Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

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Tagged work

It pays to have friends—literally

village peopleBBC recently cited a study that found the more friends you have, the more you earn. After observing 10,000 U.S. students over a period of 35 years, the study showed that the wealthiest people were those that had the most friends at school. Each extra school friend added 2% to the salary.

The take away: The more people you talk to (i.e. network with), the more chances you have to sell yourself as a likable person. The more likable you are in the eyes of others, the higher chance you have of being retained for professional help. That goes for “in school” and in life.

So don’t be an introvert. Talk to people. Take an interest. It takes a village.

Working harder for your dollar

dollar

MSNBC published a story yesterday that confirms what many of us already know: The almighty dollar is a lot more elusive these days, as Americans are working harder for less money. That’s been my experience, as I have to scrap a lot more now to make deals happen. Thankfully, there are still deals. For that I’m grateful. But my Mom put it best when she said, “They party’s over!” It sure is, Mom. It sure is. The upside: I got complacent at the party. So the down economy has been just the kick in the pants I’ve needed to double my creative efforts. The paper chase lives on!

How I became an entrepreneur (aka self-employed)

Credit: Lindsey Snow

Credit: Lindsey Snow

Blog reader Derek Bobo asks via email:

I was wondering when and how you made the leap of faith to work for yourself. When did you know you were safe financially? What was the deciding factor, etc? I’m right on the brink but can’t seem to get myself to take the leap of faith.

Excellent question. Here’s my answer:

Continue reading…

Ditching the internet for four and a half days was liberating

000image.jpg“Blake is abandoning the internet until Monday,” I wrote Wednesday afternoon on my Facebook status. It wasn’t a pithy attempt to grab attention. I meant it. And I’m happy to report that I stayed the course.

In doing so, I was able to unconditionally enjoy my family’s company during Thanksgiving. It also reinvigorated my professional spirits, ideas, and motivation as I turned to off-line content (you know, books). Granted, I rarely, if ever, have a case of the “Mundayz,” because I enjoy what I do. But today, I’m rearing to go, more than normal. And the break provided some much needed inspiration.

I’ve gone longer than four days without using the internet, namely during designated week-long vacations. But from now on, I’m committed to doing so on the weekends as well. What a novel idea, eh? Taking a break on the weekend.

Note: I’m (still) planning my attempt to ditch the Internet for an entire year

You have a choice. Do what you love.

Steve Jobs told a class of Stanford undergraduates in 2005: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” meaning don’t let external factors such as other people’s thinking dictate how you make a livelihood. In short, do what you love.

But doing what you love is just some overused romantic expression that doesn’t really apply outside of über geeks like Jobs, right? Wrong. Despite its being cliché and having been hijacked by get-rich-quick schemes, doing what you love can be achieved by anyone assuming you have the patience to seek it out, have the guts to act on your instincts, and are not easily persuaded by societal pressures when determining your career path.

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My worst job ever

What makes something the worst job ever? In my eyes, it’s a lack of excitement. The worst jobs in the world are boring. Yeah, Discovery’s Dirtiest Jobs Ever are pretty bad, but I’d like to think I’d pick one of those any day over boring work. Excitement = Happiness.

Before I describe the worst job I’ve ever had, let’s run down my list of employers and/or clients in chronological order: Chick-fil-A (first job), IBM (PC specialist), Lucent Technologies, Youth Soccer Coach (paid, baby!), Cingular Wireless (retail clerk), BYU Performing Arts (male secretary), BYU web developer, Griffio (my company, still a male secretary), Combat Films (freelancer), Weblogs Inc (blogger), Provo Labs (business incubator), Next-Generation (writer), GamePro (writer), and GigaOM (reporter/blogger). A large number of the latter gigs have been managed concurrently and are/were part-time.

Continue reading…

The sound of progress, effort, and dedication

My wife Lindsey is learning the piano taking formal weekly lessons. She used play when she was younger, but has since forgotten some of her chops. So for the last 6-7 months, she has been practicing often after she puts the baby down to sleep. The sweet sound fills our house. Though she doesn’t yet sound like Mozart, Liszt, or Beethoven, the aural harmony of progress, practice, effort, hard work, and dedication is music to my ears.

It’s very motivating for me to hear this change in action. My line of work is either visual, experiential, or cognitive so my ears don’t get to participate in gauging my development (if any). So outside of practicing musical instruments, I can’t think of many skills where you can hear actual progress aloud. Keep up the good work, Lindz!

Awkward interviews and “I’m your guy”

Several months ago, I was conducting interviews on a panel for a company I worked for. The panel interviewed about 8 different individuals. Sadly, what I remember most about the process, even more than the two individuals that actually got hired, was the second prospective employee interview. He was a young buck right out of college, a little eccentric, and simply wasn’t what the position required. You could just tell.

After thanking the applicant for coming in, he stood up, pointed to himself with both thumbs in the air and said, “I’m your guy! Let me just tell you that I’m your guy!” Don’t tell me you’re my guy, show me! Worse still, who taught this kid to do this? Needless to say, it was an awkward moment.

I’ve had my fair share of bad interviewee experiences too, however. About three years ago, I was interviewed by Payless Shoe Source for some corporate position (don’t ask, not that there’s anything wrong with that, I’m just a Nike guy). The company had found my student resume while I attended BYU, and invited me to interview. I was flattered and obliged, but neither I nor the interviewer were impressed. I remember at the end asking him what he liked most about working for the discount shoe company, and his response was that he got to “wear business casual instead of suits.” It was awkward, funny, and yet, a little sad at the same time. I can’t imagine the primary reason for working somewhere to be the wearing of casual attire, that is, unless you have an unusual fetish for sweatpants.