Wednesday, April 29, 2009

When I was younger my father told me that the real reason that you get a summer job in college wasn't to earn some money, it was to remind you why you were studying hard. The point of doing the menial labor type of job most often held for summer employment was so that you would work hard and not have to ever again hold a menial labor type of job.

Over the course of this period of unemployment, I have made a return to the world of menial labor. To keep up with the bills I have returned to my old part time job working for a catering company. I am not alone. At this one catering company I have been joined by a half-dozen other out of work professionals, including two former IT professionals, who's company went out of business, an advertising salesman, formerly of a local radio station, and an accountant who was involved in foreign trade.

In the beginning I loathed it. I hated putting on the all black uniform. I hated serving plated lunches to Mary Kay sales women, setting up buffets for bar mitzvahs, and bar tending wedding receptions. I found it demeaning. I thought "how could I Mike Morgan, with a college degree from Butler, have to stoop this low?"

I thought this until I remembered some of the advice I had been given when I was younger. I reminded myself that this job served as a reminder to always to things the right way the first time. It took a trip back to menial labor to remind me that if you are going to take a risk, research your risk very very carefully before you go and make that jump.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Elephant List

Until early February I had a financial practice associated with a large mutual insurance company. In my practice I was responsible for bringing in new clients, mostly through warm referrals. It is far easier to get someone to sit down with you if they are introduced by a friend.

The most successful tool that I used was to feed a list of people that I wanted an introduction to my clients, and if they knew anyone from the list, I would have a warm introduction.

For this purpose I had two lists that I used, the list of people that I had reason to believe that my client knew. This list was compiled of people that had some connection to my client, eg. Facebook, Linkedin, Zoominfo ect. This list was usually good for three to five referrals per meeting. These referrals tended to be lateral referrals, meaning that they were to people in the same socioeconomic vein as the client. This is fine if you are satisfied with the sort of client that you have now, but to get to bigger fish you must thing bigger.

This is where the second sort of feed list comes into play. The Elephant list.

An Elephant List is a list of big fish, people of high socioeconomic status that you have no reasonable connection to. The key to meeting these people is to know somebody, or to know somebody who knows somebody. That is where my Elephant List came into play.

At the end of each meeting I would ask my client "this is a list of people who I plan on having as clients one day, but right now I do not have a good introduction to contact them. Would you mind spending a few minutes seeing if you may know any of them?" Then I would pull out my Elephant List, a leather bound notebook, with a well penned list of people in Cincinnati who I wanted to have as clients. Some examples would be partners at law firms, owners of successful businesses, the sort of people that you see on the front page of the business section of the sunday paper.

Most of the time I didn't get any real response, but occasional I would stumble upon the nephew of a partner at a local law firm, or the next door neighbor of a high level executive. When I came across those, the biggest key was just getting the appointment, and making sure that I brought along someone with some serious experience so I didn't mess the opportunity up with my being in my early twenties.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

streamlining my name, and the thought puzzles involved

*warning this post wanders*

So today I am streamlining my everything online. I am moving every user name/ url/ public profile name to mikemorgan19. The goal of this is to simplify the process for having people finding me should they for some reason feel compelled to find this particular Mike Morgan (there are several Mike Morgans in the world). The process of changing all of my online names to mikemorgan19 begs a somewhat sizable philosophical question about the internet.

At what point does your internet persona become your real life persona?

Does the fact that I am most easily accessible by mikemorgan19 make my name mikemorgan19 insted of just simply mike, or morgan as more and more people seem to call me? In the future will people be named things that is unique to them and them alone, (such as a number or unpronounceable symbol, eg Prince) and this will be used for all means of identification.

What event makes someone's name official? (apart from the legal birth cirtificate). In Irish mythology the druid Cathbad declared Sentanta to be the "Hound of Culainn" and was from then on known as CuChulainn. If the Tain can be used as a framework for naming things then is it necessary to have Druids running around every time someone wants to rename something? Furthermore where will we find these Druids, they arn't exactly a dime a dozen anymore.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

day 59

Today is the first day of the third month of my job search. So far it has been a long slow, bumpy, miserable process. Today I attended the International Marketing SIG put on by the Cincinnati AMA. The conversation today was centered around the operations of international financing. Which talks mostly about how to take a small business and conduct global trade, securing lines of credit, insurance, and tariff drafts. All of the financial things that make most people start falling overbackward and foaming at the mouth. I on the other hand loved it. The whole thing was like being back in school again, and reminded me why I majored in international business.

The other upside to the AMA meeting today was to meet people. Being unemployed meeting new people is the only way out of the pit of joblessness. Odds are the person who has the job that I will land did not know me before February 1, 2009.