How to Be Happy At Work. Short tutorial.

Then God said to Adam, “You listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree. Cursed is the ground because of you. Through hard work you will get your food, every day of your life.”

This Adam curse continues and now – we have to work hard every day to earn our food. It is inevitable fact – most of us spend at work more than half of conscious adult life. How well do you spend this half of our life? Are you unhappy, stressed or bored on your job?

Why people are unhappy at work?

  1. Conflicts with other people and especially your boss. We all humans and, surprisingly not only you, but everybody has own agenda, interests and needs. Conflicts often happen, because we forget about this. Care about people around you and you’ll enjoy their company much more.
  2. Burnout – too much pressure, too much stress, too little time to think about yourself. Stress comes from inside – we are creators of own stress. There are hundreds ways to relieve – better organization, delegation of responsibility, better communication with co-workers. External factors are most important: enjoyment from family, home, physical activity and leisure, fulfilling personal life and achievements. At the end, we work to live, not living to work.
  3. Lack of variety and challenge. And first step to have interesting and enjoyable job is to design your job.

Designing your job

Don’t allow to treat yourself as a pluggable work unit. You should have

  1. Control over your task assignments and execution.
  2. Environment and time to focus on your tasks.
  3. Clear goals and immediate feedback.

Enjoyment from work comes at very specific point: when our tasks and challenges match our capabilities (Mihaly Csikszentmihal, Flow). Work should be not overwhelmingly complex and not too simple. With these conditions you will enjoy your work and grow quickly.

If you cannot change your job, change your job. Find another. (Strategy advise from Martin Fowler).

Me, Inc. or Hire yourself.

Don’t allow other people to decide what you do, your career and your future – not your manager, company or even trends in your profession. Take charge yourself and consider yourself as a mini enterprise.

Follow 5 step process (Pollan and Levine, Fire Your Boss).

  1. Write your own job description– One sentence with focus on active verbs.
    • Example: “I build enterprise software”.
  2. Give yourself a performance review. Look beyond your company or industry – become expert in job market. What skills and achievements are valued? What experience is required? How much people earn?
    • Example: “Companies become interested in Ruby-on-Rails, Flex, Silverlight. Agile development enters mainstream.”
  3. Define alternative paths– from 2 previous steps you’ll discover alternative courses open to you today and in a future. Brainstorm all possible fields and occupations that would fit this general description. Add imagination.
    • Example: “I can receive certification, move to another company, freelance, become consulting coach or teach programming.”
  4. Find gaps– what are you missing to move to alternative path or improve your current job position.
    • Example: “I should improve communication skills. I should learn new software platforms and try Agile.”
  5. Put your work plan in action – abandon narrow path predetermined by your boss, company or profession. Focus on achievements and skills you need to advance on your current and future job in the same time. Use a good time/goals management system as GTD. Come up with Next Actions.

Most jobs are not created to make us happy. They are created to make money for someone else. If we allow them – they will suck our lives. Instead, we should take charge, design our jobs and hire ourselves.

Sigmund Freud gave simple receipt for happiness: “Work and Love”. And I hope you can break “curse of Adam” and love your work.

Original: How to Be Happy At Work. Short tutorial


Confessions of a Successful Entrepreneur – Forbes

Confessions of a Successful Entrepreneur

Lessons corporate executives can learn from entrepreneurs

When my friend Jim took the giant leap from corporate executive to technology entrepreneur back in 2000, even he never imagined that he would lead a Nasdaq listed company with over 20,000 employees in eight countries by 2009. How did he pull off this rare achievement? Many things, of course – strategy, ability to execute, funding, and able leadership to name a few. I asked Jim what he believed to be the biggest reason, and without hesitation, he attributed most of his success to the fact that he made some important behavior changes along the way. As I listened to him, I realized that this (the ability to make behavior and mindset changes) is common to all successful entrepreneurs, but always missed in analyst reports. Furthermore, I strongly believe they apply equally to people who want to remain and excel in corporate executive roles.

Here are the four changes Jim made:

1. From Shut to Open

In his corporate executive avatar, the more senior he became, the more he unknowingly shut himself off from people. As he became busier, he instructed his secretary to screen his calls and sequester his time. After all, how could he entertain every caller when he could barely finish his work? His assistants also took control of his e-mail in-box, only involving him in the “most critical” ones. He ignored anyone who “wasn’t worth it”. .

Once he started his own business, he quickly realized how important networks were. “It is not what you know, but who you know that matters in business. You cannot ignore anyone these days – who knows where the next big opportunity will come from,’” he told me. With this realization, he began to return each call and email personally with curiosity. Even today, with all his responsibilities as CEO, he wakes up at 5:00 a.m. everyday, answers his email for an hour over a cup of coffee, then goes for his morning run.

2. From Opportunistic to Helpful

During his days in the corner office of the division he headed for the old company, he routinely ignored help requests from friends and acquaintances. If someone called to ask him to recommend her son for an internship position, or if a friend asked him to introduce them to his company’s procurement guys, Jim usually did not bother unless he felt the person asking was important enough and could be of use to him in future. In most cases, he thought people were taking advantage of his position at the company.

In his early days as a businessman, Jim found a lot of closed doors. He noticed that the same people who had run after him when he was a senior corporate executive were now not returning his calls. His initial anger eventually gave way to humility and he realized that he must help anyone he can without weighing the usefulness of the person. Now as CEO he often tells his senior team, “You must go out of your way to genuinely help as many people as you can even if it is unclear how they might ever be useful to you – it is just good business.”

3. From Telling to Asking

As the big shot executive, he often told everyone how important his work was. As people asked him questions, he was happy to tell them everything he knew. After all, he was an expert in his field and it was only natural that people wanted to learn as much as they could from him. He felt really good about himself as people were so in awe of him. It was quite normal for him to spend a few hours at a party and come back without knowing much about the people he had met. He usually did most of the talking.

Now one can barely get a few sentences out of him when people try to probe about the importance of his work. He is far more interested in finding out about what others do, and never stops asking questions. He even attended a memory seminar which helps him remember the names of people he meets at social gatherings. I asked him why this sea change in behavior, and he was quick with his response: “It’s all about the people – you have to be genuinely interested in them…. As I proactively built this habit, I found that I felt deep intrinsic satisfaction when I knew I had understood (and helped) someone….. And usually in turn, they do their best for you. It’s a win-win habit.”

What Every CEO Needs to Know About the Cloud – Harvard Business Review

November 2011

In 2010 an IBM survey of more than 1,500 CEOs worldwide revealed a troubling gap: Close to 80% of them believed their environment would grow much more complex in the coming years, but fewer than half thought their companies were well equipped to deal with this shift. The survey team called it “the largest leadership challenge identified in eight years of research.”

Unfortunately, the information technology infrastructure at many large companies only makes this challenge more difficult. Their technology environments actually impede their ability to sense change and respond quickly. While there is no simple fix for this problem, help is at hand in the form of cloud computing, a new suite of digital tools and approaches.

Cloud computing is a sharp departure from the status quo. Today most companies own their software and hardware and keep them “on premise” in data centers and other specialized facilities. With cloud computing, in contrast, companies lease their digital assets, and their employees don’t know the location of the computers, data centers, applications, and databases that they’re using. These resources are just “in the cloud” somewhere.

To advocates of cloud computing, that’s the whole point. Customers don’t have to concern themselves with details; they just rent what they need from the cloud. (For a more detailed explanation, see the sidebar “What Is the Cloud?”)

How important is cloud computing? I would argue that it’s a sea change—a deep and permanent shift in how computing power is generated and consumed. It’s as inevitable and irreversible as the shift from steam to electric power in manufacturing, which was gaining momentum in America about a century ago. And just as that transition brought many benefits and opened up new possibilities to factory owners, so too will the cloud confer advantages on its adopters.

At present, there’s a lot of uncertainty and skepticism around the cloud, particularly among technology professionals who have deep expertise with, or attachment to, on-premise computing. Companies shouldn’t give such people too much influence over plans to move into the cloud; that would be like putting the crew that ran the boiler and steam turbine in charge of electrifying a factory. The CEO and other senior business executives need to take responsibility for bringing their organizations into the era of cloud computing.

When I talk to executives about the cloud, three questions always come up: Why will the cloud be a big deal beyond the IT department? What are the main concerns and areas of skepticism, and how valid are they? And how should we get started? In this article I’ll address those questions. I’ll explain the cloud and its benefits, highlight how perceived barriers and other concerns will keep many companies from taking full advantage of it, discuss the implications of various responses, and recommend actions.

The Benefits of the Cloud

Some people maintain that there’s nothing magic about the cloud—that anything it can do, on-premise approaches can also accomplish. That argument is correct in theory, at least for large companies that can afford comprehensive enterprise software and top IT talent. Such companies can buy or build software for collaboration or analytics—or anything else—and install it in their own data centers. They can enable these applications for different devices—desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones—and make them accessible to employees at home and on the road via web browsers. They can also open this infrastructure to people outside the organization, such as contractors, suppliers, and joint venture partners.

Regards,Reda Bouaichi

A Complete Resource Guide to Start a Business in 2012 |

A Complete Resource Guide to Start a Business in 2012

New Year Resources

If you’re planning to launch a business in 2012, you’ll need every last penny you can get your hands on. That’s why we put together a guide to free and low-cost resources to help you ease smoothly into the world of entrepreneurship.

It’s still tough out there. Credit remains relatively tight, and consumers are cautious. So arm yourself with valuable information that will help you to get off to a winning start. We’re here to help. Here are the essential steps you’ll need to take to get your new business off the ground.

Figure out the right concept. To be successful and happy in your own business, you need to think seriously about how you like to spend your time and where you want to live. After you’ve come up with a business concept that suits you personally, the next step is to research the competition, your prospective customers and the cost of getting started.

Related: Five Affordable Consumer Research Tools

Create a business plan. Putting your goals on paper will help you focus your concept. A business plan typically includes details about the product or service, the competition and target consumers, plus a cash-flow projection. You’ll also want to come up with a clever name for your startup.

  • Explore our how-to guides on business plans, including the basics of writing your plan, what you must include and where to find help.
  • As you consider names for your business, be sure to check the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website to make sure they aren’t already taken.
  • You’ll need to determine the structure of your business for tax purposes. Study the SBA’s list of possibilities and tax implications for each one.
  • Find your local chapter of SCORE, a nonprofit association created to educate and mentor entrepreneurs. It may be able to refer you to local business owners to serve as advisers.
  • If you plan to recruit employees, look for guidance in our hiring center, including how to start employees on the right track. You can also review the SBA’s 10 steps to making your first hire.

Find Financing. The idea is hatched, the plan is set. But nothing happens without some green. Getting a loan could prove challenging because banks often are hesitant to lend to someone without a track record. And another traditional credit source—the home equity loan—has become harder to come by since the housing market cratered and home values plummeted. So it just might be time to hit up friends and family and draw on your personal savings.

Related: What Technologies Banks Should Be Using to Keep Your Money Safe

Develop and execute a marketing plan. In the Internet age, you can choose from an ever-expanding array of marketing tools, including traditional media, social networks, blogs, email and pay-per-click ads. They all require time and money, and the trick is to determine which offer the best return on investment for your particular business.

Related: Seven Tips for Improving Pay-Per-Click Campaigns

Start selling. When you hang out the “open” sign, be ready to meet your new customers with enthusiasm and the right sales pitch. Once you start attracting customers, you’ll need to figure out how to keep them coming back with great service, new products and promotions.

Related: Two Weeks to Startup

Did you find this story helpful? YesNo

Regards,Reda Bouaichi

Why I Quit My Job to Build | Blog | | Form Builder | Online Form | Email Survey


Posted on December 5, 2011

Hi. I’m Flaviu. 4 months ago, I had a cushy IT job with the State. Today, I launched

The Why:

1. What doesn’t make you stronger, kills you.

or, to rephrase another adage, “Learning is more important than knowledge.”

I feel most alive when learning something new. In any field.

Most jobs hire you for being relatively good at something. They want you to keep doing that one thing to increase their efficiency.

While this increases their efficiency in the short run, it hurts them in the long term as you start viewing your job as ‘soul-sucking’.

The lack of a challenge kills one’s potential. On the other hand, having a startup will always be a challenge.

2. It’s the only choice.

You’re thinking about starting a business. You may think you have three choices:

1. Stay with your job (your idea isn’t that good anyway).

2. Stay with your job and work on your idea at nights and weekends.

3. Leave your job and ‘sink or swim’.

1. is not an option because it sets you up for living with regrets. You’ll always wonder what could have happened if you had pursued your idea.

2. seems to be an option because you always hear about ventures starting out as side-projects built on late nights and weekends.

Well, I only have a few hours of focus every day. By midnight, I just blankly stare at my screen. Maybe it works for you, but it took me 2 years to figure out it does not work for me.

3. is the only real option. Even if you just somewhat believe in your idea, you owe it to yourself (and potential clients) to implement it. Even if it fails, you’ll have no regrets.

3. It’s your social responsibility.

Startups add some value to the world, whether that is making a process more efficient, inventing a new way to connect with others, or simply entertaining the masses with virtual goods.

The very fact that you are in a position to create a startup is the result of a series of fortunate events: you are smart, healthy, creative, self-sustaining, and courageous. To not do a startup would be a waste of these talents.

The world’s advancement relies on people like you realizing their potential.


I would not have subscribed to the belief above 2 years ago.

I’ve since participated in a few charity projects with my Rotary club, including an effort to equip the middle school I attended in Nasaud, Romania with a computer lab of Apple iMacs this past summer. Here are some pictures.

The meaning of such projects is much greater than anything I’ve accomplished professionally. Hence, combining startups and social good in motivates me most.

The How:

1. Save.

I was able to save just over $10,000 to help me bootstrap I firmly believe that my first startup needed to be on my own dime to feel every mistake.

I cut monthly expenses by about 50% by getting a roommate, cooking more, and not watching TV.

2. Code.

It’s trendy to advise business people to learn how to code before doing a startup. I already knew how to code, but there are many other technical challenges besides coding.

For instance, I needed a 1 minute video to present my startup. I could have learned Adobe After Effects, and try to do it myself, but I decided that my time would be better spent elsewhere. So, I paid $1,000 for the animation and voice-over (mind you, I still wrote the script and spent hours coordinating the story board).

Maybe a more realistic advice would be to “Learn a little bit of coding, design, SEO, project management, read hackernews, and listen to some podcasts.”

It is worth noting that while I did most of the coding, I also had some great help from a few very talented machers (I’m looking at you, @fansipans, @floomoon, @lukedupont, and @fldtrace)

3. There’s more than 24 hours in a day.

Developers are often frustrated when asked how long it will take them to build a certain feature.

My original deadline for was October 15th, which became November 1st, which became November 18th, then November 28th, and today is December 5th.

If you had ordered something from Amazon and it came 2 months late, it would be inexcusable. But the iterative process of innovation is unlike any corporate assembly line. Make sure your coworkers understand that a task may take anywhere between 10 minutes and 3 days.

4. Focus.

Don’t count your startup hours like your freelance hours. You can’t charge yourself $100/hr and it will only frustrate you to know your opportunity cost.

Finishing the MVP is Priority #1. At all times. Anything else is a distraction: hackernews, twitter, food, sleep, gmail, friends. Saying no is hard for me because I enjoy talking to the smart people that surround me in the Charlotte community.

However, to fail is to succeed. Leaving something unfinished, that’s failure.