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Monday, July 30, 2012

What to do when a company does not want you



In my May article "The Creative Job Search Does Work," I confidently boasted that the creative job search works.  And, I still encourage job-seekers to use it, because it does indeed get your foot in the door.  However, that particular company that I interviewed with has yet to call me back.  And this is after a phone interview, a 90-minute face-to-face interview, and appropriate follow-up including a handwritten thank-you card.  The only thing I have failed to do is to pick up a phone and call them.  But I figure, after sending you a thank-you card and a continued-interest letter in which I specifically state "please let me know either way," that those managers are purposely not contacting me.  Additionally, I was informed I would be contacted within a week and a half after the interview.  That time has surpassed.


So what do you do when you know you did everything right but the company is sitting on its hands until it finds the perfect candidate?  Here a few things I have considered doing:

  • Drive to their location and demand a meeting.
  • Send an additional letter with an emphasis on "please let me know either way."
  • Finally pick up the phone and hope to speak to someone.
  • Move on.
My advice, if you find yourself in this predicament, is to move on.  If you have done everything the company asked for, performed an excellent interview, and followed up appropriately with a letter or card, it is on the company to return the courtesy and professionalism.  The fact that this company did not contact me back after two methods of contact informs me that this is not a company I would work for on a long-term basis.  

Remember, the interviewing process is a two-way process.  It is true that you have to appeal to the company as an applicant.  However, the company has to appeal to you as well.  Early on, this company seemed unique, different, and a good fit.  After not returning contact to simply let me know that the position has already been filled or that the company is looking at other applicants, this company revealed to me that they ignore people and cannot maintain relationships.  

Remember I initially contacted this company for a sales position.  They came to me, based on my resume, with a management position opportunity.  If they were no longer interested, just say so.  That's what exceptional companies do.  As an exceptional professional and human being, I will not work for a company like that.

Thankful for the experience, I am honing my interview techniques to obtain a dream job and to share my expertise with you, my audience.  Remember, your resume, elevator speech, cover letter, online presence, and interview should all tell the same story.  That is the key to finding work you love.  However, if you cannot find it, create it.


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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Happiness leads to success

What is holistic success and happiness?



Happiness can be defined as success in four areas of life.



  • Material abundance
  • Love and relationships
  • Health and well being
  • Spirituality (intuition, creativity, connection to a higher power)
Holistic success is important because it improves your:
  • physical health (immunity towards diseases)
  • better relationships (family, friends)
  • self confidence


You can not define your success by income.  If you sacrifice holistic success in those four areas, you may make a lot of money but you will be extremely vulnerable to hypertension, stress, feeling miserable, addictive behaviors, etc.  Being successful does not mean you are happy.  A Harvard study shows that success does not lead to happiness but vice-versa.  Happiness leads to success.  

So how do I reach happiness and holistic success?

  • Pay people attention.  Show them your affection.  Try to find a way to add to someone's life today.  That could be a friend, a family member, a potential customer, etc.  Christian pastor Joel Osteen encourages Christians to treat people with honor regardless of how he or she may be treating you.  As a child of God, we are held to higher standards in how we think and behave.  
  • Define daily worthy goals and achieve them.  It takes small steps to reach ambitious milestones.
  • Exercise, meditate, pray, relax, take a walk, get physically active.
Happiness= set point in the brain (determined in the first four years of your life that determines your emotional intelligence) + conditions of living (if you are extremely poor you are unhappy or if you are extremely rich people obsessed with money you are unhappy) + voluntary choices or actions daily (doing things for pleasure like going to the movies, sex, shopping, expressing creativity, are you doing meaningful work, are you making someone else happy) thus S + C + V = H
  • your emotional intelligence can be improved through therapy, cognitive analysis or meditation
These ideas are credited to Deepak Chopra, a physician and writer.

Follow me on Twitter @BlackScholaronl.  Email me any suggestions, ideas, or questions at Leonard.Wilson.Jr@gmail.com.  Thank you for reading.  Subscribe via e-mail at top.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Put your money where you mind is






A lot of people claim they want to live better lives.  They pray, encourage others to have faith, and sustain a successful, optimistic persona.  But deep down, they know they still have a lot of work to do.  However, the words they communicate and the actions they take are two different things.  In the words of Barry White, people should "practice what they preach."  

Are you practicing what you preach?  Are you really looking for your dream career or job?  Are you truly focused on success?  More importantly, are you working towards holistic success?  Let me share what I have spent my dollars on recently.

  • Spent $299 on 99Designs to create the book design for my e-book My Flexibility Manifesto:  Following my passion 2 success.  
  • Spent $50 on a networking opportunity for July 20th-July 22nd called Startup Memphis. This event will allow me the opportunity to meet like-minded entrepreneurs, young professionals, and creative thinkers.  Additionally, it will allow me to collaborate with others to help develop my own business ideas.  
  • Spent $50 on a membership to Memphis Urban League of Young Professionals.  This is a community service organization in Memphis, Tennessee that enables networking between young professionals.  As a young entrepreneur, freelance writer, professional blogger, and MBA student from Milwaukee, can you see how this is a valuable opportunity for someone like myself?  Remember I spent a majority of my time in Memphis in the classroom as a graduate student and a special education teacher.  As I look to switch industries, I have a lot to learn and could use the valuable advice and companionship of like-minded professionals in the area.  
  • Spent $6 to join the Dollar Shave Club.  This is a time saver as I automatically receive my shaving equipment at the beginning of every month.  It works like clock work.  I can keep a professional look at all times.  And I do not have to rush to the store to buy equipment last minute.  This is the philosophy of Tim Ferris's Four Hour Work Week; automate your life.  
  • Spent $6 to subscribe to the local newspaper's, Commercial Appeal, Sunday only delivery.  The Sunday edition is the largest, and most informative edition than any other day of the newspaper.  From extensive editorials to a larger business section, I generate a lot of ideas and savings from reading the Sunday edition.  This saves me $2.00 a month and this saves me time.  Automation.
  • Spent $14.41 on Eric Ries's The Lean Startup.  I read the first half of the book before I sold it on Amazon.  I actually only paid $4.41.  I used a $10 gift card I received from USA Today for an article contribution.  I sold the book for $10.00.  This book was a dry read for me but it improved my knowledge base.
  • Spent $34.95 on a subscription to Success Magazine.  I usually buy this magazine at my local Barnes and Noble but I wanted to continue to automate my life while saving a lot of money.  More importantly, I am continuing to feed my knowledge base more complex information to grow as a person, professional, writer, Christian, business man, student, etc.  Other magazines I recommend for anyone looking to create their own dream job or to generate multiple streams of income is Fast Company, Inc., Money, Time, and Enterprise.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Introducing yourself, an unique strategy towards work you love

Sample introduction letter; idea credited to Dan Miller of 48days.com
A useful marketing principle that can be applied to finding work you love is by sending targeted companies an introduction letter.  The introduction letter is created to gain the attention and memory of hiring personnel.  After you identify your three areas of competency, craft your resume, oral story, and cover letter, you need to craft an introduction letter that identifies three things.  Remember, every component of the creative job search process is a part of your story.  Always be true to your story.  For example, my story is that I love writing since I was a child.  My resume, cover letter, and interview individually tell the same story in different ways.  Here are the three things your introduction letter must address:

  1. What is your current situation and goals?  Be specific.
  2. What's special about you?  Be specific.  
  3. What are your next steps?  Let the hiring personnel know that you will be sending a physical copy of your resume within a few days.  How could they not remember you?  Exactly.  That's the point.
Remember to follow this career blog by entering your e-mail above and follow me on Twitter @Blackscholaronl.  Thank you.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Guest post: Building a Legacy, One CAMEO at a Time


To further encourage readers and supporters of this blog, I wanted to expose you to creative income generators and micro-business owners doing work they love.  Know that if you follow the creative job search process or the micro-business model, you too can be doing work you love.  With that said, I would like to introduce you to a friend of mines, and a former client of my writing consultancy business, Tymille Baker.  Tymille is an overall awesome person, beautiful mother of twins, a former teacher, and an entrepreneur.  She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.  She runs an upscale event coordinating and marketing firm, Cameo Ventures, LLC.  She is super talented and dedicated to help others in their event planning and marketing needs.  Follow her on Twitter at @Cameoventures.



I was teaching high school math at my alma mater, Pebblebrook High School, when I decided to step out on Faith and pursue my dream of using my marketing degree and creative blood to build a legacy from my own event planning business.  I was halfway through my 4th year teaching there when a church family member (and the only black member of my school district's school board) lectured me about NOT using my "obvious God-given talent" and going after what I really want despite conventional wisdom.


As a spiritual person--and believer in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, once I realized it was nothing but fear that was keeping me in this "secure" position, I began to pray over it, cry over it, talk over it (with the right people), and listen for His guidance.  It was after a painful and obvious (metaphorical) slap in the face that I realized God had been trying to tell me I had stayed in my post past my season--that I really should not have returned that school year, but I did so despite several reservations.  So as torn as I was to leave my students mid-school year, I resigned with plenty of notice...then called my replacement and team teachers to check in on my students, created a Facebook page to keep in touch with them, and went back to visit just before their finals.  I missed them, they begged me to return; but I couldn't--I have a calling and purpose to walk boldly in, and that is what drives me each day to continue building my legacy to the glory and honor of God--who placed this path before MY feet.
I have several years of event planning experience, both voluntarily and corporately.  Prior to founding CAMEO Ventures, my biggest position/event--and the one that sparked my desire to keep doing events--was Player Coordinating the American Century Championship of 2005... NBC Sports' annual celebrity golf tournament.  Working with the likes of Mike Milthorpe, Dick Ebersol, Kevin Monaghan, Don Cheadle, Jerry Rice, and all those involved was a great joy and experience.  I learned a lot that I could couple with my marketing degree and natural creativity to mark the beginnings of a dream that is now CAMEO Ventures.  But soon after my position there, I became pregnant with twins--a high risk pregnancy that placed me on strict bed-rest and unemployment!  


After recovering and becoming a single mother of two, I bounced back by entering the education field.  I got my first teaching position with no experience and no certification (yet)--something that thing called conventional wisdom would not have advised possible.  But it was nothing but God's favor that lead me in that path as it does now with my purpose of planning events that all will love and none will forget.  So, I stand on God's promise and my dreams.  My faith, my children, my dreams, and our future are what motivate me each day to keep going...even when it gets very tough, and it does!
My advice to anyone wanting to go against the grain and build their own business is to do your research before during and after you originate your company.  Know why you are doing it, don't stray from that purpose despite nay-sayers or genuine difficulties--a movement without purpose will reach a point of permanent stand-still.  Surround yourself with those of not only "like mind", but those who are where you are trying to go!  Be careful who you speak of your dreams to: not everyone is built to handle and support an idea they can't fathom or are too scared to believe in.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Addressing the unemployment and underemployment issue in any city or state




Problem:  You don’t have a job, you hate your current job or you need a new job.  
Goal:  To find or/and create meaningful, profitable work.
I recognize for many young adults even those with college degrees that finding a new job may be difficult.  Companies are taking their sweet time in prolonging the process.  Why?  As people are growing to hate their jobs more and more each day, almost every good paying job vacancy receives thousands of applications and resumes.  Thus, companies take an exceptionally long time to hire someone else other than you.  It is frustrating to receive rejection after rejection especially when you know you can do that prospective job well.  Do not get down on yourself.  You are capable of great things.  I have two solutions derived from two of my favorite books:  The $100 Start Up and 48 Days to Work You Love.  
To starting earning a meaningful living, you can do one of two options or both (I am doing both): Create a micro-business or conduct a creative job process to access the hidden job market (roughly 87 percent of jobs are never advertised).  


If you are creating a micro-business, think convergence.  You are looking for your respective sweet spot.  You want to combine your passion and skill with something valuable to the market.  For example, if you love writing (your passion), possess ostensible writing ability (skill), you need to provide a service (ghost writing, copy writing, speech writing, writing consultancy, research or freelance writing) or product (an e-book, a book, a how-to-guide, a newsletter, a monetized blog, your own line of pens or publishable poetry).  To further elaborate, let’s say you can do hair or cut hair, you need to provide a service (hair design, hair care or hair consultancy) or product (an e-book on building your clientele as a cosmologist, a book about the business side of running your own hair business, a podcast about hair, your own hair care products, uniforms for beauticians, etc.).  
The second strategy besides creating your own micro-business is the creative job search process, a topic I have discussed in detail.  Here is an outline of how to find that 87 percent of available jobs to greatly reduce any competition thus assuring you a highly increased shot at obtaining a position you desire and opportunity to do work you love.
  1. Identify your three strongest areas of competency.  
  2. Revise your resume and cover letter(s) to reflect your three highest, strongest areas of competency that you thoroughly enjoy doing and want to continue.
  3. Create a list of 30-40 companies, organizations, influential people, etc. that you would like to work for or with using your three areas of competency.
  4. Research those companies, organizations, and influential people to gain background information and the name(s) and information of the hiring personnel.  
  5. Contact the hiring personnel via an introduction letter and phone call to schedule an interview.  Do not simply leave a voice mail message.  Be persistent.
  6. Follow up the initial contact with a physical copy of your cover letter and resume.
  7. Continue to contact the hiring personnel until an interview is scheduled.
  8. Research and prepare for the interview.
  9. Kill the interview, impressing your potential partners/employers, and actively assess if this would be a good match for you.
  10. Send a handwritten thank you letter/card post-interview and continue to contact hiring personnel every three to four days until a decision has been rendered.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Why WE cannot be average


The worst thing in the world you can be is average.  In the United States of America, we dream big, but commonly fall very short on to a bed of complacency.  If you value yourself, your intelligence, and your potential, you must diligently work aggressively towards honing your talent, gift, skill, interest, and passion(s).  Without planning, practice, and execution, your dream will never be realized.  Eventually, when you are of old age, you will look back with a surplus of regrets.


As a Milwaukee native, I always loved the Milwaukee Bucks and the Green Bay Packers.  During my adolescence, the Bucks were good for a short number of years under George Karl as Sam Cassell, Ray Allen, Glen "Big Dog" Robinson formed a "big three."  Outside of that brief period of time, the Bucks sucked.  They have flirted with the playoffs a few times since, being bounced out of the first round each season or barely missing the eighth seed.  The organization is average.  They spend a lot of money on players and remain consistently average.  Always in the middle of the pack, where they do not qualify for a top lottery franchise-changing draft pick.  So at the end of every season, they find themselves overpaying for B-level players and trying again, only to fail again.  


"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results."
On the other hand, the Green Bay Packers produce great results every year including championships (greatness).  From the executive level down to the worker bees, the Green Bay Packers emphasize faith, consistency, and hard work.  They do not overpay free agents to come to Green Bay.  Green Bay is a boring city with low-crime, strong family values, and a die-hard football fan base.  There are no great malls, night clubs, or celebrities in the city.  The Packers attract great talent solely on their history of high expectations and hard work.  The organization demands excellence from individual players.  They focus towards collective goals.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Faith, consistency, & hard work




Besides the vulgarity, SpokenReasons is a very talented comedian and poet.  He injects a breath of societal commentary into each of his entertaining videos.  Within this video, he encourages his viewers to succeed through faith, consistency, and hard work.


  • Faith
    • As I stated in the article How I Know God Exists, you have to have faith if you expect to do anything significant or extraordinary in life.  Without the belief and confidence in something greater than we can visibly see, where does the resilience necessary to overcome continuous obstacles and life challenges come from?  It has to come from a belief in a higher power regardless of particular religion or culture.  By having faith in something bigger than yourself, you are teaching your mind, body, and soul to keep going no matter what this universe throws at us.  Some of the most successful people in the world are advocates of faith.  
    • As evil and cold as this world can be sometimes, it amazes me that people are so cocky and self-assured that they think and assume they are solely responsible for their success.  In order for this world to even exist, there were sacrifices.  For any accomplishment you gain in life, someone besides yourself had to sacrifice.  Whether it was a teacher giving you valuable information to learn a concept or skill or the federal government providing your with finances to attend college, someone made a sacrifice.  People do not make sacrifices without the existence of a God.  
  • Consistency
    • By never giving up, working hard, and staying steadfast towards your goals, you will accomplish your established goals and the doors of opportunity will open for you.  A big part of consistency is to embrace your fears.  Whether it's poverty, fear of failure, fear of lacking the right degree or skills, you have to run towards your weaknesses and fears with the confidence that God is with you always (faith) and that you can make it through anything (resilience). To never be complacent is essential to holistic success.  

Sunday, July 1, 2012

How much does it take to get you to stop doing work you HATE?


Recently I was watching Arthur with my family on HBO.  The synopsis of the story is about a very wealthy man who never fully matured into a competent working adult or business guru.  His family's business is worth billions and he has an inheritance of $950 million.  I commented to my wife that I would not need that much $ to permanently change our lives or our family's wealth for generations.  My magic number...  $9.5 million, exactly ten percent of Arthur's inheritance.  

"I would still work. I would not spend most of it.  We could live off the interest. What would you do?"  I asked Princess.
"I would do work that I love."  she calmly replied.
Boom.  That is it.  Is the only thing that is keeping you away from doing work you love $9.5 million dollars?  Is it more $?  Is it less?  What's your magic number?  What will it take for you to step away from that dreadful job of yours that pays you barely enough to live on every two weeks?  

Why you are better suited as an employee

The majority of content contained on this website is about entrepreneurship, self-employment, multiple streams of income, and related material.  However, not everyone is suited or comfortable with doing things on their own.  That's okay.  There is no right or wrong answer.  You have the option to follow your dreams and passions through the creative job search process if you take it seriously.  This particular article will focus on reasons why you should work for someone instead of venturing out on your own.