficult to attract clients now than it was a few years ago. Perhaps worse, many economists expect the job market to remain challenging into 2011 and possibly beyond. Credit is still hard to obtain and consumer confidence is far from robust. When times are tough, the phones aren’t ringing and the low-hanging fruit has already been plucked. That leads many to pull back and reduce their work intensity for fear that their efforts would end up being applied in vain. That’s the wrong response to a challenging market. In times like these, smart professionals develop new products, become more innovative, embrace creativity and market themselves harder than ever. If you’re not working on as many projects as you would like right now, use the extra time to sharpen your skills. Read business books and invite people you admire to lunch, so you can “pick their brains.” Perhaps you’ve been thinking of developing a new product. This is a great time to work on it. Use the down time to reexamine what you do. Try to see your career and your business from different angles in order to find more effective ways to accomplish your mission. A long time ago, the great businessman Henry Ford visited a beef packing plant in...

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Don’t Waste a Challenging Economy

Don’t Waste a Challenging Economy By Jeff Beals While many indicators point to an improving economy, it’s far more difficult to attract clients now than it was a few years ago. Perhaps worse, many economists expect the job market to remain challenging into 2011 and possibly beyond. Credit is still hard to obtain and consumer confidence is far from robust. When times are tough, the phones aren’t ringing and the low-hanging fruit has already been plucked. That leads many to pull back and reduce their work intensity for fear that their efforts would end up being applied in vain. That’s the wrong response to a challenging market. In times like these, smart professionals develop new products, become more innovative, embrace creativity and market themselves harder than ever. If you’re not working on as many projects as you would like right now, use the extra time to sharpen your skills. Read business books and invite people you admire to lunch, so you can “pick their brains.” Perhaps you’ve been thinking of developing a new product. This is a great time to work on it. Use the down time to reexamine what you do. Try to see your career and your business from different angles in order to find more effective ways to accomplish your mission. A long time ago, the great businessman Henry Ford visited a beef packing plant in...

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Are These Books Worth the Trees? Junk Food for the Mind Dominates Biggest Publisher Booths at BEA 2011

Are These Books Worth the Trees? Junk Food for the Mind Dominates Biggest Publisher Booths at BEA 2011 By Shel Horowitz, Editor, Down to Business/Global Arts Review If you judged America’s reading habits by looking at the posters lining the booth walls of many of the largest publishers exhibiting at Book Expo America 2011 (held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, May 24-26), you might think the American public mostly reads vampire books, celebrity kiss-and-tells, and cookbooks/home decorating books. All of these publishers have better books than this-books that expand the mind-but it’s hard to know this by looking at what they choose to display on the wall. There were occasional exceptions; both Michael Moore’s and Bill O’Reilly’s new books were featured on posters from their mainstream publishers, for instance, as was a new Freakonomics book. However, it seemed that progressive authors and books like Moore and Freakonomics were surprisingly rare amid a disturbing tilt to the right, with lots of conservative books about the economic collapse and the rise of the Tea Party movement. Interestingly, Moore (like fellow progressive Barbara Kingsolver) is published by Harper, which is owned by Fox owner Rupert Murdoch’s rightist empire. The show is definitely smaller than it’s been in previous years, and like last year, compressed into a single hall (with another hall devoted to the small-but-interesting Blogworld show running...

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