Archives 'talents'

31 August
Chris Arends

I was listening to a podcast the other day about creative thinkers. I was trying to think of people in my life that were creative. Since I was thinking about sending my Dad his birthday card he was top of mind. Initially I thought my Dad was far from creative.

For some reason I thought about all the “junk” that he bought at farm auctions and stored in our shop. Then I changed my mind that made re-think how I thought about him. We didn’t have much money at that time so he couldn’t have been buying things just to fill up the shop and make us sort can after can of nuts and bolts. For some of it he probably had to buy the lot to get something specific he wanted. For the other stuff he had plans for. He saw potential. I remember him always talking about a different way to things for the hogs or rigging up something. Not a lot of them got done but he proved something else from the podcast that creative people like Einstein, Edison or Beethoven weren’t necessarily smarter than other people they just had more ideas. By sheer volume they came up with great ideas or amazing music compositions. My Dad had a lot of ideas. They weren’t on the scale of relativity but they were creative. I like to think that he passed on to his sons some of that creativity in how to fix or build things.

His junk was helpful in other ways. It gave us material to play in creative ways. We made star fighters, ships and more from the odd pieces and parts he brought home. We played with that junk over and over again, expanding our imagination. It didn’t hurt that the shop was a good place to hide to keep from getting extra chores.

Thanks Dad for buying junk and seeing the potential and happy birthday.

21 April
Chris Arends

I am reading a book called Switch How to change things when change is hard. One thing it talks about is focusing on the bright spots or successes that you already have and replicating them.   This is a great More Than Half Full concept.

Focus on whats working

With out giving you all the examples in the book the point is that instead of trying to fix things that are broken, focus on what you can control and what has shown success.  This encourages prototyping and taking small risks to  see if it an idea can be replicated or expanded.  If it fails you lose a little and have learned something.  If it works you have the foundation to make a bigger change.  That change could be walking down the stairs in your office which will help you be healthier or it could be a new service for your customers.

The power of this is that it focuses on what is working and how to create more of that. Whether it is a business process or losing weight,  if you find and build on the little successes you can improve almost any situation.  Another point the authors make is that in some cases the most critical success is the one in our head.

Win little battles to win the war

Whether the challenge is global warming or getting your kids to eat their vegetables, big challenges never get solved over night or by using one silver bullet.  They are solved by a lot of little changes.  A great example would be CFL’s.  Everyone wants to use less energy.  Changing one bulb to a CFL was the intial goal.  As people got used to the funny shape and the higher up front cost, there are now more CFL’s on store shelves than incandescent bulbs. People started saving money and it just snow balled.  We can do the same thing with a lot of other problems. We just need to find the simple little things to make a big difference.

22 March
Chris Arends

Just saw a video of Dharmesh Shah at SXSW and online marketing. It is a good video especially for a coder. He brought up a great point. While everyone can keep doing the same thing everyday we all owe it to ourselves to find our super power. He goes into it briefly but I will give you my take.

Everyone is good at something. Maybe not the best in the whole world but better than most people. While some talents can be more valuable than others, to be truly happy we must find our super power and find a way to use that to its full potential.

Why do we all need to know our super power?  Typically when we are good at something we like to do it. Being good at something gives us some measure of success, whether it is money, fame, fortune, or what ever.

Being good at something makes us happy.  I am reading the book “Crowdsourcing” and it talks about how amateurs are doing things better than professionals/academics because they love to do it, not necessarily because they get paid to do it. This love of doing something will make you happier than almost any amount of money. Can I prove that? Yes many studies have shown that money can’t buy happiness but doing what you love can.
What is my super power? Great question. I can’t say that I have just one. I see my self as more of a MacGyver than a . Meaning I have good overall skills, I am comfortable with technology and people and combine both of them to be very good at making good things happen for the companies I work for.

I had a recruiter tell me we live in a world where specialization is key. Which sounds very Adam Smith and may be true in organizations over 100 people. Many organizations can’t afford a superman in every job. They need a Macgyver who can come in an take on different challenges and come up with a smart solution that leverages the resources at hand instead of needing a lot of specialized gadgets.

How do you find your superpower?  I guess the main thing is to ask your self what are you good at?  What makes you happy?  Figure out how that can help someone else solve a problem and you have your super power.

Today’s No Job Joy is that everyone has a super power.

26 February
Chris Arends

If you have noticed that I haven’t been posting much lately, things have been moving and shaking around here. Here are some updates.

I have been interviewing quite a bit lately so the interviews, prepping, following up, looking for new leads have been taking a lot of time. All good things. No home run yet so if you know of any one who needs marketing or channel management help send them my way.

There has also been a lot of fun stuff going on.  Finishing up Cub Scouts and crossing over my Den of 10 Webelos – 9 with the Arrow of Light. Enjoying the big snow storm we had in Dallas.  See my last post for how I spend those days. And finally the Olympics. Every four years you have to see the maniacs do half pipe, aerials, luge bobsled and all the other crazy speed events. Throw in a little figure skating for some culture and you have the winter olympics. Fortuneately they will be over this weekend so I can get some work done and get some sleep.

In other news, I am working on a new home and some expansion on More than Half Full.  I am not ready to spill the beans yet so stay tuned for some fun stuff.

Look for me to be more regular with my postings and trying some new ideas.

Have a great weekend.

16 November
Chris Arends

This weekend I was remind twice that my value as a person is not defined by what I do to make a living.  The first was at a get together for my oldest son’s football team.  Over the years my love of photography and the fact that I have some of the best equipment has made me the unofficial team photographer. Most parents have stopped taking their cameras relying on me to take and post photos.

As I thought our gathering might be the last time we would all be together I made my usual team video of still shots that I had taken during the season. Each parent was amazed at the shots of the boys.  The fact that I can make them happy with something I love to do reinforces that I am not just a job.

The second time I was reminded of this was as I was working on another home improvement project. Having the right tools and the ability to use them the right way to get the job done really helps boost ones confidence and drive home the fact that I am not just a job.There is something about making sawdust that makes you feel good.

Today’s No Job Joy is the satisfaction of completing a project and using talents other than those that people pay you  for.