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the blog

updates on talent mixed with occasional deals on coffee

Podcast Ep. #38: Ryan Hart- Behind the scenes of employment background checks and drug screens

I recently recorded a podcast with Ryan Hart, the Director of Product for the background check and drug screening company, Verified First. We covered several unexplored areas of the hiring process - specifically the “Ban the Box” legislation that states and cities continue to adopt across America. Whether you are a job seeker or recruiter, you need to be aware of “Ban the Box”.

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The Free, Cheap and Classy Way to hire the best people

Last week, a reader asked, “what tools should I be using to hire the best people?” The answer depends on another question: how much time and money ya got?  

You see, one day your laptop and iPhone will be obsolete. One year from now, 5 years from now, 10 years from our computer devices will be like fax machines of the 90s. Almost everything we see and hold is like that, they are hot and cool for a few short years.

I’m not going to go talk about AI, chatbots, and data science with you. I will save that for another day.

I do want to be more precise with you on what tools you can use today that will help you hire the best people, depending on your company’s phase.

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Growing a Disruptive Career - Is it based on Vengeance or Transformation

A career happens the day we learn how to make a dollar for ourselves, which can come at almost any age when you count lawn mowing, babysitting, paper route type jobs. If you take the traditional route - graduate college, then work - you can get fooled into thinking your career is outside of your control until one day you wake up (again this can come at any age) and realize you are in more control of our life and happiness than previously thought.

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Hiring Sales Talent - Simple But Not Easy

It is simple to make mistakes but it is not easy to learn from mistakes. I have hired hundreds of sales reps in my career and failed many times. I have been through training (Top Grading, Solution Selling, Force Management, The Challenger Sale, etc.) but few books or training is going to teach you more than experience will, when doing the work. In this case, hiring sales talent. 

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Moving Beyond The Brand - What Are You Buying?...

When you buy something from a company, you expect to be treated like you are the most important person to the people on the other end of the cash register. You signed up to be treated like gold and for a company, there is a lot of work that goes beyond the brand you see at the cash register. At Sumato - We provide what most coffee companies provide, coffee. But beyond the pretty coffee pictures and videos, we do something different. We only roast when someone orders and coffee connoisseurs want coffee that has been freshly roasted. This makes us more of a logistics and speed company than it does a coffee company, in many ways.

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The embarrassing but successful launch of a new product

One day, I will be embarrassed about the first bag of coffee we roasted and shipped. Creating something new is exciting and also a vulnerability test. There is a lot of work behind a new product that does not get to see the light of day. I am happy with the launch of Sumato Coffee last month but after 41 days, we have evolved and gotten better as it now looks embarrassing. Our value is repetitive and boring. We roast within 48 hours of your order and ship to you immediately. We are laser focused on fresh roast and the roast date stamped on your bag. Coffee has a shelf life of 14 days and 30 days tops. Pay attention to the roast dates on coffee bags. Grocery stores do not care if your coffee is old.

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Roasting Coffee at the source - Guatemalan Speciality Cafe Owner - Zach Daggett

Did you know, coffee grows well in about 29-35 countries? In this podcast episode, I interview Guatemalan specialty coffee shop owner, Zach Daggett. After college, Zach did several trips to Guatemala and realized that coffee was something he had to explore with a focus on helping people in the trade. In some ways Guatemalan's coffee situation is similar to the saying, "the cobbler's kids have no shoes"... Guatemala is the #9 coffee producing country in the world BUT unfortunately, the majority of the good Guatemalan coffee gets exported out of the country. Zach saw this as an issue for Guatemalans and created the specialty coffee shop, La Fabrica, where he roasts homegrown Guatemalan coffee beans then brews it for the people in the city of Jalapa, Guatemala.

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SPECIAL DEAL For The First 100 - #Sumato100 - Coffee Talk

The first 100 people who are willing to take a chance on a start-up and give them their hard earned money are people worth paying attention to. At Sumato Coffee Co., we launched last week and earned 73 customers. Yeah. I call them our #Sumato100. We have 27 spots left to be a member of our first #Sumato100 and I have a special deal if you want in. Our value is straight-forward. Freshly roasted beans right after you place your order. It is a subscription model so you can set up your frequency (i.e., 1 bag/s per week, 1 bag/s every two weeks, etc.) and you always have freshly roasted beans on hand when you need them. You can change or cancel your order anytime.

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What I am doing now - Sumato Coffee Co.

Right now I am doing the hard work of starting a business. I am leaving HireVue in the coming weeks. I am focused on doing it right. I am leaving HireVue better than when I found it and I am ending things professionally and with my personality on the company and will always be a HireVue fan. That is what I am doing right now. What is this new business? A coffee company. An online coffee subscription company called Sumato Coffee Co. Our mission is to reimagine coffee in the workplace. The place where you do your most meaningful work, at work, should not have stale and old roasted coffee beans. We will provide you fresh beans and teach you ways to brew it. You can also buy your beans to be delivered freshly roasted to your home.

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How Do You Talk To Yourself At 5AM...

Psst - Gentle Reminder... How you talk to yourself is a sign at how you view life. Do you call yourself a dumbass? You are not a dumbass. Would you call the people (family, friends, co-workers) around you a dumbass? If you do, you know that is not right. Check your language and mind. Call yourself something more than that. Be an uplifter.

The other morning at 5AM - I called myself a dumbass because I almost spilled some coffee beans. I looked in the mirror and said - come on Ben - you are not that. You are awesome. I need to believe in myself if I want to do well each day.

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Everything you say YES to - You say No to something else

Everything you say YES to, you say NO to at least one other thing... I say yes to writing and no to sleeping.

I say yes to starting a business and no to my current job and no to a little more sleep.

I say yes to watching TV and no to working harder than my competition.

I say yes to drinking at a bar and no to good health, saving money and a clear mind in the morning.

I say yes to sleeping in and no to controlling the day.

I say yes to exercising and no to rushing to work or being sedentary.

I say yes to working long hours in a boring job and no to doing work that engages me.

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Follow the rules OR do what is right

Many organizations have a tribe of people who will follow the rules, no matter what. When people get lazy, they want a rule to help them live their life. Rigid rules are for the lazy minded and people who just want to follow the tribe inside of the organization. Thinking, caring and doing what is right takes work...

The rule of job titles. Why does your job title matter? Chief, VP, Director, Assistant - yada yada...Call yourself whatever is needed to bring in more customers or revenue for your company. You are doing what is right, but the rule says you should call yourself "Senior Associate Process Manager" - nobody wants to hear that title. Nobody. The rule to dress a certain way because that is how people in your organization should dress. Why do people have to wear a tie if they will never see a customer? Why should you care how I dress? The decision to fill out a tedious form to do a simple action because the rule says so vs. having a conversation with a customer or employee. Don't think, just fill out the form. Following the rules is easy and takes the thinking and caring out of work. Plus - your organization wants a loyal rule follower.

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