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Steve Marr Blog

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Category >> Personal Development
Aug 21

Volunteer for Tough Assignments

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One way to get noticed by your boss is to volunteer for jobs others may not want. We see an example from scripture. “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’" (Isaiah 6:8, NIV)

Jun 29

Become A Professor?

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Teaching at a local college is one way to establish yourself as a leader in your field of business while earning extra cash.  Very few people take this path; more should. Here is why.

First you become known as an expert, recognized by the school as expert enough to teach others.  In the past I advised “Ken,” who struggled to build a tax and accounting practice, to teach at a local community college.  After he began teaching night school one or two days a week, he was able tell prospective clients that he was an adjunct professor at his community college. This raised Ken’s status because his other competitors weren’t teaching at college. Community colleges teach a number of career advancement classes. Some focus on granting degrees, while other are more specialized.  For example, Ken taught a course on Excel and QuickBooks, something every small business owner needs to understand. Schools offer classes like this for many fields. A contractor could teach “How to Build Your House.” The key is to have the college act as an endorser of your expertise in your field.

May 08

Do You Need the Spotlight?

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You’ve watched the contrast.  Some people become so famous it seems the world tracks their every move.  Others may have a large impact and become wealthy, but no one knows who they are.  Most people have heard of Warren Buffett, but who recognizes the name Charlie Munger, Warren’s number two person.  Buffett’s net worth is estimated at $70 billion; Munger’s net worth is more like 1.75 billion, hardly chump change. Munger has made a fortune by working with Buffett.   Warren gets the headlines, the upfront role, and even more money.  But what can you do with $70 billion that you can’t do with $1.75 billion? Charlie Munger has been content to stay in the background. He may not be famous, but he is rich.

Apr 17

Attending Conferences

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Generally there are two types of conferences, the one-day and those lasting two days or more. How to get the most out of each conference is different.

For the one-day conference, understand who will speak.  Buy their book and read their blog postings to develop an understanding of the material to be covered.  If you spend several hundred dollars or more for a conference, the cost of books and the time to read them is minor.  In these conferences, focus on getting one to three ideas from each presentation that you can implement.  Take notes and create action items to implement. Develop a few well thought out questions to ask if you have the opportunity.

Apr 06

So, You Can’t Get To Work Today?

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At one time in my business career, I reported to a man raised on a dairy farm.  He still had the habit of rising at 4:00 a.m. and getting to the office between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m. He lived 45 miles from the office.  Even when snow storms came, he would be there early to answer the phone. As an employee, you couldn’t just call in and say you couldn’t get in to the office because of snow; because he was already there.

The Detroit Free Press ran a story about James Robertson, a Detroit resident who worked in the suburb of Rochester Hills, 23 miles away. When his old Honda Accord finally gave up, he started taking a bus and walking. Each day he walked a total of 21 miles. James never missed work and was a model employee. On his $10.50 wage, he couldn’t afford a car.