How To Be A High-Performing Person.

“If you’re not continually reinventing yourself, your company, or your brand, it’s only a matter of time before you become obsolete, irrelevant, and end up in the bargain bin.”

This is my own mantra that I provide for my clients. If your not looking towards the future on a regular basis, the present will arrive faster than you think and you’ll be behind your competition. If you want to be a high-performer, here are some suggestions I deliver during my keynotes:

  1. Refresh your brand every 2-3 years. Can you tweak your logo? Maybe change a color or font? Keep it FRESH.
  2. Update your website every 2-3 years. Does it work/look good on mobile devices? How old does it look? Look at your competition. It has to be clean, uncluttered, and easy to navigate. Don’t fill it up with shit.
  3. Change your business card yearly. Today, your card is your brochure. It should not only deliver contact info — it should sell you and your business. Use quality card stock, use color, images, etc. Why yearly? Something always changes with the info/logo/title/location — only print small runs so you don't feel bad chucking out 1000 cards. Check out
  4. Make your voicemail message SELL. If it’s you with a tired voice, you’re probably losing business. Hire a professional to help you craft and voice your new voicemail message and outgoing on-hold systems. You could even take a look at using something like this ringless voicemail drop if you want to help promote your business more.
  5. Change your signs frequently. If you have a physical location or a fleet, ensure all signage is clean, new and visible. Old signs that are dirty/faded will LOSE business for you. Have signs made so they can modify messages frequently to attract interest. Keep it FRESH, CLEAN, and SHARP.
  6. Upgrade your email signature (at the bottom of your emails). Most people don’t have one or if they do, it doesn’t sell their business. Make it look professional, give them additional info, point them back to your site, and make sure it works on most email systems.
  7. Get a .com domain name. If your email address has aol, yahoo, gmail or another provider, it immediately telegraphs to me that you are not running a ‘real’ business AND you don’t know what you’re doing. Get one today.
  8. Clean up your digital act. If your voice mailbox is full or you never return emails, you have a problem. Set aside time to regularly clear out your voicemail and develop a system to help with email overload.
  9. Get comfortable with technology. I run into so many people in their 50/60’s who act like little children when it comes to tech. Listen — it’s here to stay and if you catch yourself not embracing it — you look old, antiquated, and lazy. It’s not an irritant, it a part of our lives.
  10. Hang out with people who AREN’T like you. We get lazy and commune/collaborate with our own age groups and social status. Get out and hang with millennials, seniors, and most of all, play tennis with tennis players who can kick your ass. You WILL play better tennis.

If you need help with any of these items, call me anytime - 203-500-2421. I can recommend highly competent people to help you. Even me.

Ask Rich Gee: Career Questions From Quora.

Frequently, I am asked questions from people within the website Quora — I try my best to answer most — but candidly, there are too many. Here are some of my best answers to great questions concerning people's careers:

What is more difficult in the long run, working for a company or running your own business?

Both are difficult and rewarding in their own ways:

  • Company - you have a boss to keep happy, you have set work hours, you get a regular paycheck, you get a paid location to work at, you get benefits, and you also get jerk bosses, the chance to lose your job instantly, cancelled projects, and frequently depressed coworkers.
  • Business - you have a clients to keep happy, you have flexible work hours, your paycheck is based on how hard your work and hustle, you get to work at home, you get to pay for your own benefits, and you also get no jerk bosses (but jerk clients), the chance to lose your clients at the drop of a hat, cancelled projects, and you might be frequently depressed.

All kidding aside (but I was telling the truth) - both have their ups and downs, sometimes you feel in control with both, and sometimes you feel out of control with both.

I've done both - 20 years in corporate - 14 years coaching - and both are hard/easy, rewarding/frustrating, but all in all - it's a great ride.

My suggestion? Start a company.

How long does it take to settle in at a new job?

On average - 3-6 months. Not only do you need to meet, develop and hone relationships with key people, you need to learn the whole business - how it works, what are the levers/movers, what are the clients like, etc.

You also need to see how the company reacts to emergencies, slow-time, reactive decisions from management, and industry shifts.

I hate to say 'settle in', because when I'm settled, I'm bored. You need to constantly challenge yourself - do new things, meet new people, etc.

Where on their resumes might long-term unemployed job candidates address their current career gaps?

Are you not getting traction with your current résumé? (a lot of opportunities/recruiters/hiring managers passing on you?)

If not, don't do anything. If so, and if the gaps are frequent and wide, you might want to fill in those gaps. Some suggestions:

  1. You didn't sit on the couch all day and watch Jerry Springer. You probably did something - volunteered, side job, etc. Let them know.
  2. Did you try to start a business? Did you do side work (consulting) that you were paid for? Let them know.
  3. If you really didn't do anything for a LONG time and your résumé isn't getting traction, you might say you helped out a sick family member at home - most of the time recruiters might ask a small question, but it's happening more and more every day as our population ages. I know this might be a 'white lie' and a fireable offense - but if you are consistently striking out, you have to do something to change the dynamic.

#3 might rankle some readers — but there are a lot of people who are lost right now looking for a replacement job and they've gone YEARS without employment.

What kind of advice would you give to a 40-something starting a new job where she'll be working alongside 20-somethings?

  1. Listen more than preach. You are not their 'sensei' right now, you just work with them. Also, be patient.
  2. Ask questions. They might know more than you do. And they probably do.
  3. Don't talk about your kids, your injuries, your parents, or any other 40+ year-old concern. 20 year-olds don't care.
  4. Don't try to 'be cool'. Be yourself. Be interested, but be yourself.
  5. Let them make their own mistakes. If they ask you for advice, then you give it to them. Ultimately, they will look to you as their 'sensei' if you do it right.
  6. Try to do things that they do. If they invite you out for drinks, go. If they mention a band, listen to them. If they talk about a movie, check it out.
  7. Compliment them. We tend to forget to do that with our younger counterparts.
  8. Work out, stay in shape, eat healthy, and keep a close eye on your wardrobe style. You don't want to dress like Lou in MadMen. Also keep an eye on your hairstyle.
  9. Look at your glasses style. Too many guys and gals wear really old frames they wore in high school. Get with the program and style up.
  10. Grow an interest in some of the things they might be interested in - music, movies, books, theater, etc. If you show a sincere interest in their passions, they might ask you about yours.

Extra-Credit: Keep up with TECHNOLOGY. I'm 52 and get so angry at people my age who have problems, disregard or disparage simple technology I use easily. YOU LOOK OLD immediately if you have frequent problems with email, the web, your phone (get a smartphone), etc.

Are We Experiencing A Technology Tsunami?

Over the past 25 to 30 years, technology has been zipping along the mainframe to desktop route and the entire tech institution has been riding along with it (and profiting greatly from it). Lately, I find as each month progresses, I am using the basics of business and office technology less and less.