Wednesday, May 25, 2011

40 days have passed since I was laid off! (...58)

40 days have passed since I was laid off!  It's nerve-wracking to take note of the amount of time that's gone by.  Have I done enough with this time so far? Am I using it for the right projects?  Am I talking to who I should talk to? Networking enough?  Exploring what I'm interested in enough?

I'm heading to an interesting networking eventt, combined with a talk tonight put on by the popular online sales site, Rue La La.  It's titled "Why consumers are addicted to private sales web sites (Hint: The hard wiring of your brain makes the deals impossible to resist)."  Since I'm working on an online venture with two friends, it's a good topic that will speak directly to part of the service we hope to provide, private sales.  I call it a venture, because it is just that.  Based on what we think is a great idea, we're taking on a project with an uncertain outcome.  And what a great experience it is!  The uncertainty seems insignificant compared to the challenge creating something ourselves and learning anything we need to in order to make this a successful business.  If it is not, we will have gained a lot of knowledge in the process.  I like this perspective.  It's the perspective I'm reminding myself, often, to take during this layoff period.  Whatever I end up doing during this time, I'm learning a good deal about what I want to be doing and I'm certain I'll mold a good career for myself out of the experiences I'm having.

Update post-talk: The Rue La La event, despite direction mishaps and locked doors to the building where the event was being held, was exactly what I'd hoped it would be!  I took notes on related books that were referenced and on private sale website strategies. The speaker, Rue La La's SVP of Member Experience, Colin Hynes, gave a clear breakdown of his company's strategy as well as how it needs to change as consumer purchasing habits change.  He used a few video clips to illustrate his points. One video in particular was Dan Ariely's TED talk, "Are we in control of our own decisions?"  In the clip we watched, Ariely, a behavioral economist, discuss people's decisions regarding organ donation.  Watch the clip for interesting illustrations.  Perhaps you'll think more carefully the next time you fill our a form or buy something online...

Overall it was an interesting discussion from a business perspective, but also from a personal perspective. I found myself thinking "oh gosh! I do that..."  when hearing how consumers act in response to private sales.

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