May 5th, 2011. One month ago…


One month ago I wrote:

As I mentioned in the previous entry, I am desiring to find a way to work for the local vintage bicycle store, and so I have come up with an idea.  I am going to try my best to offer a proposal, ie:  What I have to offer, what I desire, my thoughts, observations, etc.  Here is what I have so far…. Of course this “proposal” is in the preliminary stages, but it’s a start

March 25th, 2011

Before I walked into the store, I recorded my thoughts onto a personal hand-held miniature recorder:

Preliminary thoughts:

“I would like to say, “What is your mission, and what would you like to see happen with this store?”

Also maybe, “Do you care to see it better?”

Thought:  “I am determined to get my foot in the door.”

Also, “What do you hope to see happen with the store?” ie, what changes, if any, have you thought about and are interested in making?”

Acknowledged that he may be happy with the way that things are set up.  Inner dialog:  “Do I need to work somewhere where change is welcome?” (I believe I benefit from being heard and having my ideas taken seriously).

I need to find out the mission; the over all aim, and what it comes down to is whether or not he wants to expand upon it.

Inner dialog:  I should call myself a “solutions specialist” because I can see what areas need improvement and am quick to spot inefficiency and uselessness.   I excel where change is needed.

I also need to be clear on my motives, what it is I am looking for, and what it is I have to offer.

Notes taken while at the shop:

QUALITY

Wanted:  Part-time (2-3 days a week) work w/the potential of full-time

I can walk into a room and instantly size-up a person or situation

-Want to have keys on me while I work

“Everyone can use a bicycle,” I thought to myself

Customer advice:  Cash only!

As good as your word (my observation of the place, and especially the owner’s behavior)

Intuitive, great sense of humor, thrifty, health focus (in terms of Curtis)

Been in business nearly 3 decades; 13 years at this location – history of 3 locations.

To do/interested in:
-Maintenance
-Organization
-Selling Note:  Organization  + Selling = Marketing!  (Interested in marketing approaches)

Improve/build website
-Create Q&A guide (physical and online) w/simple but practical buying information for customers

-Would like to create visual aids (part of marketing) Note:  The visual aids will provide an additional tool to help customers understand and learn the differences about bikes and help them better be able to choose/select a bike that is right for them, and it will seek to educate (inform) the public and potential shoppers on the options for choosing a bike and even enhancing the bike.  I can (have the ability/strength) to take something complex and turn it into something simple, easy-to-understand, and effective, increasing customer satisfaction and sales.

All of the employees are thrifty (observation)
“Humanitarian” feel-  owner, employees, customers

Observation:  Close to Whole Foods (Ideal location; practical, where I eat/buy groceries, meet good like-minded, similar valued people)

Friendly, knowledgeable staff
“Mechanically sound” – I like this, and I believe it (integrity is demonstrated 100% — this is rare, phenomenal)
Look up:  Gear usage

Look up/research in order to learn about and be able to sell:
-Seats
-Helmets
-Locks

-Type of handle bars
-Type of rims
-Pedals
-Grips for handle bars
-Type/color (options) of reflectors
-Tires – Research thoroughly

I would like to be able (Knowledge + Experience) to disassemble and re-assemble my entire bike AND all the bikes in the store

I like that the men are real and down-to-earth – they are knowledgeable, sincere, and passionate
My belief:  Bikes are beautiful and practical
I would absolutely love to go to bike swaps (I love travel, and I could also learn this way, as well as meet people)

I am eager to learn

I need to know the over all goal – the mission

Mission/Goal
Objective

So that I can work towards –
Contribute
to attaining it

Passion
Curiosity

Strength of Mine:  Pro’s/Con’s focus
Ability to identify Ability to quickly size up situations

My belief:  Everyone can benefit from a bicycle and trying one is the first step, which can then lead to owning one! (This is the belief that I will operate from, that will go on in the back of my mind, which will inevitably and involuntarily fuel sales)

Recorded thoughts after meeting with Curtis:

I don’t want to sound too eager; I want to fix up my bike, and then help others fix up theirs so that they’re happy.  I think I would really enjoy working with bikes; I’m going to do some research tonight to learn more.  I could really digg it working there.  I like that a bicycle is not just a “thing;” it’s practical – and not only is it practical, but it’s useful so it aligns with my values.

I want to say to him, “What do you want from me; I can deliver.”  If it’s quick turn around, I can do it.  “If it’s organization, I can do it. If it’s leadership/management, I can do it.”  I just want to be happy and love the work that I do.  If I have to put together a proposal or plan in order to get this job I will do it. I want to say “teach me everything there is to know about bicycles.”

I’m going to say to him, “Alright this is what I have for you and show him the notes and research.

“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”

I think I can learn a lot from Curtis.
He apparently can size people up; I wonder what he thinks about me.
If he provides the opportunity, I will give back.
If he tells me the goal, I will do my best to satisfy and fulfill the mission.
I can be his “go-to” person.
I will do what it takes to learn the trade inside out.
I can only learn work under certain people, and I am willing to work under him (that is rare; I have to trust that someone is knowledge and knows what they’re talking about)
I would rather make less money working for him more hours than working somewhere else less hours making more money.

Notes taken at home that evening:

Yes, I am doing my homework ;)

Mission/Goal
Objective

Customer Satisfaction
*Fulfillment

I was interested in doing some research on the bikes, and so when I arrived back home I eagerly googled:

  • Everything you need to know when working at a bicycle shop
  • Everything you need to know when working with bicycles
  • Everything you need to know when first learning about bicycles

Note:  As I researched articles I found it helpful to specify my search to “used” bicycles, and moreover, “vintage” bicycles (1930’s-1980’s).

The good thing is I don’t want someone to just take my bike to a shop and have someone“fix” my bike for me, but rather, I would like to be shown how to fix it on my own, which shows a high-level of commitment and passion to learning about, maintaining, and retailing bicycles.

The benefits of owning a bicycle are timeless…  They include:

Pro’s/Con’s:

(Further researching).  I demonstrate a commitment to learning about bicycles and preserving their beautiful nature and marketing them to individuals for their personal satisfaction and fulfillment.  I am interested in customer retention and know naturally how to increase sales and revenue, as I have worked for many retailers and been a top seller, knowledgeable, thorough, productive, and insightful.

SKILLS & STRENGTHS

  • Honest, passionate, creative, self-aware, self-motivated
  • Bright, intellectually curious, hardworking, persistent
  • Excellent leader, drive, organization, vision
  • Excellent communication—written and verbal

Email sent to Curtis May 4th, 2011:

Curtis,

I would like to take up the offer of organizing your store.  I see potential with the store and would like the opportunity to make it better.  I am interested in improvement and efficiency.  I am interested in learning of your vision and mission for the store and aligning things with your mission and vision.

I have been working as an organizational coach for nearly 2 years now and would like the opportunity to work as a consultant.  I have a natural affinity for it and believe I am talented and can offer you something that you and your employees, as well as customers would greatly benefit from.

I want to help make the store the best — that means better reviews, ie: 5-star and more money for the business.

I understand and recognize that you are on a tight budget and that you also like to save money.  I would be happy to work with you at the same rate as your other employees and come in as an outsider.  I would like to work at your store externally a few times a week.  I am happy to come off hours as well when it’s quite and there’s breathing room and space.  I am okay working when it’s busy as well.

I would like to be given the opportunity.

April 29th, 2011. Career expansion-growth.


I would like to work with an organization to help 1. Optimize the organization (ie, it’s structure/order), and I would like to 2. Work directly with its people, using my skills and abilities to help individuals develop their potential…

I seek to work with an agency in helping the agency carry out its mission, values, and vision to the fullest, mobilizing resources, creating energy, and movement

I am interested in work that entails the following:

Staff trainings, team development, facilitating events, leading workshops, educating and training, facilitating personal growth, leading discussions, creating PowerPoint presentations for learning purposes,  enlisting participants feedback, raising awareness, advocating, central role in events/planning, part of a committee board, revising job duties/descriptions, able to revise/updating agency’s website, blog, twitter, and Facebook/calendar, able to create/revise organizational chart, create/develop resource guides & handbooks.

Ideal work environment: -Structured w/clear organizational chart -Ample opportunities for growth and advancement -Ample opportunities for leadership/staff development -Strong focus on personal growth (abundant travel/training opportunities) -Competitive salary w/excellent benefits -Regular staff/board/committee meetings  -Ability to work independently as well as be a part of a strong team -Work with value-minded colleagues… same mission/purpose  

Nature of ideal work…

-Nature of work involves creative, innovative problem-solving -Be able to effect change and policy -Help other employees identify their strengths and weaknesses -Help other employees identify and overcome barriers and challenges -Demonstrate and encourage leadership skills

Ideal job summary (essay): My ideal work environment would have clear guidelines and clear organization.  The environment would allow for creative problem solving and implementation.  *It is crucial that within this structured environment, there are ample opportunities for creativity, innovation, and growth/advancement. The organization would offer a competitive salary with good benefits.  The environment would consist of value/mission-driven colleagues who are passionate and committed to maintaining high levels of personal and professional integrity.

There would be minimal supervision (autonomy/freedom would be valued) but a strong focus on the team and team development.  Ample opportunities for staff development/growth, and learning would be offered. Summary of work: I need work that allows me to be innovative/develop and that’s challenging.  I greatly enjoy overcoming obstacles and barriers.  I also benefit/need a great deal of autonomy (freedom/independence) but to be a part of a strong team with a strong mission.  I would also like to be a part of council or board (committee) meetings where changes can be brainstormed and further improved.

NOT ideal work environment:

-Lack of opportunities for growth and learning -Minimal opportunities for creative problem solving -Heavy supervision (I need freedom/autonomy –minimal supervision)

The organization should be organized (external environment, as well as structurally) and things should be efficient.  Employees should be competent.  I am an idea person, and so I would like to be able to make suggestions and have those suggestions heard and taken seriously (ie, implemented).  I would love to be able to implement those changes myself eventually.  Constant growth, learning, and challenge is essential.  The worst thing is to be working a job that is not rewarding and not challenging, ie: stagnant (ie, conventional).  I would not thrive in an organization that is not open to change and constant growth/development.  I especially thrive in new agencies where programs and curriculum are being developed and there’s ample room for ideas/feedback.

In terms of work, I value:  Organization, Efficiency, Growth/Learning Opportunities, Competent Staff, Challenge, Competitive benefits.

Type of organization I am interested in working for:

Help develop leadership skills, help individuals articulate their needs and ideas, responsible for creating social and environmental change, building relationships, workshops and training sessions, planning and implementing, identifying and researching better methods, organize, carry out, projects, skill-building trainings, develop workshops, planning and implantation, project-based learning, community development, coaching/mentoring central role.

Example of a place I might work at:  Our mission is to empower, organize, individuals to become leaders, critical thinkers, develop knowledge and skills.

MY SKILLS & STRENGTHS:

  • Excellent leader with vision, self-motivated, organized
  • Self-aware, Intelligent, value-driven, resourceful
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Passion and drive to excel, critical thinker
  • Strong research and presentation skills,
  • Wpm 90, PC/MAC, MS Office Pro, willing to travel

I value:  Respect, discipline, teamwork, leadership, growth and expansion,

Personal Areas/Fields of interest:

Organizational Development Professional Development Leadership Development Project management/Project leaders­hip, Executive coaching, Consulting, Human Resources Partner

April 27th, 2011. An intuitive’s mind/business endeavors.


On an errand Erin and I were making last night, while driving, and passing between some not-so-good neighborhoods, at night with only street-lights to light the way, I for some reason thought of Ashley.  She crossed my mind, and I thought to myself, or rather felt — perhaps both, “I would be okay living in this ghetto (if I had to) as long as I had someone to love, someone who I knew cared, someone to compliment me, someone who shares my spirit, ie: Ashley.”  Obviously, literally-speaking I do not want to live in a ghetto and never would, but I guess my point was that I could if I was happy in love.  I could work every day of my life and just live for that… to go home to the woman I cherish.

I can’t describe the warmth I felt in my momentary “imagination,” driving in the dark after a huge fight with Erin where she’s calling me names — every name in the book.  I cannot help but imagine the warmth, the care, concern, and support.  I would die twice to have a woman who loved me, who was supportive of my interests, who’s respectful of me, and who shows the time.

You know, I told myself yesterday that I will be okay being with Erin, or someone like Erin, who does not have all of the same interests as me.  That’s what friends are for, right?  Hopefully I am not in denial by saying that.  It is not always that I have clarity.  In Vermont I had clarity 90% of the time, but here in the city I simply cannot hear the call.  I am not grounded here and find it very hard to really sit still and listen.

I am trying to figure out what it is that I want to do work-wise in addition to coaching.  I need to do something more because working solo isn’t cutting it for me.  I would like to work for and with a business to help move things and get the ball rolling… I am interested in knowing what the vision and mission is and realigning things to meet it.  I would like to be able to try out and experiment with different approaches to “make it happen.”  I am interested in improving.  I would like to work with the structure — to improve it and its efficiency and work directly with its people to train, educate, reward, etc.  I am a systems — both persons and people person!  I am wondering if business development may be of interest to me.

I am talking with an individual today at 1PM who knows all about this stuff and he’s going to give me some pointers — he is also a life coach and pretty credible.  I too need to somehow establish some credibility — someway, somehow.

April 6th, 2011. Off to a session w/a new client, then marketing w/business owners!


I just wanted to update and say that I am off to a new coaching session with a client and then attempting to market with business owners :)

I am determined, with the help of God, to fulfill my mission and purpose, which is outlined in the previous entries.

Wish me luck!

March 18th, 2011. Saybrook/Harvard – Organizational Behavior.


I attended a web and telephone conference last night for Saybrook University formally known as “Saybrook Graduate and Research Institute.”  I was surprisingly not very impressed.  Two years ago when I spoke with staff members I was very impressed and really felt a connection, but last night I didn’t… and I heard numerous professors speak.  With that being said, I am in the process of evaluating my educational needs and looking into alternatives.

I am interested in and have contacted every single professor from Harvard’s Business School -Organizational Behavior program:

http://www.hbs.edu/units/ob/

I will be speaking with various programs at Harvard to see if there is a program that might be of interest and a good fit for me.  I have a 3.8 G.P.A. and honestly (long story) believe that my normal college G.P.A. is 4.0.