The Mop Will Always Be Your Friend

    A career is an interesting thing.

    I’ve never been a “career at all costs” kind of person. Probably why I’ve never made millions of dollars or been a CEO.

    At uni, I worked at a pizza shop and a liquor shop. The mop was my friend. Things always needed to be cleaned.

    I spent the first part of my “proper” career working to get ahead, to succeed in using my brain and to find new challenges to overcome.

    The middle part of my career was spent leveraging my specialist skills to deliver consulting services and support others. There was value in status with this role; being seen to be successful and knowledgable.

    Now, in the current (but hopefully not last) part of my career, I’ve got no interest in any of that. I don’t really care what others think of me, or what status is assigned to my job. I’m enjoying the effort of being a good manager. As a manager I have an ethos of never asking somebody to do something that I wouldn’t do myself (if I have the requisite skill and capability).

    Mopping. I know this. 30 years later, the mop is still as friendly as ever. I feel no embarrassment about being a manager that mops.

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    Four months ago I took an opportunity for a career change. A move from consulting to managing two Centres of not-for-profit WA Police & Community Youth Centres. It’s been an opportunity to learn, grow and improve. What I love most is working for my staff. The people at Rockingham and Fremantle Centres are first-class. As their manager it’s my job to make their work days better. When employees are happy, customers win. Culture is king.

    Andrew in front of PCYC

    Week One Done & Finished With a Flourish

    Completed Dot Painting

    Today I completed my first week at my new job. It’s been a whirlwind, but every day has been better than the previous one.

    It’s been so many years since I started a new job that I wasn’t match fit in the process. I’d forgotten how to ‘start over’, so that in itself has been an experience.

    Learning what is expected of me, and figuring out how to implement that without getting lost in the minutiae becomes the next challenge. I need to keep my head elevated and focus on the strategic objectives, without getting too deep into the weeds of daily tasks. An interesting juggling act to think about over the coming weeks.

    Today, however, as part of NAIDOC Week, a bunch of the team got together to work on an indigenous-style artwork. We were provided with the starting template and then as a team we “completed the dots”. It was a great way to get to know everybody and bond while doing an activity that was quite meditative.

    The team is a wonderful group. I haven’t done a team activity for such a long time, and this was a perfect way to end a first week at a new job.

    I am also proud of the painting. I think it looks fantastic!

    Early stages of the work Dot painting in progress Dot painting and paint tubs

    Monetising Latent Skills

    Most people have a set of skills that aren’t monetised. These skills are often linked with hobbies or interests. Why don’t people make money from them?

    Perhaps there is no discernible market for the particular skill. Maybe the joy is removed when a transactional element is added. For whatever the reason, humans are adept at many things, and we often only get paid for a small aspect of the overall talent inherent within us.

    A large part of the economy is built around free labour in the form of volunteering (probably much to the disgust of neoliberals - unless they are receiving the fruits of the labour). Many volunteer in some capacity; whether it’s coaching their kid’s sports team, or sitting on the board of a not-for-profit organisation, or singing in their church choir. I’ve done volunteer work such as this, except singing in the choir. Nobody wants that.

    What latent skills do I have that could be put to use for some small financial gain? And what are the associated downsides or limiting factors?

    Skill Limiting Factor
    Podcast editing & production Niche
    Personal finance training Liability risk; licensed industry
    Apple product know-how Apple Store and search engines
    Basketball I’m not a coach
    Personal productivity & efficiency YouTube domination

    It’s a shame I’m not a handyperson. Physical labour continues to be one area that is clearly linked to a necessity—and a willingness—to pay.

    However, if you see a skill of mine listed that you think could help you, let me know. I may be willing and able to help.

    Business Basics and Twitter Acquisitions

    Can Elon Musk Make the Math Work on Owning Twitter? It’s Dicey. - The New York Times:

    Last year, Twitter’s interest expense was about $50 million. With the new debt taken on in the deal, that will now balloon to about $1 billion a year. Yet the company’s operations last year generated about $630 million in cash flow to meet its financial obligations.

    That means that Twitter is generating less money per year than what it owes its lenders.

    In my paid employment I often take time to explain to companies who do not benefit from the largesse of venture capital that the number one priority must be to keep revenue ahead of expenses, and avoid saddling their firm with debt.

    Musk has ignored these basic tenets of business because the culture of tech bros is that the rules don’t apply to them. In a falling market, however, other people’s money becomes less accessible. At some point, the music stops, and the debtors knock on the door.

    Mondo Electronics

    Mondo Electronics is a company I’ve helped as part of my job as an Entrepreneurs’ Programme Growth Facilitator.

    They were kind enough to say some nice words about the value of the service to their business and me personally.

    Working with companies like Mondo is what makes my job enjoyable.

    Gingerbread House Cubicle

    Roaming through my Flickr history, I came across this gem.

    We really smashed the Christmas decorating out of the park this year, as my cubicle was transformed into a gingerbread house.

    Gingerbread House CubicleGingerbread House Cubicle