How To Take Care Of Yourself And Others

Mindset, diet, sleep, good words.


Well, there’s no denying that we are in the first global crisis of the 21-st Century. And by all accounts, the worst is yet to come. But, it’s also no time to panic. As someone once famously said, the most important thing to do in a war is to remain calm, since when you lose your head, you can’t make good decisions for yourself or anyone else.

It might be on a coffee cup or a tee-shirt you own, but the slogan “keep calm, and carry on” is more that stoic, it’s the basis of human bravery in the face of trial and even tragedy.

Being real about the situation you’re in and dealing with that situation in a calm and considered (and considerate way) is fundamental to getting along in life at any time.

Now, calmness is a mindset, to be true. But keeping your wits about you is also a function of diet, the quality of your sleep, and your overall outlook towards others. Caring comes with calmness, at least in some fashion, and a diet high in brain and immunity nutrition, along with good (or decent) quality sleep, will help you be the best you can be. From here you can make better decisions for yourself and the people around you.

Here are some ways to achieve the mindset you need now, tomorrow, and for the future.

Heal your mindset. There are a few things you can do here, even at your most isolated. First, don’t look at isolation as deprivation. This can be hard to do as we are all social creatures, even at our most misanthropic. Some people really need people. And almost everyone needs somebody, sometime. But, in this Quarantine Life we’re all in right now, you might be lucky to be with your immediate family, or you might be marooned far away from home and family, and yet for others, you might not have your immediate loved ones with you because of divorce or other circumstances. In these times I think it’s important to remember the words of the great American poet Charles Bukowski, who once said, “isolation is the gift, all the rest is endurance”. Good thought. When was the last time you got the privacy you wanted? Sure, it’s no fun to be forcibly separated from friends and family, but maybe it’s also a time to relish the time you’re given to be with yourself and get your own house in order? Plus, it’s not like we don’t have easy pastimes at home alone these days, which makes it far easier than being a lonely trapper on a trapline somewhere. Enjoy and relish your time on your own, because it won’t and never does, last.

Heal your diet. I’ve been cooking a lot more at home since Co-Vid forced us all indoors. I have also ordered my share of fast food on Skip. I can tell you, and I think you already know this, cooking for yourself not only feels more nourishing that McDonalds, it really is. Because I was gifted a crock pot this Christmas, I have been making a lot of soup, especially the very yummy French soups I’ve made in recent days. Here are some good recipes you can look at, and you don’t need to go the full French Onion with cheese, it’s great with bay leaf, beef or chicken broth and onions and garlic alone. I’ve eaten liters of this in recent days and my body craves more. There is a lot of chatter out there about dining in via delivery services, but maybe it’s time to cook yourself something simple, nice, and chock full of nutrients and vitamins your body needs, especially during times where you might not be able to exercise or get out  in ways you normally do.

Heal your sleep. So many people right now are advocating “getting away” by watching a movie or finding something to watch online. While there’s a multiverse available to us for entertainment, they all come with the same downside: the blue light that destroys sleep. If at all possible, I recommend you reduce your screen time, including phones, tablets, computers and TV, solely because blue light destroys sleep. And you need sleep. Instead of taking time for a two-hour movie, why not try to read for two hours instead? Movies and TV and videos are OK to pass the time, but if you’re anything like me, these activities can leave you feeling more drained and tired than refreshed. With a book, you might not be able to sustain 90 minutes or two hours of reading, or maybe you will. But usually it takes 30 minutes for me to start to drift while reading a book, with no blue light, and I find myself taking a short nap instead of being jolted by suspenseful movies or other emotionally engaging things that a movie demands of us. A book can be a richer emotional experience because you’re using your imagination, while a movie might drain you of energy because it tries to create a certain emotional reaction, using music, sound effects and editing. Depending on what you’re watching, this can leave you feeling more jangled than satisfied. I love a great suspense movie, but I also enjoy a great book, too.

Heal your words. I have a friend who taught me years ago that your words either help or hinder, heal or wound, and the words you have for others not only affect them, they most directly affect you. Hard words or hard thoughts never hurt the intended, they only hurt you. So in a time where we need the most compassion and kindness for our fellow man, it’s worth re-examining how, maybe, impatient you feel or have become, how angry you feel or have become through circumstances, or even how sad you feel or have become. It’s mostly true that no one wants to hear your complaints, and it’s an old saying that each person must shoulder their own burden. So, remember that everyone has a burden you don’t know about, just as you have one, and using good words with people can not only bring out the best in them, it will bring out the best in yourself. You might not notice your own words. If you don’t, it’s time to pay attention. Paying attention to how you speak is also paying attention to how you feel, how you make yourself feel most of all. An unkind word to a stranger is a doubly unkind word to yourself, and it will take affect on your body, mind and well being. Be charitable, be kind, be patient, and realize the human condition is shared with everyone around you. We are all in this together, and we will all come out of this together. Stay patient. This too will pass.

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11 Epigraphs


If necessary, I can lead an army.

  • Joan Haslip


It is really impossible to compare my heart to anything.

  • Ono no Komachi: Poems, Stories, No Plays


Every man passes through a critical age.

  • Stekel


Society has no way out of disappointment.

  • Djilas


 Even the dream-road is now erased.

  • Japanese Court Poetry

I am not this. To know who you are you must first investigate and know what you are not.

  • from I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


Better is the end of a thing than its beginning.

  • Ecclesiastes 7:8


In every speck of dust the Buddha establishes a place of practice.

  • Sources of Japanese Tradition


Find what it is that never sleeps and never wakes, and whose pale reflection is our sense of I.

  • from I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


The best will do their best, the worst will do their worst.

  • Christopher Hitchens


Whatever he did, all men believed him, that as he spoke, so he thought, and whatever he did, that he did with a good intent.

  • Marcus Aurelius Antoninus



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The Skillful Masters

Quotations to enlighten your day.



The skilful masters (of the Tao) in old times, with a subtle and exquisite penetration, comprehended its mysteries, and were deep (also) so as to elude men’s knowledge. As they were thus beyond men’s knowledge, I will make an effort to describe of what sort they appeared to be.

Shrinking looked they like those who wade through a stream in winter; irresolute like those who are afraid of all around them; grave like a guest (in awe of his host); evanescent like ice that is melting away unpretentious like wood that has not been fashioned into anything; vacant like a valley, and dull like muddy water.

Who can (make) the muddy water (clear)? Let it be still, and it will gradually become clear. Who can secure the condition of rest?

Let movement go on, and the condition of rest will gradually arise.

They who preserve this method of the Tao do not wish to be full (of themselves). It is through their not being full of themselves that they can afford to seem worn and not appear new and complete.

 Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching Chapter 15



The Wise Man’s way, to do his work without contending for a crown. …
As honest words may not sound fine,
Fine words may not be honest ones;
A good man does not argue, and
An arguer may not be good!
The knowers are not learned men
And learned men may never know.
The Wise Man does not hoard his things;
Hard-pressed, from serving other men,
He has enough and some to spare; having given all he had,
He then is very rich indeed.
God’s Way is gain that works no harm;
The Wise Man’s way, to do his work
Without contending for a crown.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching Chapter 81



You do look, my son, in a moved sort,
As if you were dismayed. Be cheerful, sir.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep. Sir, I am vexed.
Bear with my weakness. My brain is troubled.
Be not disturbed with my infirmity.
If you be pleased, retire into my cell
And there repose. A turn or two I’ll walk
To still my beating mind.

Shakespeare’s The Tempest Act 4, scene 1, 148–158


Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies- God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater


Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Love and Togetherness:

Grown used to New York weather,
all too familiar with Smog,
You, Her unsullied Sister,
I’d quite forgotten and what
You bring to British winters:
now native knowledge returns.

Sworn foe to festination,
daunter of drivers and planes,
volants, of course, will cause You,
but how delighted I am
that You’ve been lured to visit
Wiltshire’s witching countryside
for a whole week at Christmas,
that no one can scurry where
my cosmos is contracted
to an ancient manor-house
and four Selves, joined in friendship,
Jimmy, Tania, Sonia, Me.

Outdoors a shapeless silence,
for even then birds whose blood
is brisk enough to bid them
abide here all the year round,
like the merle and the mavis,
at Your cajoling refrain
their jocund interjections,
no cock considers a scream,
vaguely visible, tree-tops
rustle not but stay there, so
efficiently condensing
Your damp to definite drops.

Indoors specific spaces,
cosy, accommodate to
reminiscence and reading,
crosswords, affinities, fun:
reflected by a sapid
supper and regaled by wine,
we sit in a glad circle,
each unaware of our own
nose but alert to the others,
making the most of it, for
how soon we must re-enter,
when lenient days are done,
the world of the work and money
and minding our p’s and q’s.

No summer sun will ever
dismantle the global gloom
cast by the Daily Papers,
vomiting in slip-shod prose
the facts of filth and violence
that we’re too dumb to present:
our earth’s a sorry spot, but
for this special interim,
so restful yet so festive,
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Fog.

Thank You, Fog, W.H. Auden

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Strengthening Your Immunity From Head To Toe

Inexpensive garlic, ginger and onions can help you strengthen your immune system.


It’s very wise to take the best care of yourself possible at any time of year, but especially now during this time with covid-19 circulating in communities throughout the world. We’ve heard a lot about social distancing, self-quarantine, and other measures to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. But have you thought about how your diet can help? Health experts are recommending reducing your use of cigarettes and alcohol, as examples, since these both have a negative effect on immunity. With people at home and looking for things to do, one of the best ways to crack boredom and bring your family together is to cook a healthy meal together. And it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. There is a trinity of healthy and inexpensive foods you can put together in the most delicious ways. Next time you go to the grocery store, pick up some onions, garlic and ginger and you have the basics to make meals that both taste great and have a great effect on your immunity. Best of all, they are cheaper than borsch.

Immunity Boosting Garlic

Garlic is a natural antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, anti-coagulant, and antibiotic. Garlic has been a healing food since the dawn of time. For garlic to do its work to support your immune system, you need to eat it regularly. In his novel Down and Out In Paris and London, George Orwell, living in poverty at the time, said they would rub garlic cloves on bread as the taste of it made one feel fuller through the day. Garlic does have a satisfying taste and can be the difference-maker in soups. It can be kneaded into bread, used on pizza, or made into garlic toast. Roasting garlic makes garlic taste sweet and is an easy way to cook garlic as a side dish.

Roasted Garlic Recipe

You can roast a few whole bulbs at a time. Simply remove the loose skins, and cut off the top of the entire bulb, just enough that the tops of the segments are visible. You’ll still have a whole bulb. Place those in a roasting pan or on a cookie sheet, drizzle some olive oil on the top. Set your oven for 400 degrees, preheat, and pop those bulbs in the oven, stem down, top up. Roast time will be 30-45 minutes. Test doneness by pressing a fork or knife tip onto the top of one of the segments. It should be soft, soft enough to squeeze out of the skin once they are cool enough to handle. Cool them so you can handle them, then squeeze out the soft cloves as a side dish, or on toast, or add into other recipes. They are delicious on their own.

Immunity Boosting Onions

Onions reduce inflammation, improve gut health, improve circulation and digestion, and purify blood. According to Eastern medicine, all disease begins in the colon and onions are great for colon, intestinal and stomach health.

Onions are easy to add to any recipe, and like onions, cooking them to translucency will turn them sweet. There are many kinds of onions, you could include shallots in this category, and some are sweeter than others. If you’re making a salad, red onions or shallots are a better choice than white or yellow. One of the best onion recipes ever invested is onion soup. Done in a slow cooker, you’ll have the most delicious soup of your life in six hours, which you can keep on the slow simmer all day.

How To Not Cry When You Chop Onions

Strong onions make everyone cry once they are cut into. A chef friend of mine once told me to cry or not to cry is all in the direction you cut the onion. Personally, I never found that it mattered which way I cut them; they’d always make me tear up. Until I found some advice that said just don’t cut the onion with your head and face over top of the onion you’re cutting. It might look weird to others watching you, but when you cut your next onion, just keep your head and face from being over top of the onion. You’ll notice you tear up less, if at all, as the onion essence wafting up won’t get into your eyes.


Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, from which ginger derives much of benefits. Ginger’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are well known in Eastern medicine, which gives your immunity a boost and can help relieve the systems of a cold, the flu, and fever. Like garlic and onions, it has an antibacterial benefit and helps to improve blood circulation.

Immunity Boosting Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is a great remedy for a sore throat and discomfort due to colds and flu and it’s easy to make. Simply slice fresh ginger, add boiling water and let stand for three to five minutes. Add a little honey and lemon as desired, or even milk.

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What Do We Value?

Valuing who you and others are, is a sound strategy for life and business.


“Sometimes it’s easy to forget the spirit that lives within/
Because you’re busy fighting for the human being.”

Sampa The Great, Don’t Give Up
Lusaka, Zambia


In times of crisis, we are able to gain new perspectives by stepping back and wondering: what are we doing? There have been heartening, and smart, examples of companies pivoting to different ways to do business, or even create a philanthropic aspect to their retail businesses, like LMVH and Zara have done by supporting public health and medical needs with essential materials needed for tackling this global pandemic we are all in. Scanning social media, people are coming together in sentiment and in real time. ‘Don’t give up’ is the message in our blood as people, at basic biological and psychological levels.

As ever, there will be people who take advantage of a bad situation, and panicky people might push your buttons. Because you’re also looking for ways to fit this into the structures of your given life, and it really doesn’t fit quickly or well. But here we are. And where can we go but forward?

The forward now feels less like an economic imperative than a situation where people are forced to face the reality that we don’t actually run the world. An old, cynical friend used to say to me, “the human race will never succeed, the worst species thinks it’s the best.” That may very well be true. It’s a serious point to reflect on, because if there was ever a time for a world consciousness to emerge, where we value all people more than the stock markets or our material wealth, it’s now. No one wants to give up what their recent normal has been, and no one wants to go bankrupt because of something outside of their power. There is no doubt the economics of this virus are dire. That can’t be denied, and apparently can’t be totally avoided. But we will find our way out of it much sooner through cooperation, which is a big lesson happening right before our eyes. People are helping people. Companies with resources are helping. Perhaps more billionaires could come forward with cash to help, but that’s theirs to live with. What I see across the digital universe of conversations and suggestions is largely very positive, with people not only accepting that a new normal requires different approaches, but with the dawning thought that new ways of doing things maybe isn’t such a bad idea, either. This is a time for our hearts to go out to each other, make this situation whole as fast as possible together, and not lose the calculus when this is past that we need to continue the inner and outer dialogues now going on for finding a way to live that’s better than the way it was before.

Many, many people are and are going to lose their jobs. Companies are and will be cutting costs, there will be a strong contraction. It’s what comes out of the other side of this that really matters, to me, as a business owner and as a person with a family. I was clear before what was important to me. This situation has just underlined it in bold. But instead of just trying to protect what we have, we can also now with the clarity of a crisis, also put our minds towards what we want to fight for and for why, and make those our most important considerations in business and in our personal lives. Maybe you’re there already, but so many people aren’t. If ecology is also one of the reasons we see more of these epidemics and pandemics, we really need to be serious about saving and rejuvenating the planet, our home, past the daily headlines that amount to little. Now that we are forced by nature to fight for lives, maybe it’s a time to look inward and understand home is not only where we are but it’s a place we share across a connected web of human history we don’t even fully understand. The nature of this crisis involves us and our way of living, our ways of doing things, and what we care and do not care about. It’s our opportunity to re-envision how we live and carry our lives for the sake of all humanity in the home we share across borders, across geographies, and across the distances.

The good will do the best they can. The worst will do the worst they can. Here’s hoping more of the good comes to light and into the lives of all of us now.

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Leadership In A Crisis

Great leadership shows itself during times of trial.


“The times have found us”, the memorable phrase by Thomas Paine, is something I often think about. It’s a great phrase, one that says we must rise to the occasion and fight for what we believe in, while also saying we have the courage to meet any challenge. It also says that we cannot put our heads in the sand and ignore our responsibilities to lead with facts, to do our best to meet all challenges, and to be the strength that others need.

Owning a small business comes with many challenges, upsets and even heartbreak. It also comes with its share of joy and triumph through perseverance.

At a time when we are all challenged with CoVid-19, it only makes sense to want to be armed with the facts in order to meet challenges head on.

This is a landmark moment in the history of public health, to be sure, but it’s also in an era when doing business at a distance has never been easier. With people being asked not to go into work and with borders closing to contain the virus, we here at ProFound have taken all precautions to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our clients as safe as possible. We’ve simply pivoted to use more of the modern communications tools we use every day anyway, we’re just using more of it.

For instance, we are doing candidate interviews for the next two weeks via Skype. We are holding new business calls with Uberconference, Skype and Zoom. The disruption to regular life is undeniably with us for the time being, but the disruption to our business isn’t all that noticeable. Our customers across the board are doing the same things, and our business continues unabated.

We are fortunate to have a business that’s not dependent on a physical location, like a store, restaurant, bar, or even an airline. My best wishes go out to all businesses, their employees, and their customers. It’s not easy running a services business that depends on patrons, like the food industry does. And given that most services businesses are smaller businesses, with razor-thin margins, I can feel the anxiety of companies like these who want to get back to business fully. My heart goes out for these business owners, and I hope for a full and swift economic recovery for them. I also ask you to use this time to think differently about your business. In times of challenge comes time of innovation. Perhaps it’s closing the restaurant for patrons to dine in, but offering takeout or a Skip The Dishes-type service.

Every small, medium and large business is bound to the same ecosystem, interdependent in order to operate. Without people, we cannot have a working economy. So, the best thing anyone could do right now is to take care of themselves, abide by best practices, and do what you can to be as positive and safe in this time as possible.

There will be big economic upheavals to come, there’s little doubt, with large industries such as the airline and travel and hotel industries hit very hard. They aren’t, and will not be, the only ones. But there are thousands of organizations just like ours who can both mitigate risk and support each other in this time. We can shift the ways that we do business to a large extent, keep people working and projects going, delivering what we need to, just as we always have. And in so doing we support ourselves, our business interests, and our wider economy. Let’s help each other keep the lights on by supporting each other through this time of trial and uncertainty, knowing that there is a light at the end of this tunnel.

The times have found us. Let’s step into the breach, with courage, good sense, and positivity. Let’s deal with the facts, which will help us deal with uncertainty. And let’s look out for each other, care about what we have and what we’ve built, and use our strength of will to be the best we can be for everyone around us. And now that we have the opportunity to be home more with our families, lets take the time to enjoy family, go back to our roots and care for others.

In business, as I’ve said before in these columns, we need to always put people first, since people are what make a business. In saying this, I mean also that we need to take care of the people we also don’t know as well as our families or our own team members. We can support the ecosystem of businesses by looking for ways to exchange information, goods, and services in slightly different ways, where we can.

If there has been one constant through human history, it’s that there is always a ‘new normal’. Human beings are highly adaptable, we have found ways to do everything that perhaps a previous generation felt was impossible. Sticking together for the good of all is what we can do now, and always. The times have found us. And we have found ourselves strong enough to meet them.

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Are You Robbing Yourself Of A Great Match?

You might be missing out on great candidates while setting yourself up for a discrimination suit.


Her name is Lily. And in late 2019, she was hunting for a job. The healthcare company she applied with loved her CV. Then they went looking at her social media. Or at least one person did. And that’s where it all went wrong for Lily. Lily had the typical selfies, she’s a young woman with tattoos and a social life, a lot of which, like almost everyone today, she posted online through her Facebook page. As you can see in this interview with A Current Affair, Lily’s Facebook page was the typical page of almost anyone online. What’s ironic is when compared, the human resource specialist who went researching Lily’s social media, and then denied her an interview after this social research, had a Facebook page that not only mirrored Lily’s page for posting content, it was actually more risqué. The human resource specialist was even running a side clothing business and modelling clothing in video, while showing R-rated snaps of her blouse open, of her drinking on a night out, and other snaps and videos that were even more egregious than the job-seeker Lily’s pics. The human resource specialist’s excuse? “Well I’m not the one looking for a job am I?”

This arrogance and hypocrisy would have been kept a company secret, embedded into policy, if the HR specialist hadn’t mistakenly left this recording of her and a man talking about Lily’s candidacy. You can listen here.

In an age of selfies and social media, it’s easy to interpret and heap scorn on candidates who post a lot. Many young people today have tattoos, most people go out with friends, and the entire social landscape is full of photos and videos that track the every day lives of those posting to social media. As the comic Norm MacDonald said, over 100 years ago everybody only had one picture of their grandfather, done with pinhole camera and sulphur flash. Now, you could show people 100,000 pictures of your grandfather, and every minute of every day he was alive. Social media has made it so that there are thousands of every day photos, recording nearly everything in a life in ways that could have never been dreamed of by your great grandparents.

So what to do with social media scans of potential candidates or potential companies and partners?

The interesting thing about this story is when you compare the human resource specialist’s Facebook page and Lily’s page, the only real difference between them is the age of the women. They both put out photos of themselves loving animals, loving fashion, and loving nights out with friends. The only other real difference is one woman had the power over another to offer a job or not. This kind of power dynamic is the way things are in career situations. But if you are the holder of this power, you should want to wield it lightly. And take a look at yourself before you criticize the actions of others.

Most things should be taken with a grain of salt. This is social media after all, and TikTok is the most popular app going – will you scan someone’s TikTok account and deny them a job because they sang Whitney Houston in costume when they were 10 years old? If you do, perhaps think again about posting to your Facebook the pics of you and your chums at that conference getting tipsy on Chardonnay. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Or as my grandmother used to say, “lighten up”. And don’t forget to smile for the camera, lest someone interprets you as morose or depressed. And goodness knows you don’t want to appear too happy or carefree, you might not be serious enough! Make sure the animals you love and what you wear aren’t unique as you might be pegged as weird or strange. Actually, stop posting anything at all. This might be the best advice.

But, if it was me looking at Lily’s Facebook, here’s what I saw instead from this promising, 20-something candidate:

Sense of humour
Sense of cultural engagement
Sense of self confidence
Sense of family and friends
Sense of caring
Sense of welcoming experiences and people
Happy and kind
She knows how to use social media

Do your research on candidates. Just don’t judge them in ways you yourself wouldn’t want to be judged. Maybe you have your own social media scrubbing to do, too.

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Great Customer Service Is All About Communication

It should be the easiest thing to do, yet many people and companies fail to put the customer first.


Communication is at the heart of any good relationship. But, as we all know, communication is what most relationships lack in order to be great. From life to work, our relationships fail mainly because we don’t communicate as well as we should. Businesses that don’t communicate well suffer reputationally and, eventually, on the bottom line. Being out of touch with your customers not only creates higher levels of dissatisfaction, it means you miss out on those opportunities to connect with customers on new revenue opportunities.

We’ve been going through some recent website migrations that demonstrate how poor customer service, and not following through with promises, affects reputations, new sales opportunities, and word of mouth. In our case, we were given specific services and promises on those services that never materialized. The deadlines went from 24-72 hours to 10 days then three and four weeks. The sales team for the vendor made promises that the technology team didn’t or couldn’t keep. Then, upon pointing out the multiple delays and the promises to return funds for failed services, the sales team disappeared, and the technology team seemed unaware of the promised deadlines we were given. Like some large companies today, these teams for the vendor don’t have direct lines, so not only is it impossible for the customer to communicate back to the vendor except through email, the vendor teams themselves can’t connect internally. The only option for the customer is to call and get a new rep every time or email the team member responsible for the file. What makes it worse is the internal teams for the vendor can’t even pick up the phone to call each other. They, too, need to trade emails among themselves. The entire process becomes a game of telephone, where no one really knows what’s been promised or what’s happening. Sure, they take notes, but what good are the notes when you get a new team member to talk to every time? You must re-explain the entire situation to someone new, which takes the patience of a Saint to deal with.

For anyone who might have processes that aren’t customer-centric or user friendly, it might be time to re-look at your customer service and re-imagine yourself as the customer. It’s a worthwhile exercise to try your systems yourself, as the customer, and see what level of satisfaction you feel. Then, apply that understanding to re-imagining your customer service model. It’s not enough to make it efficient for you internally. It’s most important to take the perspective of the customer and eliminate their pain points and frustration. In finding better ways to communicate with your customers, you might find many more of them picking up the phone and buying what you sell. Without your customer, you have no business.  Your customer tells you what they want or need, which allows you as the organization to innovate to satisfy their needs equating to a sale. It doesn’t always take a lot to go from GOOD to GREAT, communication and an excellent customer experience can take you to great. Otherwise, you might be waiting by the phone wondering why it’s not ringing.

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Looking Put Together On A Budget

Put together, these simple tips can help you win that next job.


Like it or not, we are all judged on what we wear to interviews and how we bear ourselves in front of recruiters. In an ideal world, we would only be judged by our skills and abilities and not by how we look, what we wear, or how we present ourselves. Too bad. In 2020, with the global economy creaking, discretionary income can be harder than ever to come by, which means you might not have money to buy something new for your next interview. Looking put together on a budget is the smartest way to go, and the smallest things can go a long way in helping you present yourself at your best. The best part? Only you will know. Here are some simple tips that will help you package yourself and get noticed in the right ways.

Looking put together – the basics. If you’re usually the type of person who is ‘put together’ then keep it up. For one thing, it will probably make you feel more confident if you feel more put together. If you do show up in a more casual way than you ordinarily do, some people will notice the difference. Keeping up appearances can be good for our self esteem and for continuity, if nothing else, so appear like the person they expect to see. If you never dress up, or shave, or do your hair, or even comb your hair, these little things will be noticed, and, like it or not, can reflect on our competency in the eyes of recruiters. Here are some 2020 tips for getting your look put together for men and women.

Wear your newest and nicest. Not everyone can afford new clothes or even expensive clothes. Luckily, you can put yourself together inexpensively, by buffing up what you already have with a new shirt or blouse on the cheap. It sounds downmarket, but there are many people I know who shop for label clothing at thrift stores, where you can find tremendous deals on great quality clothing. Of course, you need to take the time to do it, and you pretty much must love shopping, but with a little time and energy you could find yourself brand names for a fraction of the retail cost. Most towns and cities have at least one thrift store. Count yourself lucky if you live in a metro area where you can visit a few thrift stores for bargains. With the trends towards renting clothes and recycling clothes, there’s no need to feel bad about bargains.

Do your nails. This goes for the guys, too. Make sure your nails are at least trim. For the ladies, if you prefer no nail polish, shorter nails, or no gel nails, just have things clipped, trim and neat. Showing up with chipped nails, or layers of nail polish on top of each other, or polish that’s worn off and chipped in places, is a look you should avoid for interviews. Your hands show you off as much as your face, and nails undone can make you self-conscious. If you’re a guy and you come to the interview with over-grown claws, it’s just a little creepy and looks wrong, even if you barely notice, others will. Here are some nail tips and trends for ladies and gentlemen that will make you show your hands instead of hiding them.

Footwear goes far. The little things matter, and clean and polished footwear goes a long way. People will always notice your shoes for good or for bad. So, again, it’s not about the expense of the thing but how kempt you appear overall. Scuffed or worn shoes are usually easy to improve with some shoe polish or a basic detailing. Take the time to take care of your shoes for the once over. Here are some tips for shoe care you can use to buff old into (passably) new again.

A nice tie makes a statement. A nice tie is always a nice way to go. This could be something you find on sale, but with most ties not costing more than $100 or so, you can find new styles in multiple fabric types that can complete your look and make an older shirt look new again. Learn how to tie it properly and you’ll impress. Here’s a link to some tie trends you might like for 2020.

Blazers help. Blazers are magic as they not only finish your look off, but they help deflect people looking too closely at other aspects of your outfit. A new blazer can make an old shirt or blouse seem new again, and can make a pair of casual trousers or jeans look sophisticated. There are tons of great deals online for women’s and men’s blazers, and it’s one of the things in a thrift store you’re likely to find. What goes for blazers also goes for jackets and overcoats.

Job searching on a budget isn’t as hard as it seems. And you shouldn’t feel any shame if you don’t show up in $3,000 worth of clothing, makeup and hair. How you appear to others is probably more important than you think. But cleaning up for that next interview is pretty important. How you look might be as important as what you say.

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Are You Striking It Rich With Talent?

If not, it might be time to shake off the old assumptions.


Just in the last few months we have placed some star candidates. I’ve always prided myself on reading between the lines when it comes to resumes. But truth be told, a few recently placed people have had resumes that were hard for other recruiters and their clients to understand. This is mostly the due to many recruiters and leaders trying to match skill for skill without looking outside the box. People looking to hire always have criteria, and that criteria can draw a hard line around the position in question, to the point where candidates who don’t fit the language and the understood experience can easily be overlooked.

There are also some unspoken criteria that can get in the way of finding that true gem candidate. Here are some things to avoid or look out for when you’re sifting through hundreds of resumes for that right person.

A job history that jumps around. I’ve often heard it said that a job history that shows short stints with multiple companies is a red flag. If someone isn’t with a company for more than two years, and if their recent history shows 12 months here, 24 months there, and 19 months somewhere else, then many hiring leaders will take a pass. The way I look at it is there’s always a story behind the resume. So, it’s on you as the recruiter to find out why without just dismissing the candidate outright like they are broken. Often, there are excellent reasons for someone to go from job to job and not all of them are negative or a negative reflection on the candidate.

A job history that shows someone with a company for a long time. In contradiction to the above, some hiring leaders say that when they see someone in a corporate job for many years, with very little else of the same length on their resume, that this candidate is also broken, but in a different way. They might not like challenge, they might be complacent, they might be too comfortable. Just like the above, recruiters make assumptions that being somewhere a long time means you’re not motivated or experienced to do anything else.

An entrepreneurial history. If they are an entrepreneur, they must not get the corporate world and they will be hard to control or direct, they will be having 100 ideas a minute and won’t be able to execute on any of them. This is a common assumption that’s completely wrong. You need to remember that being a successful entrepreneur is much harder to do than simply taking a job. If you get an entrepreneurial resume come across your desk, count yourself lucky as they probably have a lot to offer. Don’t just bin it because you don’t see ‘corporate speak’ and a resume that includes the typical corporate job titles. Entrepreneurs are extremely hard working, diligent, and yes, full of ideas, because they have had to be in order to compete.

A history outside of the regular corporate resume. Many people coming from positions within government might have different job titles for the role you’re hiring into. It’s up to you to understand how the titles and roles fit the same ways, even if you aren’t given the same-same title designations. A Chief of Staff, as an example, is a highly qualified individual with tons of skills you won’t so easily find in the private sector. So, take that extra time to truly understand the semantic differences.

Military background. A lot of leaders love hiring women and men from the military, others don’t, or don’t see the benefits over and against a civilian resume. I personally like getting resumes from ex-military because it says to me this person is trained, trained to push themselves, trained to act as a member of a team, and taught leadership skills that are rare. Again, it might be that the mainly military resume your handed is hard to square with the corporate role you’re looking to fill, but this is your opportunity to see if the experience and the person fits the role at hand, and not the other way around.

As a company recruiting people into your organization, it’s critical to not only  try to fit candidates to the role as you’ve described it but to keep an open mind. You might be missing out on a whole lot of talent and potential if you don’t first look at the candidate, dig into what makes them special and different, and fit the person to the role instead of mapping the role on to the person. It’s this strategy that, I believe, has set ProFound Talent apart from other recruiters, which has helped us bring exceptional talent into our clients’ businesses. All it takes is to shake off the assumptions, being strategic and thoughtful, and looking at how you can help the company in truly strategic ways by taking a bit more time to understand the people you’re interviewing.

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