Category Archives: Everything else

The death of contracting as we know it

Here’s a prediction for you… the number of opportunities for contractors will significantly reduce by the end of the decade and will be replaced by a radical new model for managing fluctuations in the demand for staff.

Don’t get me wrong. Clients will still need to use temporary staff to manage the growth, ebb and flow of their organisation’s staffing needs. However, and we’re already seeing it, clients are now making some extra demands that, to be frank, will seem impossible to meet using the old school staff augmentation/body shopping models.

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Filed under Business, Everything else, Philanthropy, The Different Company, Uncategorized

10 Tips for Successful Business Networking

If only we knew everyone who needed our help … or who we could help.

Like any businessman, coach and consultant, I spend a fair amount of my time moving around the marketplace, making sure I know what’s going on, and keeping in touch with friends and colleagues. It’s just second nature, really.

I don’t go to networking events just to drum up business. I go to maintain comradeship, to learn what’s going on, to seek new ideas, and to contribute my own opinions, support and friendship to the process. When I remember that’s what I am doing, I find business pops up in the most unexpected places!

So I took a moment today to jot down my “Ten Successful Strategies For Networking”. They seem obvious, but I often forget them, so writing them down was a useful reminder to me, too!

Effective business networking is the linking together of individuals who, through trust and relationship building, become walking, talking advertisements for one another.

THE TOP TEN TIPS

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The Euro crisis explained by Blackadder

Baldrick: “What I want to know, Sir is, before there was a Euro there were lots of different types of money that different people used. And now there’s only one type of money that all the foreign people use.

And what I want to know is, how did we get from one state of affairs to the other state of affairs?”

Blackadder: “Baldrick. Do you mean, how did the Euro start?”

Baldrick: “Yes, Sir, if it please you, Sir.”

Blackadder: “Well, you see Balders me lad, way back in the good old 1980s there were many different countries all running their own economies and using different types of money. Oh, the messy, wild fun of it all!

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Chanting naked in the bush… err, maybe not

Stop. Take stock. Move forward.

How long has it been since you stopped and took a couple of deep breaths, pondered your navel, and performed a stock-take on life? Can you still locate your navel? See anything below it?

I know I haven’t done such a stock-take for more than a decade and, I’m sure, probably far longer. If you take a look at my work history (http://au.linkedin.com/in/marktipping) you’ll see I’ve been self-employed, either as a contractor or a business owner, for basically the past 18 years. And that’s been a whole heap of work.

Like many, I’ve ridden the feast vs famine tides. I’ve lived a life that, on reflection, was far more in tactical mode than strategic – get the next contract, find someone to deliver an outcome, keep paying the bills, and try to steal a few days here and there to call a holiday. All the while knowing there was so much more to do and so little spare capacity to deliver it.

Heck, I planned to take six months off in 2001 after my first daughter was born, but my good mate Stocko had me at a seminar on the Gold Coast the day I left work – only to then spend the next six months, not with my new daughter, but working on creating a new business. Then factor in my life’s other noises: an acrimonious relationship with the ex; two pre-teen daughters; and, step-fatherhood. There’s a lot of sh*t going on!

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Filed under Business, Everything else, Philanthropy, The Different Company, Uncategorized

Three Life Changing Things (aka things that make you go “hmmm”) – Number one

I moved house

In my post ‘What’s the point?’ I mentioned three seemingly unrelated life-changing events: I met my wife, I started attending a regular business lunch, and I moved house.

The safety of the ’burbs

Until a few years ago Vanessa (my wife – and subject of a future post ‘Three life changing things, number three’) and I were living in Melbourne’s eastern ’burbs. Each weekday we’d jump in the Merc – with its lounge-chair-style comfort, sound-proofing and double-glazed windows – safely cocooned for the hour-long commute to work. I’d drop V off at the Dept of Justice then head to Southbank, park the car and take the elevator to my office in the IBM Tower. We’d each spend the day with high-powered, successful people doing high-powered important stuff before heading back home to the ’burbs again.

Stuff the commuting

But all this commuting on top of our long working week was wearing us both down. We decided it was time to say “goodbye” to the commute and “hello” to a stroll; we ditched the house and took up inner-city apartment living. Our one-hour drive to and from work each day had become a five minute walk – in fact, if I started playing ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ on the iPod as I left home, it would still be playing as I opened the office door! Great huh?

Who are all these street people?

Sometimes, we need to get out of the car and closer to the streets to see the truth.

But one very big thing had changed – we were no longer cocooned. Walk out of our building, turn right and, more often than not, 20 metres from our front door-step there’d be a beggar sitting on the pavement with his dog and an up-turned hat with a few coins in it. Around the corner on Collins Street there’d be a woman selling magazines from a shopping-cart and another guy would walk up and ask for money. An IT geeky-looking guy would be sitting out the front of 7-Eleven with his hat on the pavement in front him.

Who are these people? Beggars at the ‘Paris’ end of town? Living rough? This is Australia for Christ’s sake [or insert preferred deity here] – we have the dole, and emergency accommodation! But they were everywhere. It didn’t make sense, or so I thought. But there seems to be a large gap between what services we believe there are against how effective they really are.

They’re real people, man

So I started paying a little more attention. Then I started saying “G’day”. And asking “How’s your day?” I wasn’t just randomly handing out money – I started to engage, and importantly, I realised these people are just like you and me. They’d just been dealt a bad hand or were down on their luck. It could happen to any one of us.

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