experience

How to be an expert (and Spot One if You're Not)

How to be an expert (and Spot One if You're Not)

Recent long flights have given me some time to think about what makes someone an "expert" in their field?

This question first came to mind when I was invited to speak at a conference for shopping center and destination marketers. I realized that I've become someone that others look to, an expert, when they need more information on the professional travel marketplace.

When did this happen? I didn't study tourism in school, I hate shopping and I never even took a class on destination marketing; in fact, I never knew this field existed when I entered the work place. That all changed for me when I accepted a sales position for a well-recognized restaurant concept that has several locations in areas where tourists love to gather. 

Thinking about how I became a "go-to" person on this topic has made me think about how anyone becomes a person to call when others need help, about how people become experts in their field. It isn't as simple as learning everything there is to know about a topic and printing up business cards. We all know someone who thinks they've learned everything there may be to know about a subject and can't find their way out of a wet paper bag - you have my permission to call these folks "educated idiots."

So... What is an expert?

Don't Throw Up on Me

You’ve probably been there, struggling to stay alert during the seventy-fourth consecutive appointment at an industry trade show. Another supplier sits down and immediately starts spitting out details about their newest feature, fresh remodel, dollars spent on new towels, great rates, etc. After a while, these all start to sound the same - like a supplier is spitting up features & benefits. 

Then there’s one.  One supplier who stops by your table and tells you a wonderful story about an experience your guests would love to have. The story sells. Buyers care less about what you have to offer and more about what their experience will be with your product.

Best Way to Have Outstanding References

Best Way to Have Outstanding References

Last week, I thought I had a phone stalker on my cell. I didn't recognize the number and the caller ID had a weird name. Finally, I picked up the phone. It turned out to be the head of HR for a company in NYC doing a reference check on an intern I had 5+ years ago. I was totally caught off-guard. I hadn't heard from this person in over two years, was given no warning I'd be contacted, and didn't even know what position he was applying for. I did my best to give a good recommendation, but I know there was confusion in my voice.

I hung up the phone and thought, "That was annoying." As a career coach, I know the solution is to let the young person know and counsel him to never let that happen again. But, I have to wonder how many references out there might be so annoyed by something like this that they'd just swear to never be a reference again?

How to Craft the Perfect Email Subject Line

How to Craft the Perfect Email Subject Line

According to some estimates, more than 144 billion emails are sent every day—and, sometimes, it seems like every one of them lands in your inbox.

Even those of us who are tasked with creating email marketing campaigns aren't immune to information overload: We all know what it's like to be bombarded with email messages—all competing for a share of our attention during a busy day.

If it's your job to come up with a subject line that is compelling enough to cut through all that clutter, it's a good idea to apply your experience as an email recipient to help you craft the perfect subject line. What gets your attention? How do you decide which emails to trash unopened and which to read?

It really is the best medicine! Laughter boosts brain health and reduces stress hormone, study shows

It really is the best medicine! Laughter boosts brain health and reduces stress hormone, study shows

Belly-laughter has been proven to reduce the stress hormone cortisol, boosting brain health and keeping mental levels sharp.

Laughter really is the best medicine, and can reduce stress levels while improving brain function.

Turns out laughter really is the best medicine. Particularly when it's of the belly-laugh variety, the kind that produces brain waves akin to levels seen in people who reach "a true state of meditation."

That's according to new research out of the Loma Linda University in Southern California that suggests making a concerted effort to make laughter a part of your daily routine -- an easy and medicine-free method for reducing the stress hormone cortisol, boosting brain health and keeping mental levels sharp.