Author | New Media StrategistSubscribe Now

Happywork TV Episode 33: Thank You Designers!

 
In Episode 33 of Happywork TV, I say thank you to three artists who helped me with the design and look of my book Happywork.

Steve Hartman (@creativille on Twitter) did the front cover design of my book. Judging from the reviews I’ve been hearing, it turned out well! I used to work with Steve at Falk Harrison. I miss you, buddy!

Cat McMillan helped me with my book proposal. Instead of turning in the standard black and white Microsoft Word file book proposal, we created a beautiful document. The first publisher that saw it was impressed, but still told me “No.” Luckily, Sound Wisdom said yes. For those of you looking to write and publish a book, I talk here a bit about “designing” a book proposal versus simply writing one.

Bill Sawalich of Barlow took the photo of me near the back of the book (and it’s the photo I’m using on all my social media accounts). We had fun doing this photo shoot.

Thank you guys!

— — — — —

Watch Episode 32 here!

— — — — —

IMPORTANT STUFF!

Download chapters 1-3 of my book for free!

Happywork is available for pre-order on Amazon – HERE!

Please SUBSCRIBE to my email newsletter! Pretty please – you’ll get these blog posts delivered to you automatically. Thank you!

And subscribe on YouTube!

Happywork TV Episode 32: Thank You Proofreaders!

In Episode 32 of Happywork TV, I say thank you to some people who lent me a huge hand as I was working to finish my book.

Thank you to my proofreaders: Jenn Cloud, Greg Bussmann, Dave Gray, Eliot Frick, Mary Steinau, my mom, and my wife. Thank you also goes to my editor at Sound Wisdom, John Martin.

Thanks to these guys, I turned in a pretty clean manuscript. But more importantly, I turned in a great story. These guys got to read the horrible first drafts (makes me cringe now just thinking about it). They found big errors, small errors, and offered many suggestions for improvement. I couldn’t have done it without them.

POSTSCRIPT: I should mention – that is NOT a stain on my shirt. I was clearing my throat drinking some water, preparing to record the episode, had a drinking malfunction, and dribbled a bunch of water on my chest. I was going to use a hair dryer to try to get rid of the splotch, but decided to PRESS ON!

— — — — —

Watch Episode 31 here!

— — — — —

IMPORTANT STUFF!

Download chapters 1-3 of my book for free!

Happywork is available for pre-order on Amazon – HERE!

Please SUBSCRIBE to my email newsletter! Pretty please – you’ll get these blog posts delivered to you automatically. Thank you!

And subscribe on YouTube!

Happywork Pre-Sale Book Launch is a GO!

Happywork by Chris Reimer

In what might be the worst-kept secret ever, my book Happywork is debuting in less than a month (as of the time of this posting). FREAK. OUT! February 17 is the big day, the countdown clock is on, and I’m nervous, excited, and ready. I can’t wait to get this book in your hands! Even though I’ve been asking y’all to pre-order the book, this blog post represents my “Big Ask.” Friends and sympathetic strangers, I need your help (and I have something to give you in return).

Happywork is a business parable about the worst company to work for in the entire world. My goal is to show how apathy, lack of cooperation, and cruelty – abjectly horrible working conditions – affect our productivity, our profitability, and most importantly, our fulfillment and happiness. Our happiness at work matters, because work represents such a huge part of our life. We need to care about doing great work, and we need to create workplaces where it’s easy to do so. It’s time to draw a line in the sand – no more office jerks, no more work unhappiness! We can do better, if we demand it of ourselves.

If you’re an old friend of mine, a new friend, an entrepreneur or manager trying to run a successful business, or an employee hating life because of your job, please order a copy of Happywork. And if the book meant anything to you, I need you to tell a friend. Help me spread the word. The system we all work in needs a punch in the face. Help me change the workplace forever!

LEARN MORE
To read a little more about the book …
To find out what authors like Dan Pink, Bob Burg, Peter Shankman, and Chris Brogan thought of it …
To learn what you’ll get out of it (perspective, business-building ideas, and courage) …
— > Click here! < ---

HOW CAN YOU HELP?
First step: buy Happywork. Second: Read it. Third: Help me spread the word! Tweet using the hashtag #Happywork. Post a pic on Facebook of you and the book. Leave an honest review on your favorite book retailer’s site, or on your own blog. Tell a friend you loved it, and why. Buy a copy for a friend who’s suffering at work, and tell them you care about them (the book will help them feel better).

WANT TO JOIN MY LAUNCH TEAM?
I need your help promoting the release of Happywork, and there’s free stuff involved! Join the Happywork Crüe launch team! Yes, it’s a “Crüe.” If you’re willing to help and want to learn more, contact me ASAP at happywork at chrisreimer dot com.

HOW CAN I HELP YOU?
If you wish to buy multiple copies, I’m offering you some great bonuses here. I’m giving away lots of consulting time and keynote addresses. I can help you with social media strategy, how to build a personal brand, how to change careers, how to get a book published, and more. I’m a quadruple threat. Buy some books and put me to work!

WANT A SAMPLE BEFORE YOU BUY?
Download Chapters 1-3 for free here!

WHERE TO BUY?
Below is a list of online retailers selling Happywork, including a bunch of wonderful independent bookstores. If you don’t see your favorite store here, go to that store’s website. Most online booksellers are carrying it. We are not currently confirmed to be in any physical bookstores. So online purchases it is!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Powell’s
800-CEO-READ (a great option if you’re buying 25 copies or more)
Books-A-Million
Left Bank Books
Boulder Book Store
McNally Jackson
Politics and Prose
BookPeople
Books & Books
Seminary Co-op Bookstores
A Room of One’s Own
Longfellow Books
The Elliott Bay Book Company
Wal-Mart
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK

 

THE E-BOOK VERSION – coming early!
Good news! We’re about 90% confirmed on an early launch date for the e-book of Happywork. Kindle, Nook, and iBook versions should be available for download on Monday, February 2!

WHERE’S THE PARTY?
February 16, 2015 – Book launch party, evening, location TBD. It will involve wine. Hold the date!
February 19, 2015 – Social Media Club of St. Louis book launch party at Moulin Events, evening, time TBD.

FINALLY …
Thank you! I can’t express enough gratitude to you guys for everything you’ve done for me. Over the past seven years, as I’ve transformed my work life (really, my whole life) from being a CPA to working in marketing, to now a first-time author, there’s a sizable list of people who’ve made a huge difference in my life. The people who interrupted their work lives to read and blurb my book, my proofreaders, the thought leaders I learned from, my new friends at Sound Wisdom, and most of all, my family. I’m nothing without you guys! Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, for your friendship, and for everything you will do with me in the future. Together, we’re going to change the world!

Happywork book by Chris Reimer

Book Review: Zombie Loyalists by Peter Shankman

Zombies1
Companies often churn through customers. Terrible and scary, but true.

Through bad customer service (along with lousy product, weak branding, and a host of other challenges), the good customers leave, and new ones have to be harvested. In fact, one of the most important metrics you’ll often hear a publicly traded company cite is their customer acquisition rate, and I suppose that’s because customer acquisition equals growth. However, where’s the “Customers hightailing it out of there” metric? Shouldn’t we pay some attention to that?

Upon reading Peter Shankman‘s latest book, “Zombie Loyalists,” I came to the following forehead-smacking, “DUHHH!” conclusion: Why not just hold on to your good customers, and turn them into your unholy marketing army of the night?

OK, that last part was all Peter. Truthfully, I don’t like zombies movies at all, nor the idea of zombies. But they are a fitting allegory of what Peter would like to see companies embrace: their best customers!

Peter introduces two stats that lay it out perfectly: 80% of companies think they provide superior customer service, and 8% of customers agree. WHAAAAAAA? That is abjectly horrible. To cop some corporate jargon, we’re nowhere close to being in “alignment” here! (note: if you’re reading his book and saying to yourself, “This is just common sense; Peter is telling me nothing new, so it’s 1-star review time …” I say bollocks. Look at the above stat. Even if you think you know this stuff, you’re not doing it. So you need to hear it again.)

Why have we forgotten that positive word of mouth rules? Over the past 5-7 years, the gullible have been swayed by the supposedly unlimited power of social media, as if those who wield it are sorcerers. Meanwhile, real human workers are treating real human customers like crap. Peter introduces many examples of this, which helps the message steep a bit for the reader.

Peter correctly points out that most customer service sucks, which means you don’t even have to try that hard to provide some simple delight to your fans. It’s a sad state of affairs when we say, “This works so great because of how bad things have gotten.” Not a knock on Peter, at all. It’s a knock on the current state of human customer service, most of which really does suck. To wit, have a heartbeat and a smile and you’re like in the top 10 percentile of customer service. You can lament this, or just take advantage of it.

Peter’s idea is to “infect” your customers by “biting” them with great customer service, which includes taking great care of them and providing them with unexpected delight. Peter again provides wonderful real-world examples, and implores the reader to work hard at this. The goal is to empower those zombies so that they can infect others.

A quick aside: No, these methods don’t always work. You’ll work hard to delight customers, and some will still write nasty things about you online, or worse, never patronize your business again. Look, if you have a decision maker citing this fact as the reason for not conducting your affairs in this way, that person is a shortsighted moron. I have noticed the art of unfair arguing usually involves lobbing such worthless invective – pointing out the examples where it didn’t work. Like, after a terrible school shooting, they’ll poll the community while emotions are running high, and 7% of people will still want free guns handed out with drivers licenses. Or those old toothpaste ads – 4 out of 5 dentists prefer Crest – who was that silly 5th dentist!? You get the idea. You can’t please everyone! But, if you can create an army of rabid fans, you’re going to be pleasing a whole bunch of people! That’s what you want to make happen.

Peter did it to me. He infected me. He was the first – THE FIRST – person to endorse my book, and he did so enthusiastically. I was so excited! Now, I don’t care if the Dalai Lama endorses my book – Peter’s name is not coming off the top of my book. Oh, what was that Peter? You want me to run through a brick wall for you? No problem. ON IT!

GREATEST TAKEAWAY – most customer service is bad. Your threshold for success isn’t that high! Try! (and I will tack on the fact that these are human beings we’re dealing with here. Reason enough to try! Please!)

In my opinion, Zombie Loyalists is better than Nice Companies Finish First (which happened to be an inspiration to me as I was writing my own book). With Zombie Loyalists, Peter does two things well: 1. He gets you in the right mindset to start building your loyal zombie army of followers (mindset is so critical, and too often overlooked), and 2. He give you many examples of how to do it. So the book is both inspirational and tactical. And Peter’s personality comes through, which keeps it very readable.

Thank you, Peter, for writing this. Two undead thumbs up!

Order Zombie Loyalists here! (not an affiliate link. Just order the book ’cause it’s awesome)

Happywork TV Episode 31: Mr Employer, NO You Can’t Have My Social Media Passwords

 
In Episode 31 of Happywork TV, I present the next commitment in The Happywork Agreement, the work code of conduct I’ve written to help bring happiness to the sorriest workplaces.

And this one is a doozy. It goes like this: “I will not ask prospective or current employees for their social media passwords, nor will I force them to show me what they’ve posted on their private social media accounts. This is a level of privacy invasion that is completely unacceptable. (Yes, this has happened.)”

And can you believe it? Yes, this happens! In fact, as late as early 2013, Illinois became only the second state to ban these employer requests.

As someone who’s had a few jobs in his day, I understand exactly what is going on here. The hiring process is a crapshoot for both sides. Employers look at resumes and interview candidates, trying to find the most qualified person. However, people lie on resumes all the time. Job applicants are largely an unknown quantity to employers. On the other side, job seekers, when afforded the time and opportunity, try to pick the best place to work using the very limited information at their fingertips. You don’t really know what it’s going to be like to work at an organization until you work there.

Crapshoots involve risk, and smart people work hard to mitigate risk.

How can both sides learn more about each other? The Internet!

Companies would do well to have all sorts of pertinent information out on their website and social channels for job applicants to chew on. If there is competition for great candidates, you want to be “talking” to those candidates while they’re doing their job search due diligence. If you’re a company showing them you have nothing to hide, and the other company is tight-lipped, who do you think most conscientious people are going to go with?

Well, what do companies have to work with, short of hiring a private detective to tail you for a couple weeks? Your musings on social media! HR departments are veritable sleuths now, scoping out anything and everything they can on a candidate. They’re looking for anything that will tip the scales one way or the other.

When they can’t find anything, apparently they sometimes turn to some ballsy tactics. They ask job applicants for their social media passwords, so they can log in and take a close look at what’s being posted. Or, and this would seemingly be even worse (for some reason), they’ll have the candidate sit at a chair and make them log in to their accounts while company personnel stand over their shoulders.

If this ever happens to you, get out of there. You don’t want that job. Draw a line in the sand and say, “Stay out of my personal life.” True, we’re putting more personal shit on social media than ever before, and some of those postings could reveal a strong character with proper judgement, or just the opposite.

But if I have my social media accounts locked down, or you just can’t find them because your Googling skills suck, then you’re just going to have to interview me again. No, you cannot have private access to my social media accounts!

— — — — —

Watch Episode 30 here!

— — — — —

IMPORTANT STUFF!

Download chapters 1-3 of my book for free!

Happywork is available for pre-order on Amazon – HERE!

Please SUBSCRIBE to my email newsletter! Pretty please – you’ll get these blog posts delivered to you automatically. Thank you!

And subscribe on YouTube!

Happywork TV Episode 30: Give Veterans a Chance!

 
In Episode 30 of Happywork TV, I present the next commitment in The Happywork Agreement, the work code of conduct I’ve written to help bring happiness to the sorriest workplaces.

It’s a followup to Episode 29, in which I asked employers to never discriminate against others when hiring. I mentioned veterans in that commitment, but wanted to pull this issue out and give it its own commitment. It goes like this: “I have something extra to say about veterans. I will give veterans the same chance I give every job applicant. The fact that they ‘saw some crazy stuff’ when serving their country in battle has nothing to do with anything. In fact, their ability to manipulate multi-million dollar equipment under extreme circumstances would seemingly make them very worthy candidates.”

So it’s easy enough to tell your HR department, “Stop discriminating against minorities when you’re hiring for a position.” That alone may not work. This book and its Happywork Agreement might not work! But we have to try.

Racism and discrimination makes no sense to me. It’s not based on anything except taught prejudice, AND it’s inefficient to hate on others. Your company is losing money if you don’t hire the best people!

I decided to pull this veteran issue out and make it a separate commitment, because this REALLY doesn’t make sense to me. As I’m writing from the United States, I’ll speak about us. We send people of every sex, ethnicity, income level – we send EVERYBODY into battle. Every capable body, no matter which tribe you come from, goes to war for us. This melting pot of people comes home, and now they’re “Veterans.” I cannot think of a good reason why their unemployment rate should be so much higher than average. Can you?

This just doesn’t compute for me. I want to change the parts of the world that make no sense to me.

I’ve shared this previously, but this book of mine was borne out of my childhood. My mother didn’t like her job, but kept going to it to support my brother and me. Good reason, I suppose, but my adolescent brain couldn’t square the circle. WHY would she work a job she didn’t like? My passion for happiness in the workplace came out of that failed computation. And this veteran issue is another one that simply doesn’t add up.

They’re good people, with a unique set of skills. Their unemployment rate should not be statistically different than the national average.

Give veterans the same chance you’d give any applicant!

— — — — —

Watch Episode 29 here!

— — — — —

IMPORTANT STUFF!

Download chapters 1-3 of my book for free!

Happywork is available for pre-order on Amazon – HERE!

Please SUBSCRIBE to my email newsletter! Pretty please – you’ll get these blog posts delivered to you automatically. Thank you!

And subscribe on YouTube!

Happywork TV Episode 29: Don’t Discriminate in Hiring Decisions

 
In Episode 29 of Happywork TV, I present the next commitment in The Happywork Agreement, the work code of conduct I’ve written to help bring happiness to the sorriest workplaces.

It goes like this: “I will not discriminate in our hiring decisions, except when it comes to talent. I need great people, no matter what they look like. I will not base my choices on race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation. In fact, to do so would be foolish, as I would be severely cutting down the available pool of talent from which to choose.”

There are laws on the books against discrimination, so you might question the need to put such a commitment in The Happywork Agreement. First, one look around should tell you that the world is still full of hatred, racism, and discrimination. Our laws don’t seem to be preventing people, especially ones in power, from discriminating. And in states like Missouri, you can still legally be fired for being gay.

So this commitment to hire the very best no matter what is completely necessary.

Let’s admit this: sometimes it’s difficult to get along with those not like us. And it’s much easier to feel comfortable around people who in fact are like us. I enjoy getting to know people, especially ones who’ve lived a different kind of life than I have. But not everyone shares that zest for diversity.

OK, think of it this way. Boil it down to money: it is straight-up inefficient to discriminate when hiring. You could be missing out on the best people! I am NOT saying, “Make sure you hire some black people, and some Asians, and some gay people too!” NO. Hire the best, period. Hire great human beings! That’s it. Give everyone a fair shake. Every applicant that walks through your door deserves a transparent, fair vote, up or down. (Your existing employees also deserve to be treated fairly, but this commitment is about hiring practices).

This commitment may seem simplistic, or even idealistic, but we’re all made from the same stuff. We look different, and have varied life experiences, but we’re all human beings. It’s time to grow up and stop hating on each other, and the workplace is a fine place to start.

— — — — —

Watch Episode 28 here!

— — — — —

IMPORTANT STUFF!

Download chapters 1-3 of my book for free!

Happywork is available for pre-order on Amazon – HERE!

Please SUBSCRIBE to my email newsletter! Pretty please – you’ll get these blog posts delivered to you automatically. Thank you!

And subscribe on YouTube!

Buy Happywork and Get Bonuses, Too!

Happywork Book
 
BREAKING: I have my first-ever book coming out! Just in case the news had escaped you …

In an attempt to spread the happy-at-work-first message of my book, while simultaneously enriching myself with fat book royalties (definitely joking here), I am pleased to offer you the chance to buy multiple copies of my book at once. Even though you can only read one of them at a time, there is a method to this madness.

If you’re one of the lucky ones who has found happiness at work, you are a rare breed. Over 70% of people are unhappy at their jobs, and frankly, the other 30% may end up joining them at some point! I want to improve our work lives, and I think Happywork can be part of the solution.

WHAT COULD YOU DO WITH MULTIPLE COPIES OF HAPPYWORK?

1. Give copies to all of your employees. Show them you care about a happy workplace. But don’t just hand them the book. Everyone needs to read it, and then you need to get together and discuss it. And depending on how many you buy, you can bring me in to help facilitate those discussions. Use the ideas contained in the book to improve an unhappy workplace, or keep your already-happy workplace happy.

2. Give copies to the graduate in your life. Your young sons and daughters will be getting their degrees and entering a competitive, often unhappy workplace. I’m hoping parents now and in the future can raise a generation of people who expect to enjoy their jobs. That hard work can start now, and I humbly submit that my book can play a role.

3. Give a book to someone you know who’s in job pain. I’ve had people who are unhappy at work read my book, and each time, I’ve basically received a 5-star review! (Trust me, every good review matters to me!) If work is getting you down, you’re going to relate to the characters in my book, and therein I give you ideas on how to deal with negative people and adverse work situations.

PRE-ORDER HAPPYWORK TODAY!

Happywork on AmazonHappywork on Barnes & NobleHappywork on PowellsHappywork on IndieBoundHappywork on 800ceoreadHappywork on Books-A-MillionHappywork on Amazon UK

 

THE BONUSES!

I gave great consideration to these bonuses. More than anything, I want to provide you something you can use. From the number of “pick your brain” emails I receive, I have deduced that you want my advice. Whether it be social media strategy, marketing ideas, changing careers, getting a book published … y’all seem to want my consultative assistance. So instead of packing each bonus level with trinkets and prizes and bullshit, I offer you my time. And trust me when I say that, should you earn some of my time by purchasing the requisite number of books, you will get 150% effort from me. You’ll get what you paid for (and then some).

Here we go!

Order 1 book – Pleasantly content
• Shoutout from me on Twitter

Order 5 books – Feeling a euphoric tingly sensation
• Shoutout from me on Twitter, plus …
• Written advice from me via email – ask me anything about social media, marketing, communication, getting a book published, anything at all. I’ll do what I can to help!

Order 10 books – Schoolgirl giggly elated
• 20 minutes of consulting time with me on Skype – ask me anything about social media, marketing, communication, getting a book published, anything at all. I’ll do what I can to help!

Order 25 books – Bitten by the happy happy bug and running through brick walls for the fun of it
• 45 minutes of consulting time with me on Skype – ask me anything about social media, marketing, communication, getting a book published, anything at all. I’ll do what I can to help! (and I usually over-deliver on time)

Order 50 books – Bouncing-off-the-walls cuckoo jubilation
• 2 hours of consulting time with me on Skype – plenty of time together to do some damage!
• Plus one 20-minute follow-up call on Skype (because you’ll think of something after our first call)
• NOTE: At this level and above, it might be good to check out 800-CEO-READ, as their bulk pricing will save you money

Order 100 books – Unicorn rainbows of glee
• 4 hours of consulting time with me on Skype – now we’re really moving the needle! I can’t wait to help you.
• Plus one 30-minute follow-up call on Skype
• Alternate to the 4 hours of Skype time – keynote address or university lecture with book signing and hanging out afterwards, drinking and networking and talking. Customary speaking fee waived – buy books and I show up!

Order 250+ books – Gluttonous utopia where the universe bends to your will. Bacon and lobsters stuffed with tacos are served on pillows of spun silk, and beer and Cristal are consumed out of Manolo Blahnik boots
• The ability to customize the package to your needs starts here – Get with me! Tell me how I can help you. Let’s have fun with this.

HOW TO REDEEM?

Email your receipt to Happywork at ChrisReimer dot com. Be sure to email me a legible receipt that shows the quantity purchased. I will be delivering on consulting time throughout 2015 – I thank you in advance for both your patronage of my book, and your patience as we schedule our togetherness time!

PRE-ORDER HAPPYWORK TODAY!

Happywork on AmazonHappywork on Barnes & NobleHappywork on PowellsHappywork on IndieBoundHappywork on 800ceoreadHappywork on Books-A-MillionHappywork on Amazon UK

 

Happywork TV Episode 27: Try to Understand the Perspective of Your Employees

BY THE WAY: Why did I call this “Episode 21?”
 
In Episode 27 of Happywork TV, I present the next commitment in my work code of conduct called “The Happywork Agreement.”

This one is made by employers/managers to their employees. It goes like this: “It may have been a long time since I was last a ‘blue collar’ worker, or perhaps I have never been anything but ‘well off.’ This may cause me and my employees to think we do not have much in common, and in certain instances, this may be so. The entire point of The Happywork Agreement is to foster understanding by at least imagining what it’s like to walk in each other’s shoes, so I will try to do so if you, the employee, will try.”

You can’t truly understand other people until you walk in their shoes. At work, ownership and the rank and file are most often really different kinds of people. Fine champagne and Busch beer mixed together, so to speak. They awkwardly join up at work and try to make a go of it, but they don’t understand each other. Employees really don’t know how hard it to run a company. “Cush jobs” at the top, they think. Far from it! And most of the time, ownership doesn’t really know what workers go through. They lack the perspective to understand their employees, what goes on in their personal lives, what it’s like to juggle tight finances … and that makes me think that they may not be well-suited to construct a workplace that takes the needs of employees into account.

And, when you don’t understand where others are coming from, you’ll often find yourself unnecessarily at odds with them. Not considering the point of view of others, and WHY they have that point of view, has led to some of our planet’s deadliest wars. You can be sure this causes problems at work, too!

Of course, you have the option to ignore the needs of your employees, but that’s just stupid.

Construct a happy workplace by looking at your organization from the point of view of your employees.

— — — — —

Watch Episode 26 here!

— — — — —

IMPORTANT STUFF!

Download chapters 1-3 of my book for free!

Happywork is available for pre-order on Amazon – HERE!

Please SUBSCRIBE to my email newsletter! Pretty please – you’ll get these blog posts delivered to you automatically. Thank you!

And subscribe on YouTube!