Why You Should Work in Customer Service — At Least For A Little Bit

(The 3rd business post in two weeks — jeez — I must like this stuff… Anyway, let’s get into it).

Alright, I know you saw the title. And you’re thinking …

Customer service? That sucks!

But wait it isn’t that bad. You just need to find the right place to work.

For example, don’t work at fast food places. That’s a bad decision to make.

Why?

Cause those places have terrible hours, pay their employees horribly, and take too much time — your most valuable asset.

Instead, I highly recommend working in bars and upscale restaurants — if you want some fast cash. And little time investment.

What’s So Freaking Good ‘Bout it?

Reason Number One — Social Skills

Whether you’re a waiter, bartender, or barback, your social skills will improve. I guarantee it. Cause that’s how stuff gets done in this business.

Communication.

If you can’t communicate, you don’t make moolah. And then you die. Cause moolah is oxygen. Well, at least, to me it is.

There’s gonna be times when you’re gonna find yourself talking to two customers, one co worker, a pretty girl. And your boss. All at the same time.

And if you don’t know how to effectively communicate — you’ll perish.

When I first started my job, as a bathroom guy, I would easily talk to 50 – 100 people a night. Passing out paper towels, selling candy, gum and cologne.

It’s high paced, high volume. Wild nights — filled with booze and druggies.

At first, I’ll be honest; I was overwhelmed at the start. Cause the nightlife scene can go really fast. Too freaking fast.

But after a couple months, I got the hang of it. And noticed a major difference in how I interact with people.

I was confident. Chatting everyone up. Guys, girls. You name it…

… Even job interviews became easy for me. Like a lotta times, the interviewer would be more nervous than me.

Seriously, one time, an interviewer was literally shaking his butt off, while he asked me questions off his clipboard.

Across from him, I was calm, cool, and collected…

…That’s the power of 50 – 100 social interactions for 3 days per week. It’s like nothing to me now. Like riding a bike.

So, if your social skills are lacking – customer service jobs are the way to go.

Reason Number Two – Fast Money

Everybody loves moolah, right?

And if they don’t – they’re freaking lying.

Me? I love the dough. Even better is that I love making it fast. That’s the thing with fast food jobs. You’re making cash slow. Slaving away for 40+ hours a week for a 250-dollar check. Waste of time.

I make that in two nights. And have extra cash left over to spend on whatever I want.

Protein shakes, kombucha, shea butter –  stuff that I love.

And the other cool thing, is that if I move, I can definitely get another restaurant job anywhere I go cause they’re pretty much everywhere. 

Reason Number Third — Business Sense

So, I’m not a business guy. At all. But I do understand it cause of the books I’ve read. Trump books, Robert K, Brian Tracy books etc, etc.

As well as my Ebay trainin’.

When interacting with customers little thoughts and quotes from those pop into my head. Like one sales book preaches appearance, appearance, appearance.

After reading that, I started wearing a full suit at work. This was a good idea cause it increased my tips my 20%.  20 freakin’ percent!

Another thing I read in a Brian Tracy book was the use of active listening skills. Which I already have cause of my improv background.

My active listening skills are used to understand my customers, co workers, as well as my bosses. It’s probably the best skill if you wanna appear down to earth and relatable to people.

Cause I always hear from new customers, “You’re a chill guy, Jamual“.

Or, “You’re not annoyin’“.

To me, the reason I hear that is because in sales books they say people gotta like you to make a sale. And that’s what I try to do. That’s probably the core of my “sales strategy” – don’t be annoyin’.

The only thing bout customer service jobs is that sometimes you get wild people. And you have to deal with their craziness. So, you need a immense amount of patience and like dealin’ with craziness. And your good.

I know when I’m older, like ten years older, I’m gonna look back on my experiences and really smile about the skills that I learned being a customer service professional.

Later,

— Jamual

P.S. I’m on twitter. It’s rockin over there!

Money’s the Root of all Evil! Or is it? A Look at Rich Dad — Poor Dad

I’m very interested in money. In, fact I love it just as much as I do lifting. Or African Black Soap. Or Improv. Or doing push – ups.

I’m the guy that has many coin jars filled with quarters, pennies, dimes, and nickels.

I worked every summer in high school. And I hold on to my money religiously into the fall and winter months.

I’ve cut a bunch of expenses such as Netflix and weekly haircuts. I do my own haircuts, now.

Basically, I’m a super saver. I love saving. I even save when I don’t have to. At All.

For example, my grandma gave me cash recently. Extra cash to which I can do anything with cause I literally had work in couple hours — where I’ll make more money. But instead of spending it on something silly like clothing I don’t need — I just it in a savings account.  It was kinda heart pumping. Intense. Fun.

I love socking away moolah in hopes that it will help me in the future. That’s all I need. A cushion. All I spend my dinero on is kombucha, African black soap, and spaghetti – pretty much. Wow, I sound like a boring poo poo head. But, man, that’s all I like.

Don’t like Jordans (anymore).

Don’t buy or play video games.

Sometimes I buy books.

Don’t buy music (who does?).

Don’t care ‘bout jewelry.

Don’t care ‘bout new shirts. All I wear is black shirts from H&M. And A-shirts. And black jeans. That’s it. I’m set.

I’m a simple man.

Maybe when I get older I’ll change it up a bit. But I don’t see that happening anytime soon. I really like those freaking black H & M shirts.

Anyway, this book is awesome. To me.

The author, Robert K gets a lotta slack for being too salesy. And kinda being an fraud. But some stuff that he says in his books — match what other successful people say.  So, he has to be doing something right, right?

These are just a couple point points that I’ve gathered from his book …

Number One —  Save 10% of your Income

I’ve seen lotta bloggers and personal gurus preach this. And you know what? I love, love, love it. This taps into my natural strengths in terms of finance.

I know how to delay instant gratification.

I may not be able to raise my income as well. (Basically learn how to sell more)

But I can save a good part of it. Which older Jamual will be thanking me for. I know it. Cause who couldn’t use a few extra dollars, you know?

I also love this saving stuff cause I make a sport outta it. Every week or so, I increase the amount I save. So sometimes I save 10% of my income. Sometimes 12%. Sometimes 13%.

You should see me run over to the bank — big ole smile on my face.  Whatever the amount is — I chuck it away for a later date. Then I can use that for …

Emergencies.

Business ideas.

Helping a family member or friend.

Splurge on special nice (probably never).

Saving is awesome for me. Cause trust me — I’ll rather have money saved than no money at all. I freaking know that feeling. And I like having moolah way, way, way better. It’s like a little a big pillow.

Number Two — Best Selling Writer

In chapter 6 — a big chapter for me — Robert talks bout a convo he had with a writer. Basically she asked how to be a best selling writer.

He said to study advertising and public relations, basically. I’m paraphrasing… The writer didn’t get it. She didn’t wanna sell the book. But she wanted to be a best selling author Sounds super crazy, right?

I’ve heard this a lot from artists.

I’m not a salesperson.

Selling’s tough.

It’s not about the money. It’s about the art.

All that is BS. And I can’t relate. Cause I love the dough. I have a appreciation for it. And always will.

Newsflash: Artists should be paid for their work.

Their just like everyone else. They did a job: created a something — a product, most likely. They should be paid.

Just like that Mcdonald’s employee. Or a boss at a firm. Everybody wants and needs money. And for a artist to blatantly disregard sales and marketing and finance  — cause it’s too hard — is not a smart move at all.

As we speak I looking up how the owner of McDonald’s – Ray Kroc – expanded the brand. The book is called The E – myth by Michael Gerber.

 Then I’m gonna amply to my life. Give some structure to it. That’s good for freaking self  development. You know how many YOLO through life. Then when their like 40s. They stop. And have a mid life crisis.

Trust me I know. I work at a bar.  Grown men and women that act like kids are wild, unhinged, and seem kinda lost. Why? I think cause they lack structure in life. They shoot from the hip way way to much. Maybe they should go work at McDonald’s — give ‘em some structure. Actual advice of Robert himself to help run a turn key franchise.

Hell, this selling stuff has even got me by the throat. Literally as I’m writing this, I’m looking up old sale letters like the Rolls Royce ad by the late great David Ogilvy.

jamualwritescom.jpg

And writing them out by hand. Why? To understand copywriting — salesmanship in print. This method has been approved by many copywriters that make money.  And I do it a lot. Personally, writing them out by really changed the way I write other forms…

My emails/text are more short and to the point.

My creative writing (I’m a screenwriting major) moves quick as hell. It’s tighter. Nicely wrapped.

After writing ads, my writing has self awareness. Like I know someone’s gonna read this other than me. So, I focus on explaining stuff as simple as possible. Basically like Twitter.

Which leads to my other gripe ‘bout other writers. Alotta of their work is super selfish. Especially their creative writing. (Trust me I critique screenplays.) They’re only writing for themselves. They’re not thinking ‘bout the audience. At all.

When you write, man, write to one person. Say everything you wanna say to this person as if they were across from you from you. I do this with everything I write. Tweets. Short stories. Blog posts. Everything. Be less selfish. Please.

Okay, wow — I went in on this post.

Personally, I could write way more on this book. But you’ll be reading forever. So, I’ll stop here.

It’s a good book for a introduction to personal finance, business, personal development.

I’ll read those books too. And give thoughts on ‘em.

Till next time,

Jamual

P.S. If you wanna follow me on twitter — boom click this! Twitter’s fun!

Bye, bye

Why Trump Is Winning the Attention Game — The Wild Card of Politricks

I’m excited for this election. Way, way too much.

Why?

Cause politics is super boring. At least, to me.

But this election cycle has been super wild to say the least. And it’s all cause of one person…

Trump.

Now, say what you wanna say bout the policies. Or the crazy stuff that shoots out his mouth. The man can get a crowd excited. And come out to his rallies. Clinton? Nah, not at all. She’s boring as hell.

What does Trump do?

Well, after studying both candidates, I’ve noticed that he’s a firestarter. A wild card. A rebel in the political sphere. I’ve never seen a man like this ever. And as amateur “business student”. There’s a ton to learn ’bout marketing and personal branding and winning the attention game.

First off, it’s the language he uses. He speaks plainly. Like a copywriting ad. Or like a Ernest Hemingway book. Or a pulp novel from the 1940s. It’s very masculine. And makes him very, very easier to understand. Which can expand to the uneducated. And super educated. When I first heard him talk, I immediately knew exactly what he was doin’. It was something straight out of a copywriting/marketing/business handbook.

Hearing this made me flip out. Here was this super rich business guy, using techniques in a marketing book that I learned ’bout a couple months ago.

Me, as a broke student writer, freaked out. How is he doin’ this? Are these techniques that powerful? Well, I guess they are, cause he won the Republican nomination — pretty darn easily.

Next was his appearance. Look at this…

donald-trump-make-america-great-politics_0.jpg

American Personal Branding

… What does he look like to you? What does it remind you off?

Real American values? Sports? Beer? Truckers? Blue collar workers?

Boom!

That’s what his supporters — the majority — of them respond too. This character. This archetype. They’re people who don’t trust the government. And are affected by the lack of manufacturing jobs. With just one element, the hat, Trump has connected with millions of Americans.

In marketing, marketers know people respond to characters. And this is a character. From the shape of the suits to the hat, everything is a disguise to appeal to voters. This is pretty genius. I dunno if I’m the only person that notices it. No one in this election cycle has had stronger branding. Hilary is trying to do it with women. But it hasn’t been consistent. At All.

Next…

Trump has a wild mouth. And since he’s not a politician. He can use language in ways that regular politicians cannot. Imagine, boring Hilary saying the stuff he says. She’ll be crucified.

And this causes excitement. And keeps all the attention on him. Whether it’s good or bad. This is masterful marketing. He always refocuses it back on to him. If I had a real business, I would be studying this like crazy. Cause it’s super important.

Like Dan Kennedy said, ” Marketing is your business.

Cause without customers — your business dies. And without sales too (of course)…

… And here is he’s biggest thing…

… The man is super entertaining to watch. Which makes people think,”I gotta watch this guy. He’s gonna say some wild stuff.” At least that’s what happened to me.

Example was the first debate. Every time Hilary spoke, I tuned out. And it was hard to stay focused on her. Why? She speaks like dry politician. Boring stuff.

Trump? Heard every word. And laughed like crazy. Even hood guys around my house, were quoting that man. Yo! Hood guys don’t even care ’bout politics last time I checked.

And just so you know — I don’t like neither of ’em, politically. I’m an undecided.

But Trump is so hard to ignore that you get sucked in.

Wanna know what that is?

Strong branding.

Like Steve Jobs with people lining up and pitching tents to buy a phone with small upgrades.

Like Jordans where young black guys get shot for ’em.

Like McDonald’s with cheap good tasting food that gives you heart disease.

Strong branding creates die hard fans. That would defend you — no matter what. And keep you comin’ back for more.

This is what Trump has. And Hilary doesn’t.

Personally, I can’t wait for more debates. It’s been super entertaining. And I’m gonna be super sad when it’s over.

But I’ve learned a whole lot bout marketing that most people won’t even notice. Score for me! Make Writing Great Again!!! #MWGA! #JamualWrites

920x920.jpg

American Branding — Again

 

Things I’ve Noticed After Making Over 60 Bucks on EBay in 3 Weeks

I’ve really been into business lately. Mostly over the summer. I’ve been reading business books by Trump, Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins, and of course, finance guru — Robert Kiyosaki.

Why am doin’ this?

Well, since I have this blog — I thought might as well figure out how to expand this out, you know, all through marketing and branding.

Now, I’m not a natural entrepreneur by any means. It’s not my number one talent. At All.

My number one talent is that I’m a writer. That’s my strength. It’s been my strength since I was born. Ever since I was a kid locked in his room with a of couple books. And his silly imagination.

I’m the guy that goes to the book store. And stays there for 5 plus hours. And no one can find ’em.

I’m the guy that gets excited by James Patterson, Elmore Leonard, and James Cain thrillers.

I’m the guy that gets high scores on the reading part of the SAT. And flunks the math part.

I’m the guy — okay, I’ll stop now…

… But now, I’ve noticed that to expand my career — whether I wanna be a entrepreneur or an regular employee —  I’m gonna need more skills to become marketable.

So, I’ve been studying to get some overall business savvy skills. Over the summer, I’ve studied marketing, finance, branding, sales, and customer service (which I’m already good at) …

… Then I thought ’bout a whole host of hustles to do to get some experience. This blog was big part of it earlier in the year.

I even tried niches site, which I haven’t figured out yet.

But I did start selling video games on EBay. An idea I got from Gary V — the social media guru.

The whole experience has been pretty exciting. Where I’ve developed a nice little process for it.

Let me tell ya what it was:

On a day where I didn’t have anything to,  I would wake up. And walk to a video game store like Gamestop or something. Then go to the used games section and a buy cheap game. And then throw the listing up on EBay. And wait till it sells. Easy, huh?

Over the months of July and August, I did this project and I was really excited to use other skills  besides writing. I marketed, did operations, and customer service. I was a one man EBay selling machine. It was fun, fun, fun. Making money on the side is a amazing hobby for people. Especially for people like me with no business savvy whatsoever.

The Number Thing I’ve Noticed 

The number thing I’ve noticed ’bout running a business is that it’s hard, hard, hard. And it takes time, time, time. It’s a real grind.

I’ve been watching my boss for while — who owns a bar/ restaurant. And that man seems stressed all the time. You can tell by the look in his eyes. Always having to deal with stuff breaking, employees acting weirdly, customers fighting, burning cash at super fast rate.

One day, I heard him yelling on the phone saying, ” F you, f you, f you,” repeatedly  at a person. It was crazy. And showed me that running a business is serous, serious, business. And if you don’t know what you’re doing. And can’t take hits, emotionally. Or know your finances. Or can’t sell — you’re gonna be in deep deep doo – doo. 

Overall, if you wanna start a business or have a business — more power to ya. It’s a bunch of work.  But the skills you learn are amazing to talk bout. Or throw up on a resume. You just gotta figure out your strengths. And see where you fit in.

1982greatcarrots.jpg

Apple — The best branding! Ever!

3 Benefits Of Improv Comedy

Improv Comedy’s fun. Really fun.

And has given me a lot in life.

Besides hitting on girls in train stations — nothing can compare to it.

Nothing. 

Let me tell you a quick story —

For 4 years straight, I was obsessed with it. On weekends it was all I did — attending classes, doing jams (performing in front of others), and watching comedy shows.

Some days I would hit all the well-known theaters (UCB, Magnet, and the Pit). And just perform.

In my afternoon screenwriting class, I would stare at the clock until it hit 6 PM.

At 6, I would race outta there in order to make it to the 3 hour class at 7 in Manhattan.

I caught the performing bug and it wouldn’t leave my body.

It was my passion (which has now switched to writing), obsession, and first lesson in self-development.

Without further ado, here are the top benefits of being a improviser.

Number 1 — Social Skills 

Job interviews make you nervous?

Business meetings, presentations for school?

Wanna talk to random strangers — just for the heck of it?

How bout that crush of yours?

Cat got your tongue when talking to them?

Solution: Improv.

After four years of this stuff, I can tell you that giving presentations are easy for me. I can talk to anybody I want on the street and don’t feel any social anxiety. Especially on job interviews.

If you do some Improv — you won’t either. I promise you.

Do enough classes, enough scenes, and enough performances — your charisma will increase.

Also, one of the big principles in Improv is active listening – which means actually listening to people, shutting the hell up and letting someone speak for once.

This will help strengthen your interpersonal relationships.

Why?

Because most people, you and I, don’t get heard — at all.

People are always talking over us and not hearing us out (our loved ones, friends, and bosses).

So by using active listening, you’ll learn to hear people out — which will make you more empathetic in business, at home and in the streets.

Is this you when presenting?

Do improv!!!

Number 2 — Creativity  

So, I’ve always been a creative guy. Used to play the keyboard and draw a lot when I was younger. And I used to get a lot of creative blocks, getting stuck for weeks on a project.

This happens to you a lot?

Then Improv will help.

You know all those comedy actors/ writers on TV — like Tina Fey and Will Ferrell.

They make tons of funny shows… And get paid a bunch of $$$ …

How do they come up with that?

Well, they put in 10,000 hours of improv practice — thus making them funny “creative geniuses.”

You may not wanna become a famous entertainer, but you may wanna be able to create more ideas or increase your problem solving skills.

After an prolonged exposure to Improv — you’ll sprout ideas like a fountain.

You’ll become adaptable — which is a needed for future business leaders. Or anyone interested in self development.

The way Improv helps you do this is through — Yes and…

This principle is easy to understand.

Basically, when you have an idea, don’t negate it! Instead add to it, build it up. Ask yourself, “What if.” Don’t edit yourself.

This is the basis of idea generation  — I use this to make loglines for stories (I can create 10 ideas in about 5 minutes).

Try spitting out 10 ideas in 5 minutes. It’s harder than it seems. But will increase your problem solving skills tenfold!

The best fiction writers and Ad – men/women do this effortlessly everyday.

Did you know Ferrell was a Ad Man?

Number 3 — Fun

If your life needs a little shaking up, sign up for a class.

You’ll meet a wide range of people.

I’ve met actors, actresses, programmers, small business owners, comedians and many others through this stuff.

I’ve drank and partied with a wide variety of them too. Now, I have strong, personal memories that I’ll never forget.

After you go through 3 hours of performing (a super emotional experience) you’ll feel so close to your scene partners — that’ll feel like you’ve known them forever.

Weird, huh?

That’s the power of improv!

Annual Festival at the UCB!

***** Disclaimer *****

Just more thing… Improv isn’t magic.

It takes months years of consistent practice to get good.

You’re not gonna get socially confident after one class.

Honestly, it didn’t click for me until my second year of doing this stuff…

I highly recommend it though — especially if your social skills are non existent.

I truly love it.

If I didn’t do four years of improv, I wouldn’t have gotten the job I have now,  obtained a bunch of friends or written 3 feature scripts (more on that later)…

Now, find your local theater, sign up for a class & go make somebody laugh!!

Perform your booty off!

— Jamual