Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Category Archives: Business

Thou Shalt Not Use Email Notifications!

This article was originally published at ModelFA.com.

email notifications, Thou Shalt Not Use Email Notifications!

Here’s a question for you. Between this morning and right now, how many times did your computer or phone chime at you to let you know you just got another email?

Chances are, your number is somewhere around a dozen or more.

Many advisors think that keeping those alerts turned on is no big deal. After all, who would want to miss a critical, time-sensitive message? What if a journalist on a deadline wanted to get a quote from you? Or what if a client had an urgent question about his portfolio?

And so, “new message” alerts continue to ping throughout the day. Some of those emails are informative. Others are fun. Many are a complete waste of time. But here’s what unites them all: they kill your productivity.

Two reasons to stop email notifications from ruining your day

There are at least two reasons why you should turn off your email notifications right now and never look back. Read more of this post

Advisor Self-Limiting Beliefs and 3 Steps to Overcome Them

This article was originally published at ModelFA.com.

advisor self-limiting beliefs, Advisor Self-Limiting Beliefs and 3 Steps to Overcome Them

“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”

― Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I’ve read recently that Covey adapted this quote from Gandhi. Regardless of who said those words first, the quote holds the key to the kind of outstanding results you admire in high performers.

And I think that it’s the best expression of how mindset, behavior patterns, and results are connected.

The mind’s power extends beyond our immediate consciousness. Think of an iceberg with 90% of its mass submerged beneath the surface of the water; your subconscious mind is just as vast and powerful. And once something (a belief or a habit, for example) is a part of your subconscious mind, it will drive your daily choices without any surface awareness from you.

The continuum looks something like this: Read more of this post

Oversharing: Your Biggest Cybersecurity Risk Could be You [Infographic]

Having spent the past several months exploring cybersecurity issues, including business-related risks, I encountered the following infographic that may serve as a useful reminder to any individual conducting business online. This includes the self-employed who represent themselves or those representing their business. So check this infographic out for tips on good habits to cultivate for your own cybersecurity!

Via Digital Guardian

Read more of this post

Email Marketing for Financial Advisors: Best Practices for 2019

This article was originally published at ModelFA.com

Email Marketing for Financial Advisors: Best Practices for 2019

email marketing for financial advisors, Email Marketing for Financial Advisors: Best Practices for 2019

Summary:  Email may not have the cutting edge, high-tech appeal of some of the other marketing tactics. However, when done right, email marketing for financial advisors can be remarkably effective. In order to build a productive email campaign, advisors should begin by examining the needs of their audience. A broad-based “spray and pray” approach is the quickest way to burn through your hard-earned email list. On the other hand, highly targeted value-add communications will help you build trust, drive referrals, and stay connected to your prospects and clients. Read on for best practices (by email type) and some common email marketing mistakes to avoid.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to participate in a lively discussion with a thought leadership group comprised of forwarding thinking, young marketers. The topic eventually turned to the effectiveness of email marketing for financial advisors. Although opinions differed greatly on the types of campaigns financial advisors should leverage, there was one thing we could all agree on:  Email marketing, when done correctly, is widely effective.

But what does that mean for financial advisor email marketing, now that we are in 2019?

Read more of this post

How to Design an Interview Process that Predicts Performance

The following content was submitted by Vervoe. The original article can be found here.

First, let’s get one thing out of the way. Traditional interviews don’t actually predict performance. Rather, the best way to predict performance is to test job-related skills in context. Nevertheless, there is a place for interviews in the hiring process. Interviews are a useful tool to build rapport, and even start a relationship, with candidates after their skills have been validated. They can, and should, also be used to answer unanswered questions from the hiring process.

Interviewing is often used as a synonym for candidate selection, but it shouldn’t. Interviews should only comprise a small part of the candidate selection process. In fact, if an “interview process”, a.k.a. a selection process, is designed properly then traditional interviews only need to play a minor role.

Rather than dealing with hypotheticals, I’m going to share a real blow-by-blow story about a recent hire we made. The process included a recruitment agency, marketing, online skills assessment using our own platform, interviews and reference checks. I’ll explain how each step worked and why we did things in a very deliberate order. Read more of this post

Competence is Context-Dependent

The following content was submitted by Vervoe. The original article can be found here.

The same, but different

Is a graphic designer at a major accounting firm the same job as a graphic designer at an early-stage startup? There is an obvious overlap is functional skills, but that’s where the similarity ends.

A designer at startup will have limited resources and even less time. They’ll be required to “ship fast” because the clock is ticking and everything is an experiment. Management will have a relatively high tolerance for mistakes, and decisions will be made on the spot.

Conversely, a large accounting firm will be far less tolerant of risk, decisions are made by committee, perfection will be prioritized over speed and autonomy will likely be low.

How similar do these roles sound now?

While the fundamental craft is essentially the same, the context is entirely different. Success is measured differently, and the respective operating environments have very little in common. Read more of this post

The Unexpected Costs of Chasing Your Dreams [Infographic]

Many hopeful freelancers start their business adventure so they can take control over their time and finances. As a self-employed freelancer, you get to set your own hours and decide how much you make based on how hard you work. You can decide to pursue projects that interest you the most, and ultimately do your best work. The appeal of starting off on your own is the reason why a third of Americans are currently freelance.

If you’ve ever considered quitting your day job in favor for self-employment, you’ve also probably had a few reservations as well. While the work is more flexible, so is the income. There’s less security when it comes to benefits and salary, which can land you in hot water if you don’t have a solid savings. In addition, finding and pitching your own clients can be incredibly intimidating. The fact of the matter is that starting your own venture, whether as a freelancer or entrepreneur can a difficult process.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. With a solid plan for how you’ll make the transition financially, you can make the leap. To get you started on planning for unexpected self-employment expenses, Turbo created this helpful infographic. By making a few easy cuts, you can make your dream of quitting your day job a reality. Check it out below:

Via turbo.intuit.com: Read more of this post

How Companies Use Skills Assessments

The following content was submitted by Vervoe. The original article can be found here.

We analyzed how more than 4,000 companies use skills assessments on Vervoe, particularly employer and candidate preferences, and wanted to share the results with you.

Here are some of the most interesting things we learned:

COMPANIES

Hiring funnel

The first step companies tend to replace with skills assessments is phone screening. Intuitively this makes sense because it’s a manual process that is very time consuming. Instead, recruiters can avoid screening altogether and review candidates after they’ve completed a series of job-related tasks.

Many companies have been able to consolidate several steps into one and reduce the number of steps in their process. This reduces the burden for candidates. As a result, the average number of stages in a hiring funnel is between three and four.

Nearly 70% of companies are using a skills assessment at the top of the hiring funnel. This is consistent with the removal of phone screening, which is typically a top of funnel activity.

While corporates often use skills assessments at the top of the funnel, the companies most likely to use assessments at the bottom of the funnel are staffing firms. Read more of this post

Online Hiring: Can You Hire Someone Without Meeting Them?

The following content was submitted by Vervoe. The original article can be found here.

Today we can do so many things remotely. We can do our grocery shopping from the couch, we can pay bills or buy tickets without lining up, and we can see what our dogs are doing in the backyard from our phones. We even know when our ride will arrive without needing to speak to anyone. We owe that to technology, which has made our lives so much more convenient.

“Space isn’t remote at all. It’s only an hour’s drive away if your car could go straight upwards.”

– Fred Hoyle

Technology is not a substitute for everything though. Sometimes, our practical objectives can be achieved with greater speed but the intangible, human touch is missing. Just like the sensation of a scented candle can’t be experienced remotely, body language may be harder to read and rapport can be more difficult to generate. A handshake or an embrace are not possible.

The hiring process is a negotiation, with a view to form a partnership. Technically, that partnership is between a business and an employee. But in reality, it is a partnership between human beings who need to work together and achieve common goals.

Does that mean that you have to meet each candidate in person before hiring them? Not necessarily. But you do need a plan for overcoming the challenges that the physical distance can create. Read more of this post

Becoming an Industry Disruptor: What We Can Learn from Transportation Startups [Infographic]

The following content was submitted on behalf of The Zebra.

There are words and phrases that float around the business world that just seem to catch fire. Suddenly, you seem to see them everywhere. For a period of time it was “out-of-the-box thinking” and then “paradigm shifts.” Later we saw everyone talking about “leverage” and more recently: “agility.”

But one of the newest and most exciting buzzwords in industry today is “disruptor.” Now startups and entrepreneurs all over the globe are using this term in their pitches and elevator speeches to give investors something to be excited about. But what does it actually mean to disrupt an industry and why is it so desirable? Clearly, the most profitable part of disruption is that there is already an established customer-base for your innovation – but what else does this concept offer?

Below we see the answer through the lens of transportation startups and how they are working within their established industry to leverage their own agile companies toward paradigm shifts by using out of the box thinking.

Taking a look, we can see how ride-share companies like Uber are less rogue than you might think, and how traditional car manufacturers, whom one would think likely tend to stand strong against any outside innovation, are actually investing heavily in them. This might reflect the idea that while a new disruptive idea should be prepared to expect pushback from established companies, any idea that is truly worthwhile will get those same industry leaders on board.

Another good lesson that can be gleaned from transportation disruptors is how to establish the right angle. Looking for specific pain points like cost (in the case of new cars) or convenience (in the case of traditional taxi services) has given ridesharing services a leg up. What are the difficulties your targeted consumers face?

Below, check out all the facets of disruption that you can learn through interfacing with transportation startups. Maybe YOUR next word will be the one that everyone is using in their pitches.

Read more of this post

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