Hello, Strangers!

Salsola tragus, dry

Time to clean out the tumbleweeds!  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Long time, no type!

A lot has happened since I last shared this space with you, most notably, I left the solopreneur  world to become the Program Manager for the National Robotics League.  It’s a wonderful position, (what’s not fun about robots that fight each other in an arena and teach students STEM skills at the same time?) but it has seriously cut into my free writing time.  After 5 months I feel like I’m starting to get things under control, and I missed the creative outlet of this space, so I’m taking a shot at doing both at once.

The question is, what should we talk about?  My new position means I don’t have the time or energy to do in-depth “how-to” posts, and I’ve cut my consulting way back so I have fewer avenues for case studies.

Here are some of the ideas that come to mind:

  • Work-life balance, especially in nonprofit/change professions
  • Stories from the field:  lessons from my own program management experiences, as well as guest posts from other nonprofit professionals
  • Organizational development advice and discussions.  I am especially interested in what separates good meetings and bad meetings and would love to spend time helping people have more good meetings and fewer bad ones
  • Musings about on-line communications.  Just random thoughts based on my own work, or the work of others I come across
  • Probably fewer “how to” posts than before, more like a seminar course than a training program
  • Online Book Club:  a place for us to read non-fiction together and discuss its impact on our life and work
  • A brilliant idea that you just had that I didn’t think of

So, what do you think?  Leave a comment and let me know what you’d like to see for the next chapter of Low Hanging Fruit.

Why don’t volunteers follow through?

Golf Swing

How is volunteer management like golf? It’s all about the follow through.
 (Photo credit: gibsonsgolfer)

I’ve asked myself this question more times than I can count.

Sometimes I ask it as a manager who works with dedicated volunteers–all of whom seem completely confident in their ability to live up to a commitment one moment and many of whom are absolutely “too busy” to follow through the next.

Sometimes I ask it as a volunteer who enthusiastically agrees to work in one meeting–only to sheepishly admit in the next meeting that the work is (still) not finished (or sometimes–started).

One very enthusiastic and capable volunteer explained this phenomena from her perspective in a way I’ll never forget. Continue reading

Buy the Fun Pass

Happy Caine

Happy Caine (Photo credit: Leslie Kalohi / nevercoolinschool.com)

I’m so enamored with the story of Caine and his arcade.  I love the imagination of it, I love how it has appealed to the innate generosity in so many people world-wide.  I love that it has inspired a renaissance of creative, hands-on play in kids of all ages.

Nirvan Mullick

Nirvan Mullick (Photo credit: the1secondfilm)

But today, I want to focus on a different part of the story.  Today I want to talk about Nirvan Mullick.

Just over a year ago Nirvan needed a new door handle for his ’96 Corolla and went to a used auto parts store in East LA to find it.  When he got there, he met Caine, saw his cardboard arcade and bought a fun pass. Continue reading

What could you stop doing?

This post is reprinted from my weekly try-it e-mail series.  If you like it, sign-up here to have each week’s exercise delivered straight to your inbox.

Have you noticed how easy it is to add something new to your schedule? One more client, one more project, one more meeting. Each new thing on its own seems inconsequential, so in a burst of enthusiasm (or guilt) we say yes.

Then we wonder why we feel so tired all the time.

Normally this is where you would expect a lesson on learning to say “no.” That’s good advice, and we’ll probably cover it one of these weeks, but for now I’m asking you to do something different. Continue reading

The Not-so Lonely Life of the Solopreneur

In honor of the re-opening of the LHF Greenhouse, I’m re-sharing this post from last January about the importance of community–even when you work alone.  Enjoy!

my office assistant is cute but not helpful

Like many people who run a home-based business, I do most of my work alone in my office save for an office assistant whose main contribution is to sit on the Caps Lock key.  As a person who thrives on the company of others–and who needs the input and perspective only other people can provide to do my best work– one might assume this arrangement is a recipe for disaster.

Actually, it would be, save for one very important technological advancement:  the Internet. Continue reading