25 May 2009

Book Review: "Meatball Sundae: How New Marketing is Transforming the Business World" By Seth Godin

"Meatball Sundae: How New Marketing is Transforming the Business World" By Seth Godin

Anyone in business is certainly facing a major paradigm shift in how to market. Seth Godin builds on Thomas McCraw's reasoning that there have been 3 major industrial revolutions. Godin goes onto to say that the 4th is the next one in which we are entering.

What intrigues me is that the 4th revolution seems similar to what life was like previous to the 1st: people working for themselves, perhaps at home, in a community oriented fashion (althought the community is no longer defined by geography). The difference lies in who has the power, finally consumers can get whatever they like without having big corporations or the fuedal lord telling them what they want. Essentially, we are all getting what humans have always wanted: to be treated with respect and to be connected to other like-minded people.

Godin gives 14 trends as tactical advice in the New Marketing. As he points out, "Successful organizations are built around successful marketing tactics. Without the tactics, there's nothing." Certainly marketing is essential to all business models, and marketing should be embraced at the core of every business.

As I am writing a business plan, of which I do not want to reveal at this junction, but the most pertiant points, in my opinion, are:
  • Trend 1: Direct Communciation Between Producers and Consumers
  • Trend 2: Amplifciation of the Voice of the Consumer and Independent Authorities
  • Trend 5: The Long Tail
  • Trend 12: The Shift from "How Many" to "Who"
I recommend this book for anyone interested in marketing or the paradigm shift that we are experiencing. It was recommended to me by a professor at University of Stellenbosch Business School.

What other business books would you recommend? I hope to read more of Godin's books after I get to a bookstore where English books are sold.

18 May 2009

A Myriad of Jobs

I am the sort of person who enjoys variety. This is very reflective of my personality, the need to explore the world, and how I can contribute to it positively.

When people read my CV or dig into my career history, some items seem to have some shock and/or awe value. In particular, I worked full-time at a fish market, part-time at a tea store, and full-time as an English teacher in Osaka, Japan.

Working at Coastal Seafoods was a great experience. It was physically demanding and actually taught me a lot about haute cuisine. As Coastal offers many cooking classes, I was also able to gain a breadth of knowledge about general cooking techniques and fish specifics. I had not really learned to cook much before that; therefore, it was great to impress my friends and family with my fish culinary expertise.

Working at The Tea Source was only a part-time gig whilst I toiled away full-time at my investments job. It was a nice change of pace from my posh cube as I chit-chatted with customers and tried an amazing variety of tea. I really enjoy the little things in life like that, so doing this part-time job was both fun and educational.

While my 3 years in Japan was an incredible experience that I continue to expand upon, I really enjoyed my students. They were an inspiration to me in so many arenas. They also taught me valuable life lessons including: results are not as important as the process, always try your hardest, slow and steady wins the race, and do what you love. There is no way to measure what I learned, but I can assure you that I could write about it at some length.

All-in-all, the plethora of jobs I've held down has enriched my life immensely. These 3 may be the "odd" jobs that stand out immediately, but certainly my other jobs also contributed greatly to the quality of my life. Thus, I am continuing to search for my next, big, life-changing career move.

13 May 2009

Theseus-EDHEC Class of 2009

My EDHEC Class of 2009 , nicknamed T20, is a wonderfully diverse group of people in terms of nationality, professional background, and personality. There are 42 of us from 23 different countries. I have had the pleasure to work and interact with everyone in both group and individual situations. This has led to a steep learning curve in working with an international collection of professionals. My previous 3 years in Japan was still quite global, but there was more of an emphasis on Japan and English speaking countries in my network. Therefore, T20 has really had a positive impact on me personally and professionally. 

My favorite aspect of T20 is our diversity. Between us, we know many languages and many of us have lived outside our home countries besides just France. T20 has been a catalyst for different perspectives, innovation, and information on a myriad of subjects and fields. For example, if I would like to gain insight on a Chinese point of view, I can ask 3 of my colleagues and a 4th if I want a more Hong Kong interpretation. It's very helpful and allows me to understand both each person better individually and culturally.

T20 has granted me, and will continue to permit me, to understand international relations and business in-depth and on meaningful level. 

I would like to thank my T20 cohorts, I really appreciate your continued support.

10 May 2009

Forecasting Time Management

I find that I have many opportunities to upgrade my time management skills as I am currently scheduling 100% of my time by myself. I seem to underestimate the time that any one particular project may take, which makes predicting and scheduling difficult.

As a result, I am taking the bull by the horns and laying out everything I can in the greatest amount of detail possible. Here is just an overview of my project list:

  • Writing a business plan for a start-up design company
  • Selecting a new job
  • Designing a professional website for myself
  • Creating a personal mood board
  • Studying for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level 2
  • Becoming more fit and healthy
  • Traveling whilst in Europe before returning to the U.S.
I will further break down each item into actionable items and milestones. I prefer to do this on paper and will translate this into something tangible in order to better forecast the necessary time to complete each step.

09 May 2009

Executive Summary

Bonjour and bienvenue to my memoirs.

I would like to introduce you to myself, the vision, and objective of my new blog. My memoirs is intended to be my opinion on professional matters in my life. I have several areas in which I would like to share and discuss with others.

A brief background: I am finishing my MBA from Theseus-EDHEC (EDHEC for short) in Nice, France. I will write a business plan for an art company starting within the next month and am currently doing research to support it. I have a myriad of life and professional experience that spans 3 continents (specifically the U.S., Japan, and France), several industries (banking, life insurance, investments, education, and niche food markets), and differing roles (Customer Service Associate, Team Leader, Compliance Officer, and English Teacher).

Vision: to create a niche for my unique skills and support others to do the same. 

Purpose: to build a great community, and create a dymanic platform for contributing ideas, thoughts, and stories.

Thank you for your time!

Rebecca J. Faught