Work Life Balance: Challenge Yourself


Written By Greg Johnson

Anyone familiar with businesses knows one of the first and most important parts of STARTING and MAINTAINING a successful business is creating a business plan / mission statement. Imagine the marketplace is a huge storm with minimal visibility; a mission statement will act as your compass guiding you and your business in the proper direction through that storm.

In the same way, your life needs a mission statement. You need to have your purpose written down and crystal clear. If you start “heading off course” your purpose will be your guide back to the right decisions and actions to put you back on course.

Capturing your purpose will give you the means to capturing that mystical status called “Work-Life Balance.”

The first step in finding your purpose is to sit down and write out YOUR definition. Who are you? I’m not talking about, “I’m Greg and I work at Apollo.” Get deep. Think about not just who you are now, but who you want to become in the future.

Someone whom I respect very much is a man named Ron Reynolds. He worked very closely with Jim Rohn for YEARS. The one activity that brought me more clarity as to who I am now and who I want to become came from this one piece of advice.

“Get a piece of paper. Put a line down the middle of the page. Now write down 10 things you want in your life that you don’t currently have. Then after that, write down 10 things you DO CURRENTLY have in your life that you DON’T want.”

I have never heard anyone talk about creating goals and defining your purpose that way. It radically changed my outlook on many different things. The reason it did is because writing down both sides (especially the 10 things I DIDN’T want) created an emotional connection to my purpose and making sure those things change in my life.

They were things like:

  1. Student Loan Debt
  2. A car that is constantly in the shop
  3. Inability to take my wife and kid on a vacation
  4. etc.

Once I had those things written down and committed to changing them, it did not matter what kind of a day I had, it did not matter if I had to get to work an hour earlier, eat lunch at my desk, and check emails at night. It did not matter if my boss said something that upset me or a client did not call me back. The things that used to bring me down were now just fleeting annoyances. No longer was I stressed or taking things personally, I was a rhinoceros – charging forward and chasing down my purpose. That is the magic that transpires once you have discovered your goals and dedicate your life to live by them everyday.

So I challenge you to do the same. Get a piece of paper and write down your goals. Prepare yourself and commit to change in your daily actions to achieve those goals.

Once you challenge yourself to create that missions statement look for my next post about the importance of getting the family on board. There has never been a Super Bowl champion team that did not have every player on board to win. If you want to win in life, you have to get your “teammates” into champion mindset. Until then!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

The Ultimate Recruiter: Pipelining

Written by Nick Curtin

*The Ultimate Recruiter is a series of articles that investigates the key aspects of a successful recruiter – breaking down the ‘why’ and answering the ‘how.’ This week we dive head first into Pipelining.


“Ole’ Reliable” – a term of endearment that is bestowed upon living things and inanimate objects alike that provide a steady service to the user. For myself, “Ole’ reliable” was a car, not just any car, but a 1997 Plymouth Breeze. The year was 2005; I had just received my license and was in need of a sweet ride. My Uncle knowingly called me on the same day and offered the Breeze for $1 – it came with over 200,000 miles and a rickety engine, but I knew it would get me from “A to B” and it was going to be all mine. Initially, she (personification engaged) was known as “The Grapevine” for it radiated it’s purple hue in all directions, but after years of dedicated service and nary a incident to it’s record – she earned the title “Ole’ Reliable.” Nonetheless, as I made my way down a steep, snowcapped hill one evening, the brakes gave out. I slide all they way down, off the road, and directly into tree.  To the old bird’s credit, I was unharmed in the accident, but I was filled with a deep remorse because I knew she was beyond saving. Prior to that night, no service report had ever indicated an error in the line; it was hard for me to accept that sometimes even reliable things can fall through. That lesson has stuck with me ever since, and it is a lesson I feel obliged to share with you and the staffing world.

Even the most reliable talent pools stand the risk of drying up. The stock market at best is reliably, unreliable as it animorphs between bull and bear. Therefore it is important as recruiters that we take steps to ensure that our applicant tracking system (ATS) is always stocked with a host of quality talent.

1. The first step is creating specified talent pipelines. Specifications of the pipeline can range from fields, experience levels, and even explicit client pipelines.

  • Those veteran recruiters who staffed prior to the age of the Internet (scary to think about nowadays) will recall a similar approach as keeping an “Availability List.”  Who is working, who is not, and the job requirements for each individual.

2. The second step is to open a search for several of your biggest needs among job banks (Career Builder, Monster, Indeed) and social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) and start filling your pipeline.  I am not just referring to active candidates, but passive and prospective candidates as well.

  • To exploit the oft-used restaurant analogy – it does not matter whether they plan on ordering, gawking at the menu, or merely walking past the restaurant itself. Eventually, they are going to eat and when they get that craving, you will be ready to serve them some delectable options.

3. The third and most important step is effective communication. This begins by routinely reaching out (weekly, monthly, yearly) and establishing contact with the candidates via email or phone call.

  • During step 3 it is necessary to collect information about each individual – salary, job types, commutable distances, travel and populate that into their profile.  Furthermore, at this stage you can “G2” the candidates – inquiring where they are interviewing and the rates they were given at those companies.

Pipelining is vital to your success as a recruiter not only as it prepares you for the harsh times, but it will also allows you to select the best person for the job among the depth you have acquired. Running a search with key terms via some job bank is not enough anymore – clients want the best fit, not just a person that can do the job. The clients do not care how we do it and they certainly do not want to hear some sob story about how you tried. This desire for the “perfect” candidate is fueled by the idea (however misinformed) that because we have the Internet or a LinkedIn profile, that have access to the millions upon millions of job seekers out there. You know what? That’s not their problem. It is our problem.

Initially, the pipeline will yield very little results, but as time goes on and the list of candidates becomes larger so to does its value. As Confucius say, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a solitary step.” So stop depending solely on those job banks and start building your pipelines

Not too mention – once you have built your pipelines, you get to experience that “Don Draper” cool, confident feeling when that your client contacts you about a requirement and your response is, “you will have 10 qualified candidates within the hour.”


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