I love this!
Point your clients to some of these 13 Government Resources for Small Business. Lots of great stuff!
I caught this tip over on the My LinkedIn Power Forum about backing up a LinkedIn profile. From the post, here’s how to do it:
1. Print it as a hardcopy. You can click on the [Print] icon
above your headline and print it. This is the most traditional way
of backup and is also strongly recommended to always keep a hardcopy
just in case all your backup softcopies cannot work at the time of
2. Save it as a PDF or Word file. You can either click on the
[PDF] icon above your headline and save it as a PDF or cut-and-paste
your profile and save it as a Word file. The latter will have an
advantage of cut-and-paste back to your LinkedIn profile page at the
If you frequent any other social networking sites, it would make sense to back up your profiles there as well.
As an aside, the PDF printout is a pretty slick (and quick) way to build a resume. It looks great, too!
I’ve written about this one before: the best gift you can give your administrative professional/secretary is to let them fire a client of their choice. Here’s the post from 2004:
Several years ago, I told my secretary she could fire one client, no questions asked. After she picked herself off the floor, she chose a client that surprised me. Turns out that this client, while perfectly cordial to me, was consistently rude to her on the phone and made inappropriate comments to her when he came into the office. I sent the client a nice letter telling him I would be unable to represent him any longer, and my secretary told me it was one of the best presents she had ever gotten.
The moral to this story is that there are clients who, if they treat your staff badly, don’t deserve your hard work. Every day you work for them sends a message that you value their business more than the happiness of your staff. The trouble is that you probably don’t even know who these clients are. So ask your assistant, and go ahead and give yourself a little bonus and fire your least-liked client too.
Of course, flowers are also nice.
I found something interesting in a study titled The Influence of Ceiling Height: The Effect of Priming on the Type of Processing People Use (via Science Daily — my new favorite RSS subscription):
“When a person is in a space with a 10-foot ceiling, they will tend to think more freely, more abstractly,” said Meyers-Levy. “They might process more abstract connections between objects in a room, whereas a person in a room with an 8-foot ceiling will be more likely to focus on specifics.”
The research demonstrates that variations in ceiling height can evoke concepts that, in turn, affect how consumers process information. The authors theorized that when reasonably salient, a higher versus a lower ceiling can stimulate the concepts of freedom versus confinement, respectively. This causes people to engage in either more free-form, abstract thinking or more detail-specific thought. Thus, depending on what the task at hand requires, the consequences of the ceiling could be positive or negative.
If you are designing your next office or workspace, should you build in different ceiling types and plan to do different kinds of work in each one? For lawyers, should you take your depositions in low-ceilinged rooms?
Tim Ferriss suggests fathers take a complete break from e-mail on Father’s Day. I’m in. Anybody else?
Quick email tip from Tricks of the Trade:
If you are sending an email with an attachment, add the attachment first, then compose the message, and then add email addresses tothe send line. Now there’s no chance you’ll have to send the ever-popular “whoops, forgot to attach the file” follow-up.
In fact, it’s a good practice to always put the email addresses of the recipients in last, to ensure that an errant carriage return or mouseclick won’t fire off the message half-baked.
My seventh Idea Market (link to Meetup site) happens tonight, April 16th, at 6:00 pm at Lucas School House. I’m going to be trying out a new networking/relationship-building activity that I’m really excited about, and we are going to figuring out ways to make the Gateway Arch blue for Autism awareness. I hope to see you there!
How about giving your tech-savvy clients their own firm- (or client-) specific toolbar for their browsers? Techcrunch profiles Conduit, a company that makes it easy to “roll-your-own” toolbars. Here’s the Techcrunch Toolbar, for an example.
I am a big fan of making Unreasonable Requests — requests that I don’t expect a “Yes” answer to, but that I make nonetheless.
I’m going to be sharing several on this blog over the following months. Here’s the first:
I need someone to redesign my blog. I’ve got quite a few projects I’m working on, and need to incorporate them in a new, non-template based site. I know what I want, but don’t have the HTML and CSS chops to do it myself. In exchange (in addition to ample credit) I will work with you to make your business better — and I promise you’ll find the trade more than fair.
I just happened across Timothy Ferriss’ site (blog) and saw this article on “Outsourcing Life” that I’d like to share. If you are experimenting with outsourcing work in your firm, check out some of the extreme suggestions on outsourcing a few other things. Timothy has a book coming out. I’ve asked for a review copy and will share my thoughts if it comes my way.
Garr Reynolds has a good summary of the newest PowerPoint controversy started by this article in the Sydney Morning Herald that describes a study suggesting speakers who essentially read their bullet points from their slides are ineffective communicators. The study’s author suggested:
It is effective to speak to a diagram, because it presents information in a different form. But it is not effective to speak the same words that are written, because it is putting too much load on the mind and decreases your ability to understand what is being presented.
An innovative Japanese company is offering university students free photocopies. This free love is made possible by printing ads on the back of the copy paper, which is slightly thicker than normal to prevent ads from shining through. For JPY 400,000, advertisers can have their message printed on 10,000 sheets of paper.
Guy Kawasaki explains how to use LinkedIn’s Reference Check Tool to avoid bad bosses. In essence, you can input a company name and a range of years to find people who worked at the company during a given time period.
This would be a great tool for locating potential witnesses in a litigation action. Input the plaintiff/defendant company name and the years before, during and after the actionable conduct. LinkedIn will serve up a list of people who may know a bit about company/facts/etc. Even better, they may no longer be employed and more likely to help you.
Postful is a pretty ingenious service that creates and sends written snail-mail correspondence from e-mails forwarded to the service for just $0.99 each. This could be a KILLER application for lawyers, especially if confidentiality issues, firm branding and other details could be worked out. Imagine being able to send real honest-to-God letters from your blackberry, without secretarial help. Very Cool!
Not sure if there is any scientific basis to extend this study to productivity, but people eat less when they can see how much they’ve already eaten. When there were visual cues (an un-bussed table) of how much food study participants ate, they continued to eat less.
This makes me wonder: If we can see how much work we’ve already done (a long timesheet, for example), are we less likely to do more? The same goes for a messy desk. If we are surrounded by cues of work we’ve done, do we work less?
Once lawyers get past the billable hour and are judged on the quality of their work, perhaps their firms may implement a vacation policy like Netflix’s:
When it comes to vacation, Netflix has a simple policy: take as much as you’d like. Just make sure your work is done.
Employees at the online movie retailer often leave for three, four, even five weeks at a time and never clock in or out. Vacation limits and face-time requirements, says Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings, are “a relic of the industrial age.”
“The worst thing is for a manager to come in and tell me: `Let’s give Susie a huge raise because she’s always in the office.’ What do I care? I want managers to come to me and say: `Let’s give a really big raise to Sally because she’s getting a lot done’ – not because she’s chained to her desk.”
Thanks to Creative Class for the link.
If you are a lawyer, your clients worry. They worry about their case, their upcoming deposition, even your bill. Here is a good checklist to share with them to help them worry less. I really like this one as a way to keep those daily (hourly?) phone calls from freaked out clients to a minimum:
Write down your concerns and worries in a journal.
Reserve a time for your worries and concerns at daytime. So you should try to develop a routine and reserved time for all the concerns and problems of the day. By writing your worries you will identify your common negative thoughts and worries. It will be much easier to find solutions when you’ll know the exact content and meaning of your worries.
Take your time for these worries but not in the evening. The best time might be late afternoon. Sit down with a journal and write down your concerns of the day. This will take at least 30 to 60 minutes. Force yourself to think about all the worries and problems of the past and coming day.
Promise the clients a weekly phone call to go over their journaled “worries” and see how many of those “emergency” issues have already resolved themselves before the call.
Where are your clients? Google just announced My Maps, a dead-simple way to create a (public or private) personal map. You can embed photos, tags, links, etc. to each map.
Here’s a tip: Add your client’s addresses to a (private) map. Every time you are running errands or visiting clients, you can check and see if you will be near any of your other clients. Drop in and say hi. They will appreciate that you are thinking of them.
I am going to start a legal bloggers map today.