The Little Drummer Boy: All Gifts Are to Be Honored

Drummer BoyEven if you haven’t seen the animated special, you’ve probably heard the story or the song. But here’s a recap if you’re unaware: The three Wise Men and the shepherds are heading to see the Baby Jesus, and the little drummer boy comes along for the ride. He is embarrassed when he has no gift to offer the newborn Savior.

Finally, he learns that his only skill – playing his drum – is enough.

Maybe you’ve felt this way: You take a skills assessment or strengths finder, or ask your friends and family what they turn to you for. The answers are less than stellar. Instead of being a powerhouse leader, or an inspiration, you come up as a great administrator, or… the Drummer Boy equivalent of today, a good listener. What are you supposed to do if you’ve got mad skillz as, say, a babysitter or folding paper airplanes? Can you possibly make a business out of that?

Well, the short answer is, yes, you can. Whatever your skill, there is a market for it. Follow these tips to make sure you find your business home:

  • Don’t underestimate yourself. So you can imitate cartoon voices. Big deal. No one will pay for that…. Or will they? Sure they will! For presentation narration, video games, films… you name it. If you have an above-average skill, someone out there will pay for it. If you doubt this, go to Fiverr.com and take a look at the kind of things people are shelling out money for.
  • Get yourself out there. Standing in the back of the crowd, quietly tapping on your drum, is not going to do anything for your popularity. You need to put yourself in front of people who can help (if you get nervous, just think back to the Little Drummer Boy. If he could approach Mary, the mother of Jesus, you can probably get up the courage to launch a podcast or website).
  • Hone your craft. If your skill really is folding paper airplanes, then make yourself the very best paper airplane folder out there. If you are skilled at cleaning toilets, then keep your finger on the pulse of the toilet-cleaning industry and be a leader in that space. Just because you’re naturally gifted doesn’t mean you can coast; you must keep making yourself better and better.

When you have a gift, it is truly that – a present bestowed upon you. It is your responsibility to make the most of it and share it with others.

Craigslist Search Tips

I’m a big Craigslist user – when I’m in the market to buy or sell something, it’s one of the first places I check for great deals. The website is pretty useful as it is, but I do some unique searching that isn’t especially easy from their interface, so I thought I’d put together some Craigslist search tips.

For those of you who are new to the web, Craigslist.org is basically an online classified ads bulletin board – kinda. It’s really much more, depending on how you use it. I’ve heard Cragislist described as one of the seven wonders of the web. You can use it to find your dream job, get a date, buy concert tickets and sell your car. Unlike traditional classified ads, it’s free to use (for most everything) and much easier, too. Continue reading Craigslist Search Tips

Replay Telecorder for Skype – a Must-Have SKYPE extension

For the past three years, I’ve recommended using SKYPE, a voice over Internet protocol service as an alternative to Ma Bell.  For the most part this has worked very well for me with the exception of a few missed calls or poor quality calls during Internet outages.

While there are a plethora of software add-ins that extend the functionality of the software, few are as useful as Replay Telecorder for Skype.  I’ve often wanted to record phone conversations or even video conversations for use in other applications or just for review.  While Mac users have had this utility for some time, only recently have PC users been able to record Skype video in a  side-by-side window.

So, let’s look at some of the uses for this technology.  Replay Telecorder can record cellular phones, regular calls, and SKYPE to SKYPE calls.  I think you’ll get the most of this product by recording your video calls. Continue reading Replay Telecorder for Skype – a Must-Have SKYPE extension