5 PIECES OF CAREER AND BUSINESS ADVICE FOR 2020

1. IF ONE EMPLOYEE MAKES ALL THE OTHER EMPLOYEES MISERABLE, AND THEY STILL DON’T FIX THEIR BEHAVIOR AFTER YOU TRY TO CHANGE IT A FEW TIMES, THEY’VE GOT TO GO

This is one of my most talked about pieces of business advice that I get asked about constantly, and it makes sense why.

If someone in my company acts like a jerk to everyone they work with, here’s how I handle it:

First of all… I don’t “look the other way” even if they happen to be someone who’s crushing their numbers. To me, culture drives the organization at the core and if that’s ruined, nothing else matters.

Then, I sit down with them and try to have a conversation.

I take the blame first because it’s my company and every problem is my fault – I ask them what I’ve done wrong to put them in a position where they feel like they have to act that way. Are they not clicking with someone they’re working with? Is something going on at home? What am I missing?

I also spend 80% of our meeting trying to make them feel safe and penetrate any insecurities that might be the source of the issues.

Sometimes, the person will turn their behavior around in a couple of months. Other times, it’ll continue and I’ll let them go. If their bad behavior continues and you’re a CEO who keeps them around because they’re hitting their targets, you’re sending a clear message to other employees about what you really think about company culture.

2. FOCUS ON YOUR OWN HAPPINESS MORE THAN WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU

There are so many people who hate their Mon-Fri and genuinely cheer for the weekend as soon as the week starts.

I have zero problem with people looking forward to the weekend, but if you dread Mon-Fri, why would you want to live your life that way? The truth is, if you factor out sleep, you basically live to work. It makes up the majority of your life. If you’re unhappy at work, then it’s time to take a step back and ask yourself what you’re actually doing — not by judging yourself or beating yourself up, but by thoughtfully analyzing what you could do to change your situation.

I want to make people realize that they should focus on maximizing their happiness, not necessarily the dollars to take an extra vacation a year, buying things out of insecurity or unhappiness, or pandering to other people’s opinions of you.

3. THE BEST SALES STRATEGY? STOP TRYING TO SELL THE UNSELLABLE

It’s been fascinating to see the evolution of how people interpret sales, especially since the rise of the internet.

But there is one huge mistake that I think many salespeople make – and that’s trying to “convince” people who don’t want to buy. They try to sell everyone instead of the people who actually want to be sold to. It’s a GIANT waste of time when you could be moving on and talking to more potential buyers.

4. CHASE THE PROCESS, NOT JUST THE END RESULT

If you love your process, you’ve already won.

I LOVE my process of business, I’ve often talked about my life goal of buying the NY Jets. But really it’s the journey that brings me happiness – a big reason why I picked that as a goal is because it’s such a big “North Star” for me to aim at. It allows me to continue doing what I love for a long time.

You need to figure out something that you enjoy doing so much, that just doing it makes you happy, not just the end result.

5. IF YOU’RE A BOSS REALIZE YOU WORK FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND

This one hits close to home as a CEO and manager – really wish more people understood this:

I work for my employees. They don’t work for me.

Many people may think this is counterintuitive to being a “boss” but I actually believe that this is an incredibly important part of being a boss.

The owner of a business is entirely responsible for everything that happens under that umbrella, including the employees. If you don’t like how something is happening within your company or how employees are performing, it’s your processes or frameworks that created those issues in the first place.

Everyday I think about how I can put players in a position to succeed – that means delivering feedback with radical candor in a constructive way, observing everyone’s strengths and weaknesses, and understanding what everyone cares about at any given time.

HOW TO USE TWITTER TO BUILD YOUR BRAND

Twitter is still an incredible platform to build brand. 

It’s fascinating to me as a marketer because it allows me to initiate relationships with people 1 on 1. It’s how I built my brand in the early days from 2007 – 2011 when I was working at a wine retail store in New Jersey and had no name recognition. I replied to tweets for hours and hours everyday on topics I had opinions about. 

Twitter gives you permission to jump into conversations and give your two cents in response to a hot take. In other words, Twitter’s the only “open cocktail party” on the internet. 

And what people don’t understand is, the capability to add your two cents to the party is far more powerful than the “presentation capability” (i.e. sharing your own post) on Twitter when you’re starting out with limited following. 

If you know my $1.80 strategy, these steps should sound familiar:  

STEP 1: GO TO TWITTER SEARCH

Navigate over to the search tab on the Twitter mobile app or go to Twitter.com/search.

twitter-search

STEP 2: SEARCH WORDS AND PHRASES THAT MATTER IN YOUR WORLD

For example, if you’re in the fitness space or the food industry, you could search something like “healthy food” and see what people are talking about:

Browse the “top” section to see which posts are getting the most awareness, or hit the “latest” tab to see a full list of the latest tweets on the topic.

For example, here’s a post from CBS News on “healthy food” that got hundreds of retweets and thousands of likes – posts like this would be worth engaging with:

STEP 3: ADD A THOUGHTFUL RESPONSE THAT CONTRIBUTES TO THE CONVERSATION

Find posts where you have a strong point of view or reaction to what was posted. For example, if you’re in the healthy food space, you could share something someone could add to their recipe, tell them what they’re eating isn’t actually healthy, or something else.

Start with responding to posts that already have awareness – posts that already have engagement will make it more likely for your post to get engagement. That’ll bring more awareness to you and what you do.

Think of it like a real-life cocktail party. You’re sitting around the bar, there’s a group conversation going on, someone shares an opinion about something, and you have the opportunity to throw in your two cents.

Same thing applies on Twitter.

THE BIGGEST MISTAKES PEOPLE MAKE ON TWITTER:

Don’t spam out comments

“Lightweight” comments don’t hold as much value as thoughtful responses. Remember that the goal here is to actually add something to the conversation – not just comment for the sake of commenting.

This isn’t about talking “at” people, it’s about adding value to the conversation.

Don’t be argumentative just for the sake of being argumentative

As this article is going out in mid-2019, Twitter has a reputation for being combative because of the political ecosystem and what’s happening there. But in my opinion, “co-signing” other people and telling them that they’re making great points that you agree with has bigger upside than creating a disagreement.

That being said, if you genuinely disagree with something or you believe someone is putting out bad information in your space that could hurt people, being on the right side of history and responding with facts can have a big upside.