3 Lessons Learned From Workin’ In A Non Profit

Before the summer started, I was pretty bored. All I had was my weekend customer service gig. And fitness time. And this blog. I really needed somethin’ else to do.

So earlier this summer, I decided to volunteer my talents to non profits.

I lucked out with one close by me, to be a marketin’ assistant.

And the experience’s been pretty cool. I’ve haven’t done any non profit work since high school. Where I taught South African children English. And did some community service projects like planting flowers and stuff. So I thought it was gonna take some gettin’ used too. But this time that wasn’t the case…

… At this non profit, I’ve been doin’  very lil’ physical work. It’s mostly computer work (which is awesome).

I was ’round pretty like minded individuals who talk bout marketin’,  sales, as well as pr. It’s purely a start up environment.  Where everybody’s their doin’ their own projects – plannin’ events, researchin’, callin’ up sponsors, etc.

For me – I’m mostly doin’ research for them. And got to show off my actin’ skills in a video too. Which was really fun.

This experience has taught me quite a bit in terms of workin’ in different workplaces.

These are the things that I’ve learned…

Number One

Communication Is Key

This non profit is filled with marketers and pr people and actors and artists. And we’re always plannin’ new and excitin’ events. And since we’re a non profit – we’re always lookin’ for ways to get companies/people to donate. So the top skills I’ve seen bein’ worked on really hard are communication and teamwork.

Someone is always sharin’ a email. Or a spreadsheet. Or a Goggle Doc.

Someone is always on the phone, lookin’ for good way to ask someone to donate their money, energy, and time.

Communication is key. 

It’s the heart and soul of this organization. And I bet a whole lotta of others. Well, successful ones, at least.

I’ve spent years and years doin’ improv in teams, and workin’ the restaurant industry, so bein’ in a team is easy for me.  Actually I prefer it cause I’m mostly an extrovert. And like to be ’round people. But I can work lone wolf style too.

Even though I can be kinda quiet (I’m not super talkative) I seem to do well in workin’ when in teams. And teamwork makes the dream work.

Number Two

A Good Leader Helps A Whole Lot

I’ve read a good amount of books on leadership. ‘Specially Peter Drucker – whose writin’ on management is fairly good. You should check him out.

The leader/founder at my non profit is a good one. He’s pretty patient with everyone, a very skilled communicator, and is very good at assignin’ tasks to volunteers.

One interestin’ thing I’ve noticed that he does is every 20 minutes or so,  he checks in with a person or group to see the progress that they’ve made on a project.

It’s a very good way to stay on top of people. Really keeps us on our toes (since most people can slack off – no matter what their age). There’s also a no cell phone policy too. Which helps with focus.

Number Three 

Structure Is Key 

When I started workin’, I had a orientation, a rule book in the form of a PowerPoint, and a couple other forms. At first, I thought this was unnecessary, but after thinkin’ it over – it was pretty darn necessary.

Also – when I walk in, I’m usually assigned a project to work on right away. And I’m workin’ on that project for the remainder of the day. Sometimes I’m workin’ on two or three projects at a time. That was last week. That was fun.

I like structure. And multiple projects. Keeps morale way up.

Even though this is a start up environment, which is known for bein’ very loose,  that keeps the vibe is cool, but the steady stream of projects and events keep my engine runnin’. Guess that’s why I haven’t left yet, despite workin’ there for 3 months already.

All in all, I’m really happy with my summer work this year, I actually feel of use, where I can be self startin’, be a generalist – cause I have a wide skill set. And just be ’round like minded people.

Highly recommend non profit work. ‘Specially if want to be ’round people, and meaningful work.

Really nice change of pace from the for profit sector.

Later,

Jamual

 

What Does Customer Service Mean To You?

I’ve been workin’ customer service jobs since I was in high school.

Since 14, I believe.

I’ve done whole lot too.

Worked in public schools, retail, offices, parks, recreation centers, bars/ restaurants, theaters.

Cleaned up facilities. Sold stuff (B2C). Cold called folks.

Promotional stuff (handin’ out flyers). Posted signage. Emailed over 500 clients a day.

Worked gruelin’ 15 hour shifts. Grindin’ it out for tips.

I work.

Super hard too.

Through all this, I’ve gained a ton of street smarts and an understandin’ of customers. And people, in general.

Besides workin’ a whole lotta jobs – I’ve also been on a bunch of job interviews. Probably over 75 in the span of 4 years. Not kiddin’ at all either.

And interviewers always ask me the question – What Does Customer Service Mean To You?

And that question should be a question that should stump you, but it’s real easy.

Customer service is problem solvin’ by bein’ as calm as possible. And doin’ it quickly as possible.  Basically, conflict resolution.

Cause problems will always happen.

Stuff will break down.

People will act crazy (cause they’re irrational and emotional).

You just act calm. And patiently address the problem.

And here’s the surprisin’ thing I’ve noticed – some customers you just can’t help. At all.

For whatever reason.

Maybe they don’t like you.

Maybe they’re too far gone, emotionally.

Maybe they wanna steal your money.

If none of your persuasive abilities work on the customer – then, sadly, that’s not the customer for you.

You can’t help every customer.

Just be nice. And find some else can help them.

Another vender. Another employee. Another store.

And, yes, you’re losin’ business.

But if you’re tryin’ to help a customer.And you’ve set rules, prices, guidelines. And they can’t meet ’em.

And you’ve tried your best to work somethin’ out – then, that’s it.

Point ’em somewhere else. To someone that can help ’em.

Just be nice ’bout it.

Later,

Jamual

Simple An’ Easy – The Best Way To Market Yourself

Lately, I’ve been studyin’ marketin’.  Besides my fitness/ health.

And been expertmentin’ with Twitter. And this blog to communicate my own ideas.

Also – I have a couple of acticles bout Nike and The Black Card. As well the new American President’s marketin’ methods.

Basically, to me – marketn’ is the unique way to get your message out. And with the Internet, you can get the message usin’ many, many different ways.

Twitter, blogs (wordpress, medium), Snaphat, Youtube, Linkedin are just some a few.

Social media/ Internet marketin’ has leveled the playin’ field different for biz owners, entertainers, and even amateur business like students – like me. Where we can try stuff out for free without buyin’ ad space.

So, with my understandin’ of marketin’ – I look out for really, really good marketers too. I watch super popular Youtube videos and think – why are these more popular than others?

Or.

A super viral tweet.

Or.

Trendin’ topics on Twitter. Or on Youtube.

A lot of times that leads to music videos that are really popular on Youtube.

Like this one –

It has 118 million views on Youtube. Holy Moly!

There’s also this one – that I personally like – which has 70 millions views –

Then the granddaddy of Promoters right now – DJ Khaled –

He’s clockin’ in at 107 views.

Crazy – crazy.

I also read DJ Khaled’s book – The Keys. And – I gotta say – it’s pretty funny. And it’s full of he’s lil’ catch phrases. And is extremely easy to read.

He uses words like “Keys” Fan Luv” “We the Best.

And expands on what they mean in each chapter.

Now, you might be thinkin’ – “This is stupid. DJ Khaled is a  dumb DJ. Who does nothin‘.”

But you’re wrong – have you seen him on Snapchat? Or instagram?

He’s a master marketer/ promoter.

And he’s hilarious.

Basically, what’s doin’ is spreadin’ his message through his catchphrases. Which are simple an’ easy to understand.

President Trump does this like crazy.

Simple an’ easy words stick in your head longer.

You probably can remember a whole lot of things Trump has said over the last 3 years. But not Hilary.

Simple an’ easy is reason why.

That’s how you communcate.

Simple. Short. Concise.

Hemingway knew it. Did it. And the rule still remains today.

Do it. You won’t be disappointed.

Later,

Jamual

Black Card – The Essence Of Cool

We all have favorite brands, don’t we?

Nike.

Apple.

Coke.

Facebook.

Brands are all around us. Talkin’ to us. Persuadin’ us to buy their products.

Pushin’ commercials, emails, and pictures in our faces.

It’s the way it is. Marketin’ and advertisin’ is huge. Controls the world.

Hell, our latest President used basic Marketin’ techniques to win the Presidency.

For example, look at these three examples that I pointed out on twitter…

Now, for me, my favorite type of brands are luxury brands and motivational brands.

Nike is a motivational brand. And other fitness brands too.

So is Eric Thomas. And Tony Ribbons.

Anythin’ that wants you to get up. And get goin’ is a strong motivational brand.

Those brands gives me a nice burst of energy.

For example, after watchin’ Eric Thomas, I feel inspired to go out and kill the day.

He has a awesome ability to take his passion. And transfer it to another person. Even through video or a podcast.

My second favorite type of brand are luxury brands. You know, Ferrari,  Louis Vutton, Rolls Royce, Rolex, the Trump Tower, etc.

I like those brands a lot cause they represent coolness. Makes you feel like your on top of the world.

For example, if I bought you a Rolex watch, and you wore it around, you would feel awesome.

You would feel high priced. High valued.

That’s how these brands get you to buy.

By makin’ you feel cool.

So, the latest commercial I’ve seen is pretty cool.

It’s for the Black Card. Which is a credit card for only high income earners.

The ad is cool cause they use the color black. Which psychologically represents mystery, and seductiveness.

They also have the actor in a light leather jacket and a motorcycle.

Why?

Cause leather jackets and motorcycles are cool!

The background music cool too. Makes the world comes alive.

Also, we see the actor drive to a super nice restaurant. And meet up with other people who are probably as rich and powerful as he is.

This short 30 second story showcases why I love luxury brands.

It taps into human wants of being accepted by others.

And taps into a human want of status.

When humans get status, they feel better ’bout themselves.

This is the essence of luxury brands. Or what I like to call ’em – The Cool Brands…

You can watch the Black Card commercial below.