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February 8, 2012 / heathpsl

The Mother is ALWAYS Right

Happy belated new year!  I guess I haven’t done a very good job with my new year’s resolution of blogging more… or the resolution to go back to the gym…  Maybe a March resolution is in order?

So, as my three faithful readers know, I got into the wacky world of print because of my mom – We call her MOMA! (yes, all caps and the exclamation point is always included) – that is her Grandmother name.  The first thing that MOMA! taught me was to question EVERYTHING – if I didn’t like an answer that someone gave me, to go to another person. (I know, I know, this is goes against all parenting ideas and I would be annoyed if my kids did it – but hey, this is BUSINESS).

Well, this week, I forgot MOMA!’s first rule.  Here is what happened…

A wonderful client asked me for some pricing.  I gave the specs to my estimator and got a price.  As I was reviewing the estimate, I thought, “wow, this seems high,” and decided to talk to my boss about it.  Unfortunately, I have bad timing, and he was busy with about thirty eight thousand things and said to take XX% off the price.  I did and still thought it was on the high side – but sent the price on to my client.  That was my big dumb move.

Well, the next day I got the email telling me I was about 50% higher than anyone else in the world.  Yup, that pretty much sucked.  So this time, I went back to the boss and channeled my inner MOMA! (it isn’t buried very deep).  I questioned each and every part of the estimate and guess what – there was a mistake.  My price was actually right where it was supposed to be…. Unfortunately, at that point it was too late…

Talk about frustrating – in this day, commercial print sales is pretty competitive – price means a lot more than it might have 10 years ago.  I have heard people talking about not getting a job because they were $50 or $100 high on a job.  I certainly learned my lesson of ALWAYS remembering MOMA’s rule – if something looks off ask a million questions.  Don’t worry about being a pest or upsetting people.   (For full disclosure here – the mistake in the estimate was my fault completely – my estimators are wonderful and gave me EXACTLY what I asked for)!

So after learning that difficult lesson, I will remember MOMA!’s first rule each and every day… Maybe I should get it tattooed on my arm (that might make MOMA! crazy)!  Have you ever learned a lesson like that?  One where you didn’t follow your gut instinct or some sage advice?  I want to hear about it.

So I promise to try to be better about blogging… but life gets a little crazy, you know?
Talk soon!

HPSL

 

February 8, 2012 / heathpsl

So true, but don’t tell her I said that…

So true, but don't tell her I said that...

August 25, 2011 / heathpsl

Do you love what you do?

 

Communist Propaganda Poster from the 1950s and 1960's

So, I have been such a blogging slacker. It seems like I can’t figure out what to write about!?!?! Funny, since I usually have so much to say… I have been too busy, I guess, trying to figure out the twitter thing!

I recently received an email from a client. She had a little time to catch up on my twitter tweeting after the big earthquake of 2011. She said, “I know I don’t know you well, but I’m really glad that you’re doing what you love.” My first thought was, wow – I’ve got her fooled. (Don’t get upset, just keep reading).

All day, and evening, that sentence kept coming back to me… Do I love what I do? Hmmm….

I have worked in the theatre – to do that, you MUST love everything about the theatre (including the minimal paychecks). I worked in fundraising for a non-profit organization, where I really felt like I was helping people (even if sometimes it was minimal). I have worked in sales and sold everything from shoes to furniture to temporary workers. I loved (to varying degrees) every job I have ever had… hmmm weird, right?

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there were two common themes in the jobs that I loved (and even the ones I loved a little less). The people I deal with and the people that I work with. I my theatre days, I dealt with patrons coming to see a show and loved helping them have a great experience. In my retail sales days, I loved helping people find just the right outfit or just the right piece of furniture to complete a room. When I did fundraising, I loved helping people. I had some of my best/most memorable/most heartwarming “people” experiences working there.

So, do I love what I do? I keep thinking about it and going back to – The people I deal with and the people that I work with. Let’s face it, I am not saving lives here and I am not changing the world – I sell print. What I am doing is working with nice – KIND – people. I am pretty lucky because all of my clients are nice people who are a pleasure to work with – really, I do mean this and am not sucking up to anyone (I doubt that anyone besides my cousin even reads this blog and she may have given up since I haven’t posted in ages). My clients are the ones that are out there changing the world. My job is to help them to reach their goals – this can be by saving them money, time or aggravation. I can give them the confidence that their project is going to happen and they don’t have to worry about anything – that is my job. I can help them by printing a quality product that will help them communicate their story. It means the world to me when a client tells me that they trust me! That is why I do this.

Then there are the people that I work with. I know… I have written about them before… they sing, they threaten to dance, they make obscure Mel Brooks references, they call me by the wrong name, some of them talk – a lot, they are a fascinating group made up of all different personalities and I wouldn’t change a thing!

So, I think I have it all figured out. What I “do” isn’t necessarily where I am working. It is more about what I do at a job – about the people I deal with and the people that I work with. In my case, what I “do” is talking with people, helping people, being a solutions provider for people. That is what I do. That is what I love.

So, do you love what you “do”?

Talk soon!

July 14, 2011 / heathpsl

The Twitter Thing…

So, I tweet.  Yup, I drop 140 characters of nonsense a few times a day about crap.  Usually about my addiction to diet coke – I mean #dietcoke – and how the vending machine at the office is always out of it. 

Maybe I am getting old, but I don’t really understand Twitter.  It makes my head spin every time I log on and see 26 billion new tweets from the 72 folks I am following.  Not only are there a million tweets, everything is written in short hand with short links attached… So, to figure out what is happening, I not only need to decipher the short speak, but I also have to click on a link…  I am not good at this. 

Then, there are all of these symbols. @’s and #’s – For a while I was so confused (actually I still am sometimes), @ means that they are mentioning someone (I think) and then the #’s mean some sort of tag.  I think that you can search things by #WHATEVER, but does anyone really have the time???  Does anyone really care?

Here is an example from a famous model (I don’t follow her, but I saw it on another site)

In honor of #SouthSudan independence, let’s send med equip &supplies to a clinic in need. http://t.co/qiRlRpS @everymomcounts Pls RT

Do you see the short speak???  And all the #’s and @’s??  What do they all mean?

Then there is the whole retweeting thing.   See the RT above??  I think that this means pretty please retweet.   So, apparently people think that something they are saying or deciphering is interesting and they send it back out to their followers (or ask you to send it to yours)…  It is a never ending cycle of short hand and symbols.

At least with Facebook, you have more than 140 characters.  You have like 400.  You can tell a story.  You can use full words (again, a lot of people don’t, but I prefer it).  You can find people by their real names.

There are people that swear by Twitter.  They get business, they find friends, and they fall in love and get married and live happily ever after all from 140 characters at a time.  I am not sure if that will happen to me with my 23 loyal followers… I have researched the heck out of this one.  If you want people to follow you, you have to tweet interesting things.  (I am pretty sure that my diet coke thing isn’t that interesting)…  and to be honest, I haven’t seen too much interesting on Twitter that I didn’t have to spend 45 seconds deciphering first.  45 seconds that I will never get back to read about a guy in Austria getting his driver’s license photo taken with a collander on his head because he is a “Pastafarian.”  Really.

Anyone have any insights into the Twitter thing?  What would be something interesting to tweet about?  How can Twitter get me business?  (I am good on the falling and love and getting married thing, thank you very much)!

If you want to find me on Twitter I am @HeathPSL  – I think my next tweet will be

#vendingmachineguy get more #dietcoke pls. Mchn @Whitmore is out.  No DC mks me grmpy. If im grmpy then @HappyTown11 & @GoToPrinter hav 2 lstn 2 me compln.

Probably too many characters!  What do you think?

Talk soon!

 

 

 

 

 

July 7, 2011 / heathpsl

Rocking the Boat…

So, have I told you how great my new job is? If I haven’t, all I can say is wow. I love it. The people are great. There is so much experience here that I am overwhelmed sometimes. There are salespeople here that have been selling printing for over 40 years! Wow! That is longer than Mom did it before she retired! (To be honest, I think that she misses some parts of this crazy industry. She is always asking about jobs that I am printing. I may have to bring her in for a field trip one day).

Back to the people here… They are the best. Everyone is letting me pick their brains to learn more and more. I am SHOCKED about how open, honest and giving everyone has been. So far, it has only been a month, but it has been awesome.

Not that I haven’t rocked the boat a bit. (Hey, that is my job, right)?? I am still learning the workflow and the different personalities here, and they are learning mine.

Sometimes, when it comes to my client’s best interest, I HAVE to rock the boat. It can mean pushing scheduling, contacting a different vendor than is normally used, coming in at 6am for a press inspection or running from one side of Baltimore to the other and back. That is what I need to do to look out for my clients! I take it very seriously and want to be a “Solution Provider,” as opposed to an “Account Representative.” A Solution Provider seems so much more proactive!

What do you think? Ever rocked the boat? Should I stop rocking the boat?

June 16, 2011 / heathpsl

Work Environment Matters!

There is music in my office....

So, there are lots and lots of things to consider when accepting a job offer, right? You have to think about the grown up things like salary, the travel time, the benefits, the 401k contribution and all the things that responsible adults consider. You have to consider if the “new” job will be a good fit. If you are making a change in companies or careers, is the grass is really greener?

One other thing to think about is the work environment. Are you expected to be at the office at a certain time? What are the people like that you will be working with? Will you get support and training? Will people break into song at various times during the day? Can you ask a million questions?

As promised, I am revealing the BIG CHANGE that I recently made… I am working for a new print company! I love it!

The work environment is FANTASTIC. Honestly, people SING – at work. It is almost like they are happy to be here! There is joking and teasing through the day AND work STILL gets done! Everyone is willing to answer questions and help. This place feels like a family. Weird, I am the new adopted kid, but I feel like I have been here forever!

I will reveal more as time goes on… but in the meantime, if you need any commercial print work, send me a message! I am here to help. That is all for my shameless plug for now!

What are some reasons that you love where you work? Or, if you made a change, what drew you to your new company? Do you sing at work? I want to hear all about it!

Talk soon!

June 8, 2011 / heathpsl

Changes…

Life is all about changes, don’t you think?

Each day, I see changes in my babies. It is part of who we are and what we do. Everyone and everything changes. Priorities change as you grow older and when you have children. Relationships change as you grow.

“The key to change is to let go of fear.” ~ Roseanne Cash

“There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction” ~ Winston Churchill

So, you may be asking, “What the heck is she talking about?”

There are lots of things changing in my world. All for the better and all good and exciting things. I am a firm believer in that every single thing in life happens for a reason. You may not see the reason at first, but there is one.

Stay tuned for updates in the big changes in my life! (And no, I am not having another baby)!

Talk soon!