My friend Cristina Roman is doing a series of interviews with people who have unusual hobbies. She asked me to participate, based on my experience volunteering as a bartender on a 1930s railroad car.
The Dover Harbor is like a 90-foot long, 90-ton luxury bed & breakfast hooked onto the back of an Amtrak train. For passengers, it’s like something from an old movie, with beds that flip down from the ceiling, a comfortable lounge for enjoying hot meals prepared in our onboard kitchen, and a rear vestibule for waving at people along the way.
What prompted you to take up this hobby? How long have you been doing it?
A friend recruited me to volunteer on the 1930s Dover Harbor Pullman railroad car, as a way to combine my interest in trains, history, travel, and client service.
I’ve volunteered as a crew member since 2008, doing one to three trips a year.
I typically work as a steward/porter, our onboard client service role. My job is to work both in public and behind the scenes to create a memorable experience for our 8-24 passengers. This can involve everything from mixing drinks at 80 miles an hour to hauling 150 pounds of a ice a day from the Amtrak commissary to restock our kitchen’s original 1930s icebox. [click to read more…]
Join me for Office Hours at Videri on Tuesdays in early 2014 from 11:30am-12:30pm
Got a quick question, looking for career advice, interested in volunteering with Triangle AMA, or just want to say hello? Inspired by Beck Tench‘s office hours, I’ll be holding weekly Office Hours in Raleigh, NC, in early 2014.
I’ll be at Videri Chocolate Factory in downtown Raleigh (327 W. Davie Street) from 11:30am-12:30pm on Tuesdays in January, February, and March 2014. There’s free parking in the adjacent lot.
Why am I doing Office Hours? Having a standing one-hour block each week will help me fit more face-to-face meetings into my schedule. I’d love to meet you!
Office Hours aren’t a substitute for an in-depth Agency Firebox consulting project or coaching session, of course—but buy yourself a cup of hot chocolate or Stumptown coffee from Videri’s coffee counter and let’s chat.
If you’re visiting from out of town, Tweet me at @KarlSakas or call me at 919-410-6224 to double-check ahead of time, just in case. See you soon!
I recently published this article about marketing agency management at the Agency Firebox blog:
Digital marketing agency CEO Greg Hoy of Happy Cog recently wrote on Medium about the results of soliciting employee feedback during his first 360 degree evaluation.
The feedback from his employees wasn’t always pretty—his team said he was doing a lot worse running the digital experience agency than he thought he was doing. Or as he titled his article, “My employees reviewed me, and I kind of suck.”
See what his team said—and my take on why you need to get that feedback at your own marketing agency—in the full article at the Agency Firebox blog. You can read Greg Hoy’s original article here.
Question: Have you ever given or received 360 feedback? How did it go? Don’t be shy—click here to share your comment.
UX expert Whitney Hess
Independent UX consultant and coach Whitney Hess recently blogged about reaching her five-year anniversary of self-employment. I noticed she’d shared an annual “lessons-learned” post each year.
As I start the fourth month of working full-time on Agency Firebox—solving business problems for owners of marketing agencies—I was curious to see what Whitney reported learning each year. I reviewed the posts to see what stood out to me from each of her annual updates.
My takeaway from Whitney’s Year 0: Compelled to Act
The notion of working for myself has always been there, lurking in the dark recesses of my mind. My parents are entrepreneurs and have been running their successful public relations firm, HWH PR, for more than 30 years. That’s what I grew up knowing.
I felt the same thing earlier this year. I grew up helping in my family’s small business, and I grew up hearing stories about my grandfather flying around the world as a management consultant to global corporations. I started my first business in high school, as a web designer and technology consultant to clients in the D.C. area.
As the head of business operations (as an employee) at two agencies, I’ve loved helping marketing agency owners make their businesses better, but I was ready to lead my own thing. [click to read more…]
What scares you about the “Promotions” tab in the new Gmail inbox?
As you’ve probably seen, Gmail’s new tabbed inbox now automatically flags email newsletters (including marketing promos) in the “Promotions” tab. That is, your marketing emails (and your clients’ marketing emails) are no longer going directly into readers’ inboxes.
There’s an uproar online among marketers, about how this is terrible and that Gmail should stop doing this, and that it’s probably going to hurt email open rates.
My take? Stop complaining. It won’t do anything and it just wastes your time and energy.
Your email newsletter is a promotion. Think about it for a moment.
Take off your marketer hat and think like a customer. If one of your competitors had emailed you the exact same message you sent out this week, would you think of their message as a promotion? I bet you would. [click to read more…]