Triple Your Odds of Getting a Job with One Simple Trick

Triple Your Odds of Getting a Job with One Simple Trick

Don’t you hate those clickbait articles that have a really catchy headline, then make you read three pages before they tell you the “one simple trick,” and it turns out to be really dumb?  Let’s not make this one of those articles. The Trick is to Send a Thank You Note I started my company SCOTTeVEST about 15 years ago, and since then I’ve hired a lot of people.  Almost every single one of them – and all major contractors – interviewed with me. Within my company, I have a bit of a reputation of wanting to hire everyone I interview.  Maybe it’s because people who are interviewing for a job are on their best behavior, and I perceive that behavior as the minimum I can expect from them every day to follow. While my team may have a more realistic view of an interviewee’s long-term capabilities than I get from a first impression, there is something we all agree on: we don’t hire ANYONE who doesn’t send a thank you note. It’s the Thought that Counts Email is great.  Handwritten is fine, too (but the slow speed of mail is a negative).  If you can make a carrier pigeon work (or a raven, for fellow Game of Thrones fans), I would even accept that. When it comes to thank you notes following an interview, it is the thought – and then the act – that matters more than the method. You ARE Being Judged When someone comes in for a job interview, the interviewer may only have 4 or 5 data points about the interviewee.  A resume, cover...
99.9872% of CEOs FAIL at Social Media, and This is Why

99.9872% of CEOs FAIL at Social Media, and This is Why

Before Facebook, there was… face. An “online sale” meant you had to stand on line before you could buy something. The bells on the shop door jingled when it closed behind you, and you made eye contact with Sam the butcher standing behind the counter (think… Brady Bunch).  You smiled, he smiled, and even though he already knew that you likely wanted “the usual,” he asked anyway. You probably were on a first name basis, and you definitely knew each other by sight.  Maybe your kids were in the same school. You weren’t best friends, but you trusted him to have good products and you believed him when he told you what you needed for your big weekend get-together.  He was right, too. He could be a little gruff sometimes, but he was the best butcher in town.  You wouldn’t invite him over to your house – and he wouldn’t have you over to his – but you had a trusted relationship under the roof of that shop. That trust enabled you to give him your money and feel good about doing it. There’s a lot to learn about social media from those interactions Since day 1 of my business, the “old time butcher shop” was my model for how I wanted to interact with customers, and I’ve worked hard at building that level of authenticity and trust. It’s a lot easier to do that now than when I first started my company in 2000 to sell multi-pocketed clothing online.  Youtube makes it easier.  Twitter makes it easier.  Facebook makes it easier. The Dark Ages of social interaction There...
Pocket Wisdom from the Other Side of the Shark Tank: Do Your Own PR to Win

Pocket Wisdom from the Other Side of the Shark Tank: Do Your Own PR to Win

A dozen years before my company TEC/SCOTTeVEST appeared on Shark Tank, I thought I already knew everything about how to make my brand succeed. I knew I needed PR (and I was right). I also knew that I needed to hire a PR agency (and I was DEAD wrong). As a newly-minted, bootstrapping entrepreneur with a literal boatload of product on its way to me, and my Net 30 terms steadily ticking by, I believed that the difference between my success and failure could be as thin as a single article in a major publication.  Fifteen years and over ten thousand media mentions later, I can attest that PR is indeed one of the most powerful things an entrepreneur can pursue for their business. If you want to win as an entrepreneur, you need to do your OWN PR.  This is why. Why Do Your Own PR? No one will be as passionate and energetic about your brand as you are, and communicating passion and energy is the key to getting the attention of the press.  If you can’t communicate your own passion, work on it.  Your employees, vendors, contacts and especially the press need to be infected by your passion. As an entrepreneur, keep in mind that your payoff for doing press is that you get to live the life you want and deserve.  The stakes are high… your livelihood, your future, your freedom.  When you channel that deep-seated need and express your company’s mission with that passion as the fuel, the press will listen. If you are the client of a PR firm, you are just a...
Bitten by Shark Tank: What Really Happens to Entrepreneurs After The Tank

Bitten by Shark Tank: What Really Happens to Entrepreneurs After The Tank

The Shark Tank season finale airs (tonight) Friday, May 15th 2015 on ABC.  Check your local listings. It seems like everyone knows that I was on ABC’s Shark Tank for my companies TEC-Technology Enabled Clothing® and SCOTTeVEST… even people I meet in my travels.  There is this look of vague recognition, a squinting of the eyes, a slight turning of their head, and then one of several variations on the questions: “Where have I seen you?” or “Were you on Shark Tank?” If the person I’m speaking with doesn’t mention the show immediately, I usually ask, “Do you watch Shark Tank?” 9.5 times out of 10, it clicks for them instantly.  And then, they have an opinion about my appearance that they are not shy about sharing.  Sometimes loudly. Perhaps it had something to do with me telling the Sharks they were “out” – a Shark Tank first that led to my episode being considered the most controversial of all time. I’m sure this experience is largely the same for the hundreds of other people who have appeared on Shark Tank over the years, though their appearances on whole have been a lot less polarizing than mine was.  Chalk some of that up to me, and some of it up to creative editing, as I described in a previous article on LinkedIn. All things considered, my experience with Shark Tank has been life-changing in a positive way.  This is a common sentiment amongst Shark Tank entrepreneurs, whether they got a deal or not.  Shark Tank is a good experience, but not in any way that the audience at home might...
Pocket Wisdom: What I Learned from Building a $50 Million Biz

Pocket Wisdom: What I Learned from Building a $50 Million Biz

In 2000, I left my successful – but misery-inducing – career as a lawyer to start my own company based on a very simple idea: people who carry lots of gadgets need lots of pockets.  SCOTTeVEST started with one prototype of a multi-pocket vest and has grown into a pocket empire with over 50 different items. In the 15 years since then, I’ve appeared on Shark Tank, traveled the world, been covered in just about every news outlet imaginable and written a book.  This Pocket Wisdom comes from and is inspired by content from that book – Pocket Man – which I co-authored with Thom O’Leary of Fixer Group. Here are some of the unconventional things I’ve learned while leading the Pocket Revolution. ________________________________________________________________ About Raising Money… You DON’T need investors to start a business. When I started SCOTTeVEST, I did it to be my own boss… so why would I ever sign up to get a new boss by bringing an investor on board?  Make no mistake: when you have investors, you are not the one making all the decisions, which is to me the opposite of being an entrepreneur. Explore crowdfunding, bet your life savings on yourself, remortgage your home.  If you truly commit and put your own money where your mouth is, you’ll feel a lot more pride when you succeed. I bootstrapped SCOTTeVEST with my own money, but that was not necessarily my original plan.  When I figured out that I was spending 30-40% of my time looking for investment, it became clear that it was getting in the way of actually launching my business....