Taking notes. I’m curious. This is a series of insightful articles with career and marketing themes. I write (a bit more often) at lizraelupdate.com.

Thoughts on the weeks between resigning and walking out the door

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In June 2020, I gave my resignation at a company I poured myself into for the prior six years. In the two months of ‘closing up shop’ that followed, I observed many thoughts and feelings around leaving a professional setting. Of course, I couldn’t really muse out loud, yet.

While continuing to give our ‘all’ to jobs we’re planning to leave, we can’t be public about so many things… Even the period between letter-to-leaving is an awkward time to indulge in out-loud introspection.

Now I want to share some insights, because if you’re going through it too, I’d love to hear about your experience and — as it’s pretty lonely — you may want to hear about mine. Here are four sentiments from the months between alerting my team and finally closing my corporate email account. …

What ‘thought leadership’ actually is: relationship-building.

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My gut feeling is when most people hear the term ‘thought leadership’ they roll their eyes; who wants to follow yet another person ‘building their brand’ or a company ‘trying to appeal now for a sale down the line’.

But that’s not what true, effective thought leadership is… and I had a blast sitting down (zooming down?) with Sivan and Aliza at TwoHeads to consider what it is, and why it’s worth pursuing as an individual or brand manager.

Watch our conversation here, or at the end… What I really came to do here was share my scenes notes I jotted down in prep for our video…

We all get caught up in our ideas; do your readers comprehend?

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Mission statement, presentation, email, press release, social media post: Is what you’re communicating in text being understood? Do your readers know what to do next?

C’mon, we all know what it’s like to get stuck on wording — whether you’re a founder trying to eke out affordable copy on your own, or a seasoned marketer with a fully sharpened set of tools. It’s easy to trip over ideas, though, and fall prey to the misconception that just because it made sense in your head, doesn’t mean it’s legible in text. …

Before online events become a higher quality industry standard — and I do think we’re getting there — there’s plenty of opportunity to pave the way. Today, it’s still rare we see a brand or organization knocking it out of the park.

So I challenge you — take this opportunity to become a leader in planning, promoting and conducting your virtual event, online conference or plain old webinar.

Are you already covering these four online event must-haves?

  1. You’re taking advantage of the upsides of virtual events vs in-person
  2. You’re treating event messaging as importantly as date or platform
  3. You know a signup is not an attendee; it takes work to get people to show…

On February 13th, 2020, the date of the sixth annual OurCrowd Global Investor Summit, we weren’t sure what would come next re: the growing coronavirus threat. It wasn’t considered a pandemic yet. For weeks leading up to that date, our team had gathered nearly daily to track, brainstorm and plan what would happen in the event Plan B became necessary (or C, D, E…).

Plan B never did; in fact, it was our most successful conference yet. Israel was still clear of the virus and we had delegations and attendees fly in from ~70 countries on six continents. …

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Recently, I was supporting a friend with thoughts on building a consulting practice and — surprise! — an email I wrote turned into this article.

What follows is a combination of tips based on my experience on both sides of the table — as client (present) and consultant (past). My goal is to encourage the idea that establishing your Golden Rules for your consulting practice will ultimately strengthen your relationship to your clients. I’m covering four areas: intro call, pricing, proposal format and ‘business self-worth’.

The Intro Call

After hanging up the phone on that intro call with a potential client, it should already be clear what their problem/needs are, how you can work together to get to the solution, and actual tangible ways of doing that (not specific deliverables, but how and why you are equipped to do it). They should feel it’s very real and not all talk. And a short minute about how pricing works (not what the pricing is, but how it is structured). …

Stop treating them that way.

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This is the story of how I went from intern-awkward to intern-awesome. And the truth is, it barely has to do with anything I did — and mostly with what I didn’t do.

From manager to manager, I want to confess it took me a few years to truly understand the power and potential of having an excellent, motivated and talented intern on my team. Each year, I accept one academic-year intern and 1–2 summer interns. Each year — it gets so much better. …

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Oh, shit.

Ok, fine, it is a fuck-up.

You sent the email to the wrong target list. You used confidential numbers on the presentation’s key slide. You missed a security concern and the website crashed.

And now, if you’re anything like me, you’re going to beat yourself up for quite a while.

And people will tell you that failing is your path to succeeding. And you can imagine cheesy memes with a faded dying flower or a cat reaching the top shelf or I dunno, I hate those memes.

But what you really need to know is… You fucked up. You did. But now I want you to lock yourself in a bathroom stall, breathe deep…

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There’s always something about your first.

Job — your first job. Not the checkout clerk or babysitting gigs or even paid internship. Your first professional role of your long term career.

If you’re lucky, you worked at a great company with a warm team, mentor-y boss, and plenty of growth opportunity. Even if it’s only some of those things, if you did it right, you probably feel really connected and excited about your career opportunities to come. …

13 ways to work well with your hired video producer.

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Way back in the early 90s, when TV was a structured medium and my mom would not let us have cable, I would watch MTV on the rare occasion at a friend’s. Back then, MTV was the ‘music television channel’. Back then, a music video held strong meaning and the impact on me was great.

I wasn’t a music person really. But the visuals that brought out the story in the song — I wanted to pack a punch in a short story. I wanted to create short stories in video. …

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