Saturday, June 30, 2012

Master time, or it will master you.

I recently discovered Michael Hyatt, one of those social media gurus who has a huge online footprint that he pretty much grew in the last five years or so. I grabbed his book "Platform" as soon as I realized he didn't exhibit any of the smarmier characteristics of other social media gurus. That book, by the way, is ridiculously awesome if you're interested in building an online "tribe" of loyal followers. (At least in theory -- I'm just now implementing his ideas, but they seem sound and practical...)



Anyway, he recently posted something that hit me at just the right time. It's a post about reclaiming your time. If you have a hectic schedule, or if you find yourself struggling to keep on top of a crushing daily workload, you should check it out. Here's the link: http://michaelhyatt.com/more-margin.html


I was especially gratified to see his working weekly calendar because I recently created something very similar. I've been calling it my "Task Matrix," which is a grid breaking down my daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly tasks that come up regularly. Its also broken down by department: CEO, Admin, Marketing, Legal, etc...


If you need help organizing your life, this post is well worth it. Check thou it out!


Double-duty furniture for small apartment living

Have you ever checked out ApartmentTherapy.com? You should. Cool stuff, and a lot of it is geared toward the very people we help--people with smallish apartments that require a lot of feng shui to fit all their stuff and still maintain some peace-of-mind.

This is exactly what I'm talking about: "More bang for your buck: Double-duty furniture ideas." I recognize this bookcase -- it's our old nemesis the grandaddy Ikea Expdit. We've seen a lot of these used in just this way. They break up rooms to create separate sleeping areas, or sometimes just to create a private space for reading, an office, whatever.

Now, I'm NOT recommending that you get one of these, particularly if you live at the top of a three-floor walk-up (or higher!), but they ARE pretty handy. Just sayin'.

Anyway, check it out. It could be helpful.

Question: What kind of solutions have YOU come up with to deal with small or crowded living spaces in the city?

Friday, June 29, 2012

If you're trying to apply for a job with MTB...

The best way to ensure you're NOT hired is to call me. The ad on Craigslist was clear: send me your resume, tell me a little bit about yourself, don't call. This is the first test -- if you can't follow that direction, in my experience, you won't follow other, more critical directions.

I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but this is the first line of quality control.

While I've got your attention, let me remind you that if you're late to an interview, or don't show up at all, there will be no second chance.

I'll be reviewing resumes and emails early next week. That's your best bet. Thanks much!

C.

Back to the drawing board...



This is Joe, the person most responsible for the creation of My Truck Buddy. Short story: when we found out he was "cookin'," we had to scramble to find an extra source of income when my wife had to quit her day job. One thing led to another, and the business went from barely covering beer money to...well, this money sucking leviathan that's likely to put me in therapy.

Anyway, today is "Take your son to work day," apparently. He was mostly in it for the train ride, but I'm pleased to see that he's working on the "brain board," the place where I flesh out new ideas to discover how they won't work. (Sorry...it's also apparently Ennui Day.) I'm not sure where he's going with whatever idea he has, but I like what I see so far. It looks like some sort of "Circles of Responsibility" diagram. That's critical because we have a number of talented guys with certain skills I don't quite know how to implement (or pay for). Hopefully Joe will clear that up today. I'll buy him lunch if he pleases me.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Warning you from Manassas

Have you ever been to Manassas? Good. Don't come here.



I mean, there's really nothing to see out here. Circumstances forced us to move out here a year ago. I won't go into that, suffice it to say it rhymes with "Mussian Rafia" and we were compelled to skeedaddle. In that time, it's been a struggle to find happiness and enjoyment.



I mean, first of all, there's the distance. It's about 30 miles down either I-66 or I-95, both of which are a white-knuckle, aneurysm-inducing travel by car. I've taken to riding the train every day, which helps, if you can stand lush green forest scenery for 99 percent of the trip to or from the city. There are streams and occasionally wildlife, and don't even get me started on how much work one can get done when you don't have to fight the nose-to-rump rush of traffic every day.



Then there's Old Town Manassas itself. On Saturdays there's a farmer's market right by the train tracks. People mill around as though they haven't got a care in the world, "enjoying" violin music and fresh-baked bread. I guess this is where the unambitious and unmotivated go to expire.



Let me warn you: it's primitive. Not a single vendor has anything like a "Bonus Card" or reward points for your purchases. And if you actually want to risk trying some totally unique and delicious salsa, or beautiful, luscious produce without the barest hint of the safety of chemicals or pesticides, be my guest. Fortunately, there's usually some kind of Virginia vineyard represented that offers generous shots of their wares to get you by.



I had to escape the sweaty hoi polloi, so I ducked into Prospero's Books. I was immediately disappointed -- nobody assaulted me with an offer to buy an electronic book reader that can also waste my time with Internet surfing. And good luck finding anything -- row upon narrow row of wood shelving groaned with, admittedly, a huge selection of cheap books, but if there was an organizational system to it, I couldn't discern it. One could spend hours there "making discoveries" without knowing what time it is at all. And the rack of 100-year-old books? Who wants that? I couldn't find one single pop-history screed by ANY talk show host. Hello? RELEVANCE, people!



It was depressing. I bought my stack of books (on PAPER, if you can believe that!) and retreated to Simply Sweet, a nearby coffee shop. It's another one of these non-chain type of shops with no uniformity of branding to speak of. Despite my concerns, I found a table to read and write with few interruptions, and those only to ask me if I was doing alright and/or needed a refill. At least they have the humility and self-awareness to charge less than $7 for a simple cup of coffee.



Yeah, this isn't the place for you if you like city living. It's WAY too slow and friendly. Oh, and I almost forgot, if nearly untouched Civil War battlefields that send you into fits of reflection gives you hives, you definitely want to stay away from the free Manassas National Battlefield Park. You might start breaking out with "perspective" and "peace" or, God forbid, "appreciation."



I don't know how much longer we'll be able to stand it, but since we have another year on our lease, I guess we'll have to suck it up and get by. Consider yourself warned.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Yet more Yelp shenanigans

My Truck Buddy earned eight new five star reviews in June. We received a few more in May. All of the June reviews and at least one of the May reviews were archived within a few days, often less.

These are all legitimate reviews.

I try to keep this blog positive, always looking at the silver lining and all that, but right now I'm so frustrated with Yelp that if I were to see one of their executives on the side of the road with a flat tire, I'd totally not stop.

I'm sorry for my outburst. It's just hard sometimes, you know?

I'll man up and write more later.

Looking for My Truck Buddy?

Well, you found us! This is actually just the blog, though. I recently redirected an old URL to the blog because it wasn't doing much for us.

If you want to learn about how we can help you with a move or delivery, you'll want to go to MyTruckBuddy.com, the full site. (Why isn't our blog hosted on our website? Because I was a novice when I set all this up, and I still barely know what I'm doing. I can lift boxes, though.)

Feel free to poke around here, and come back frequently! We're tweaking the blog and some of our services to be more useful and, perhaps, more entertaining.

Cheers!
C.