August 27, 2015

LinkedIn: If You Hear This Comment From an Interviewee, Should You Rethink Your Drug Policy?

“We’d arrived at the point in the job interview where I’d made my decision: yes. Hire this one. Even though I didn’t say it straight out, she could tell, and we were both smiling. The tension had left the room. Now the conversation was more casual. We’d already talked about what kind of money she was looking for – I made her say her number first, of course – and now the interview was winding down.”

More via LinkedIn here.

August 27, 2015

BookPage Review of Boss Life

“Ever dreamed of owning your own business? Paul Downs has been living that dream for nearly three decades and has the battle scars to prove it. After sharing his experiences on the New York Times “You’re the Boss” blog, he decided to narrow his focus, documenting a year in the life of his small woodworking company in a book.Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business may inspire you, but it will also have you asking hard questions before you hang out a shingle somewhere.”

More via BookPage here.

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August 27, 2015

Shelf Awareness: Robert Gray – Boss Life and the Bookseller

“I have never lived the “boss life,” so reading Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business (Blue Rider Press, August 4) was revelatory. The memoir offers an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at one challenging year (2012) in the professional and personal life of Paul Downs, an independent furniture designer and manufacturer who opened his business in 1987. There is fierce honesty here, as he chronicles the day-to-day challenges faced by a gifted craftsman who has had to learn how to be boss, small businessman, salesman, accountant and much more, with varying degrees of success. ”

More via Shelf Awareness here.

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August 24, 2015

Books & Whatnot: Firing a Veteran Employee

“I’d like to conclude my contribution to Books & Whatnot with a series of posts that appeared in the spring of 2014. This is a long read, recounting why I discharged an employee who had worked for me for two decades. The story starts with a request from my shop manager to review all of the employees, after having neglected this duty for several years. That task completed, I try to move some of my people into different roles, in order to both accommodate their desire for advancement and make the shop operate better. And then the problems start.”

More via Books & Whatnot here.

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August 17, 2015

Books & Whatnot: My Lifestyle Business

“n 2011, I wrote a post to mark the completion of my 25th year in business. I took the opportunity to congratulate myself for having survived for so long. Commenters joined me in my celebration, except for one, who wasn’t so impressed. His denigration prompted a second post. ”

More via Books & Whatnot here.

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August 10, 2015

Books & Whatnot: Firing People

“The most distressing duty I have, as a business owner, is firing people. I’ve had to do it for a variety of reasons: sometimes the employee’s fault, sometimes mine. It’s always difficult for everyone involved.  When I sat down to write about it in 2012, I decided to explain the mechanics of my process. I had tried to write a broader post about what it feels like to fire someone, but couldn’t make it work in the blog format – the stories are too personal. In my book, Boss Life, I describe two discharges in some detail. The book format works better–I can take the time to describe the complex events involved, and show how the act of firing affected my ability to do my duties as a boss.”

More via Books & Whatnot here.

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August 3, 2015

WHYY Newsworks: Bridgeport boss pens saga of small-business ups, downs, challenges

“The owner of a small business outside of Philadelphia has written a book about the difficulties of running a small business. Paul Downs has been making custom furniture, through good times and bad, for 29 years. He currently employs 16 people in a 30,000-square-foot woodworking shop in Bridgeport.

It’s not wildly successful, and it’s not a failure. Like most small businesses in America, it’s somewhere in between.”

More via Newsworks here.

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August 3, 2015

Books & Whatnot: Credit Cards

“One of the best things about writing for The New York Times was the opportunity to shine a light on the shabby treatment I received from large institutions that I am forced to patronize. Prime example: credit cards. Everybody who sells to the public needs to accept them, but the process of choosing a provider is usually given little thought by business owners pressed for time. That’s my story: I was dazzled by a skilled salesperson when I signed up, and then didn’t pay any attention to my monthly charges. It cost me a lot of money. My bank was charging me more than 4.5% of each transaction. After a long shopping process, I was able to bring that down to about 2.5%. This currently saves me about $15,000 a year.”

More via Books & Whatnot here.

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