For entrepreneurs, it doesn't make sense to aim low. The chances of long-term success are slim at best -- maybe 25 percent. So why not aim high? We all strike out -- may as well do so swinging for the fence. Taking that called third strike ... not a good feeling.
In outlining his 4 Laws of Enduring Innovation, the Complete Innovator charges entrepreneurs to be ambitious.
Rounding out the four are luck, focus and embracing new ideas.
The economy may be in recovery mode, but jobs continue to lag. Not all of us are back to work just yet.
One place where the jobs sun always shines is the land of Entrepreneurship. Of course, that sun may ultimately supernova, collapsing into a bottomless black vacuum of self-doubt and despair ... but we digress. Point is, jobs are always available there. Opportunity thrives, economy be darned (and possibly socks) -- sometimes because of that lagging economy.
What you do with that opportunity is what entrepreneurship is all about.
Arkansas Business -- you know, that little Monday shopper -- is all about entrepreneurship this week. From how Everett Buick GMC carved out a niche in tough economic times to become one of the country's most successful dealerships, to how Little Rock's own gardening guru P. Allen Smith literally grew an empire, to why more Arkansas students are studying entrepreneurship and starting their own businesses, to where aspiring tech-based entrepreneurs can find funding, and the scoop on a new program designed to help entrepreneurs in the Delta, it's in AB this week.
Looking for a job doesn't have to entail scouring the want ads. (But please feel free to peruse the AB jobs board.) If you can't find the right job, then make the right job. Then you can play foosball all day like the folks at two promising Little Rock startups, Capsearch and MeritBuilder.
Actually, they don't play ALL day... They do a lot of brainstorming, building, networking, growing, pitching. And they're pretty much always on the clock. But they do get to wear flip flops if they want.
Which, after all, is enticement No. 1 to the prospect of being your own boss. And the foosball table is always an option.
Oh, and check out these commentaries as well from Connect Arkansas' Michelle Stockman and University of Arkansas entrepreneurship expert Jeff Amerine, who writes the critically acclaimed Techpreneurship series in the INOV8 blog at Innovate Arkansas.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock's College of Business will feature Neil Weinberg, Forbes Media senior editor, as he presents “Ethical Failure: How Rampant Corruption is Wrecking the U.S. Economy.” The presentation is at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 12 in the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Business Atrium, 2801 S. University Ave., Little Rock. It's free and open to the public.
Weinberg has been featured as a keynote speaker by professional societies, universities, and at numerous corporate events. His talks focus on business ethics, white-collar crime, executive pay, and the boom and bust cycles in financial markets and personal finance.
For more information call (501) 569-3356 or click here.
Job seekers, check this out. Specialized staffing guru Robert Half (surely he has a brother who could join him so they could become the firm of Half & Half) identifies below some really good interview questions and some responses that may help you ace that next interview.
These answers, Half says, are what employers really are looking for (if I had ever been asked No. 5 in an interview, it's possible I would have gotten up and walked out ... or maybe I would've just gone Rain Man and reeled off "22").
Point is, be more aware of what potential employers really are looking for when they ask certain questions:
1. What interests you about this job?
What they’re looking for: They want to know that you’re being somewhat selective in your job search and are genuinely interested in the role and the company.
Your strategy: Your response should illustrate that you’ve done your research. This is an opportune time to describe how your skills are a match for the position.
2. Why did you leave your last job, and what have you been doing since then?
What they’re looking for: They want to know why you are seeking a new job. If you are unemployed, they want to see that you’ve been spending your time productively.
Your strategy: Succinctly describe why you intend to move on. Focus on the future and what you hope to accomplish more than the past. If you’re unemployed and have been taking classes, doing volunteer work or participating in some other relevant activity, be sure to mention it.
3. What is your greatest career achievement?
What they’re looking for: They don’t only want to know what that achievement is, they’re also looking for information on how you define success: Was it an award you won, collaborating with a team on a project, or saving the firm money?
Your strategy: Think about your achievements and be able to describe why that particular success was so gratifying. Focus on successes that boosted the bottom line.
4. What are your greatest weaknesses?
What they’re looking for: They don’t want to know that you’re a workaholic -- a cliched response. Instead, they want to get a sense of how honest and self-aware you are as well as how you work to correct known weaknesses.
Your strategy: Focus on a genuine weakness that doesn’t directly relate to key job duties and describe what you’ve done to overcome the situation.
5. How many times do a clock’s hands overlap in a day? (Or some variation)
What they’re looking for: With questions like these, companies are testing your critical thinking skills and ability to think on your feet.
Your strategy: The wrong answer won’t necessarily take you out of the running as long as it’s well reasoned. Don’t be shy about thinking out loud as you construct a logical solution.
6. Describe a situation in which you had to deal with a professional disagreement or conflict.
What they’re looking for: With behavioral interview questions like this, they want to know how you handle workplace challenges and that you are able to describe difficult situations diplomatically.
Your strategy: Don’t dodge the question or give a vague response. Think of a time when you had a genuine conflict and how you approached it. Look for an example that shows your ability to find common ground.
7. How would your last boss describe you?
What they’re looking for: They want to see that you are able to view yourself from someone else’s perspective and that you understand the importance of a positive manager/employee relationship. Many will compare your response to that of your previous manager when checking references.
Your strategy: Think of three key positive attributes your boss would use to describe you and describe how these were useful to your organization and valued by your manager.
8. What would you have changed about your last job, and why?
What they’re looking for: Candor is important here; few people wouldn’t change a thing. They also want to know what peeves and dislikes you have and whether you’re able to give constructive feedback.
Your strategy: Diplomatically describe a change that would have broad benefits, rather than just suiting you better.
(Founded in 1948, Robert Half International is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. A recognized leader in professional staffing and consulting, RHI was ranked number one in its industry on Fortune magazine's list of the World’s Most Admired Companies and named to the 2009 BusinessWeek 50 for the third consecutive year.)
The good news? More jobs were created last month than since the recession began. The bad news? The 162,000 jobs added nationwide in March were well below analysts' expectations of 190,000 new jobs.
The nation's jobless rate remained steady at 9.7 percent. (Arkansas' rate went up a hair to 7.7 percent.)
March's new jobs included 48,000 temporary workers hired for the 2010 U.S. census, also fewer than forecast.
The private sector added 123,000 new jobs last month, the most in almost two years. But don't expect it to overtake the gov't mule anytime soon...
Arkansas' jobless rate inched up a 10th of a percentage point last month to 7.7 percent.
While the state remains well below the national rate of 9.7 percent, local economists tell us that the lagging unemployment makes it feel like we're still stuck in the recession.
The Department of Workforce Services reports Arkansas' February civilian labor force at 1,377,100 -- up 100 from January. Of those, 106,400 were unemployed. The largest jobs decline came in trade, transportation and utilities, which saw a drop of 2,600 jobs. Retail, perhaps still suffering from post-holiday hangover, saw a loss of 2,100 jobs.
In all, six major industry sectors lost jobs while five posted gains, according to DWS. Government provides the biggest Arkansas teat, reporting an increase of 3,800 jobs (although fed jobs were down by 200). State government accounted for the vast majority of the gains, with 3,600 new jobs. Local government -- city and county -- saw an increase of 400 jobs.
The other big winner was the manufacturing sector, which added 1,300 jobs. All growth was posted in durable goods, DWS reports, as facilities recalled workers or increased hiring.
Total non-farm payroll jobs are down 30,200 since February 2009. The biggest year-to-year losers are manufacturing (down 11,900), trade, transportation and utilities (also down 11,900), and construction (minus 4,400). The only two sectors to show growth over the past year are educational and health services (up 5,500) and government (up 1,400).
Per capita personal income in America dropped 1.7 percent in 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports.
Arkansas, once again, is ahead of the curve. Our per capita income dropped just 1 percent. We went from an average income of $32,257 to $31,946.
That's about six or seven trips to U.S. Pizza. Cutting back in such a manner is simply unacceptable. Which leads us to wonder, since selling our body for money more than likely is out of the question, what are the most effective ways to secure a raise in this economic environment?
The good folks at the Wall Street Journal offer up some tips on how to get a raise in a recession. Or rather, offerED up some tips, about a year ago when the recession was at full strength. These days, the recession officially has run its course, but experts tell us it doesn't feel like it just yet.
These tips are just as valuable today as we struggle to find our economic footing. Full story here.
Gentle surfers, please forgive a little shameless self-promotion. FLEX360 is a member of the Arkansas Business Publishing Group and sort of like the hipster brother to the Work Blog and InArkansas.com (Arkansas Business being the serious older-sibling bookworm, Soiree the party girl).
The Flex crew designs web sites and all sorts of interwebby stuff, including making this very site happen. Check out the job description -- they seek a marketing analyst.
In addition to perks including a full paid week off at Christmas, you could get to work in the awesome FLEXDOME. And best of all, you potentially could rub shoulders with the incomparable Mark J. Friedman, reporter, crusader, paladin of the poor and downtrodden.
Mention you saw this in the Work Blog, and not because of any potential finder's fee or anything like that....
FLEX360 is seeking an interactive Marketing Analyst to assist in the execution of online campaign strategies, measure their success through data analysis, and make recommendations to maximize effectiveness based on findings. The interactive Marketing Analyst will also provide ongoing support to the Interactive Marketing Director for any assignments as directed. This is an excellent opportunity for someone interested in learning and being involved in various Internet-related initiatives including marketing, social media, PPC, SEO, affiliate marketing surveys, RSS, and blogging.
We offer a competitive benefit plan that includes medical, 401k and a full range of supplemental insurance. Plus a paid week off each Christmas!
Interested candidates should apply online or send their resume to P.O. Box 3686, Little Rock, AR 72203. No phone calls please. EOE.
Post your resume here.