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Professional Idea for the Unemployed 
I like to keep in mind that at the heart of any employer / employment agreement is the concept of providing value. A good day's work, for a good days pay? Certainly, all "survivor" -style politics aside, the more we give / know, the more secure / geosynchronous we can be?

Indeed, by a far narrower definition, when one is "professional", then one "professes" - or "lives" - ones trade? By ever-looking for better tools, trends & new ways, pro-actively embracing change is of value to everyone. I have discovered that knowing what is going on in one's trade keeps one's services ever in-demand.

So, much like any doctor, lawyer, or other professional, the life of our nation's best professionals should not be defined what one does to make a living. Over time, one's professional life should be defined what we do after-hours?

Example: From rockets to web-sites, what people pay me to know is far too often things I first picked up via a healthy professional interest. --Indeed, while tinkering on the brains of an embedded system one morning, the hardware engineer & I once chuckled together (it was 1AM - those things happen :) over the fact that we were helping by-the-hour for something we would have gladly done for free.

While a rare occurrence, such shared wonderment is the spirit behind what I am talking about. -The more we profess something, the more we practice it. The more we practice it, the better we become. The better we become, the more value we are to others?

So the trick for the unemployed may just be to find out what is "hot" in their industry, go master it, then educate any would-be employer on why they need to hire you to do it?

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Crowd-Funded Democracy? 
My Congressman reports:

"Last week, I joined many of my colleagues on a bipartisan letter to President Obama, requesting that he receive Congressional authorization before ordering U.S. military action in Syria. I appreciate the President's decision to respect the role of Congress and present its case to both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate this week."

Way to Go, Obama!

Nice call - After 5 years, like myself many feel genuinely proud of our President's ability to voluntarily defer to a democratic process!

What's next? Well, thanks to "Obamacare" our nation is now at least 20% less able to help other nations.

Moreover, The Constitution of The United States of America CLEARLY states that our Government needs to insure the "blessings of liberty to ourselves, and our posterity?" -No mention of foreign nations there?

The System Works!

Yet, Americans are amongst the most compassionate & generous people in the world. If Obama would like U.S to help, then simply gift us some type of tax-deduction. --In our modern age of "crowd funding", surely WE THE PEOPLE can send the Syrians - or some type of intervention fund - a PayPal?

Who knows - Not only would crowd-funding adequately handcuff those annoyingly self-centred foreign nationals, lobbyists, & special-interest groups, but Congress might raise EVEN MORE money that way!

Marketing: The Ultimate Problem?

Yet what to call our new, democratic, ad-hoc policy-funding idea: PayPal, or Crowd-Funded, Diplomacy? Indeed, depending upon a 3rd party's moral imperative, Congress might even offer other interest groups an opportunity to dollar-match each & every contribution.

Is America growing tired of seeing too much power in the wrong hands? If so, feel free to share this message if you think that some form of "PayPal Democracy" might be the answer!

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How to turn a Call into a Client? 
LinkedIn Question: "Those of us who provide expertise for a living, do you have a concrete path you follow with each new prospect to convert them from a person making an inquiry to a paying client? Do you use a written proposal, letter of engagement, or agreement of some sort? Or do you just tell them your rates, do the work, then send them an invoice?"

Informal Response: "I dunno if this is a fair answer but, in general, geeking-out often "just works" for me ... Next to that is surely honesty, integrity, and demonstrating genuine experience / insight on-the-call.

Above all, never lie. Accurately represent what you know: We must trust that most folks can detect bad 'mojo?

Be sure to ask a client where they want to go next, then take it to heart. We often need to learn how to listen better. Repeat what the caller says back to them several times in different ways. Demonstrating an ability to listen assures a caller that you are thinking about their needs.

After the caller becomes a client, the next task is to discover how to manage expectations ... but expectation management is another story!"

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