It’s been a month and two days at my new job!
I’m still working on adding Kayce’s old call notes to the Salespad CRM tab. I’m almost caught up with when she sent it to me.
Yesterday we had a meeting and next week Josh is going to show me APS so I can make sure all our contact information is up to date. We’re looking to expand our marketing efforts to include an email list, and I’ll be helping get the necessary information to make that possible.
Things I Learned:
Don’t convey uncertainty to the customer! We can figure out details on the back-end to ensure a great experience for the customer. We should not give them reason to doubt what we’re saying.
I had one call with a customer where I was explaining why we issue parts on a Net30. I mentioned that part of that was to make any returns easier. This made the customer uncertain about using our parts. Going forward I didn’t mention that and only said it was to make things as easy and smooth as possible for the bodyshop.
In a different call I mentioned that we LTL some engine cradles because of the weight. Herb told me to tell the customer we could get it to them 2nd day like our website promises and we can pay more for shipping to meet that if necessary.
It’s already been three weeks that I’ve worked at Original One Parts.
Projects this Week
Early in the week I finished the Hubspot/Salespad project I was assigned my first week. I have no more paperwork from old orders to deal with!
After I finished that, I was asked to sort a spreadsheet with all of our part numbers and descriptions indicating the type of part it is. Ever single item sku and number code was listed. I had to delete all but one of each letter code and change the description to just have the part that letter code refers to. There were over 1000 rows in the sheet initially and now there are fewer than 200. They were also all in lowercase, so I learned how to use =upper, =lower, and =proper in Excel to change that.
The next day, I was assigned a spreadsheet of Kayce’s previous calls to go through. I have to add the date, her initials, and her call notes to the Salespad CRM tab. When I finish this it’s possible I’ll do the same for old daily call logs but I’m not sure.
Things I Learned this Week
I’ve gotten more comfortable answering the phone and feel confident in doing so. This week I learned how to get information to process a return, pay an invoice, and send pictures of surplus parts.
Thursday on my way home from work traffic was backed up and it was very stop and go. I stopped in an exit lane to get from one highway to another, and the car behind me didn’t slow down fast enough. I got rear ended. No one got hurt, but the front of their car got bent up pretty bad, and my rear end needs replaced and the exhaust is rubbing.
I didn’t go in Friday so I could talk to my insurance company and the body shop that will be handling my repairs.
Next week because of Memorial Day I will be working Tuesday through Friday.
Yesterday I finished my second week at Original One Parts!
Learning Inbound Calls
This week I started learning how to take inbound calls.
Monday I read the training material but didn’t actually answer the phone. Tuesday I took my first couple calls. Wednesday through Friday I took more calls and got more comfortable. I still have a lot to learn but I’ve learned from listening to the rest of the team take and make calls and taking some calls myself.
I was not walked through our process for recording the calls we take, but I figured it out. Tuesday and Wednesday I hadn’t been told I needed to put the calls I take on the log, but Thursday and Friday I realized it’s a great way to show my work in addition to it being important for the team.
We put in our initials, the name of the person who called, the insurance company they’re associated with (if it’s an insurance company rep calling us), the part they called about, the price of that part, and any notes from the call.
Hubspot and Salespad Account Information Project
I continued last week’s project of going through old orders and updating accounts in Hubspot and Salespad accordingly. I’m almost finished going through the previous sales team member’s papers to complete this project.
When I find duplicate accounts in Salespad, which happens frequently, I was emailing Tim, who is able to merge them. There’s a high volume, though, and sometimes he is unable to merge accounts because they’re both/all connected to CCC (a parts ordering platform) and have different ID numbers. To make it easier for him to see what needs done and keep track of what’s been merged and what the new account numbers are, I made a spreadsheet. I have the company name, the new account number, the accounts that need merged, and a spot for notes about the accounts or why they can’t be merged if they can’t.
Other Places I See to Create Value
I found out this week that our marketing “team” is just Kyle. He was working in the sales office some this week and I learned that he gets anything somewhat marketing related put on his plate and he’s the whole department. Once I master my position and am great at taking inbound calls and possibly starting to learn outbound calls, I want to leverage myself to take up some of Kyle’s extra work. I wanted to find a marketing position for my apprenticeship and this could be a good way to get my feet wet and start learning while also freeing up Kyle to do more of his more important tasks.
Alyssa Wright shares what she has learned in Japanese using Duolingo for just over a month.
I’ve been learning Japanese on Duolingo for about a month now. I’ve taken it slow, taking my time so what I learn sticks.
I’ve learned some handy basics so far, but the coolest thing I’ve done is make this meme:
I shared in on Twitter when I created it, and actually received correction to the text I had. I had a mistake before, but I also had a chance to learn from and correct that mistake.
I remember reading that Japanese fluency requires knowledge of about 2000 kanji the last time I started learning some Japanese. With Duolingo, in just a month a learned 19 to get me started.
- 水 (water)
- 食べ (eat)
- 中国 (China)
- 日本 (Japan, can be paired with 語 to be Japanese)
- 飲む (drink)
- 人 (used in constructions to say someone is from a place)
- 学生 (student)
- 先生 (teacher)
- 私 (I)
- 語 (language)
- 何 (what)
- 英 (English)
- 名 (name)
- 一 (one)
- 二 (two)
- 三 (three)
- 時 (time)
- 今 (now)
- 分 (minutes)
There should be one more on the list but I forgot what it meant and how to use it. So I have some review to do to there.
Japanese is definitely a difficult language to learn, but I’m making progress. In one month I learned how to talk about being from certain places, how to talk about time, and how to talk about food. Now I just need to learn how to ask about the bathroom and I’ll be all set!
This was just my first month of learning Japanese using solely Duolingo. As I progress I plan to incorporate other resources such as Tofugu, Youtube videos teaching Japanese, and videos from Japanese people in Japanese.
Alyssa Wright reflects on how creating value and being right don’t always align. Beliefs shape lives, but the utility of those beliefs is often more important than their truth.
We all want to be right, to have a true understanding and right perspective on the world around us. We look around at different perspectives that clash with our own and think those people are ignorant, stupid, or evil. We look into the past and see all the times people were wrong and laugh at how stupid they were.
But in the future, people will look back and laugh at us and how stupid we are. Are, as in right now in this current moment. We are wrong about a lot of things, and don’t even know it. Probably a majority of what we believe to be true isn’t.
In some cases, our wrong beliefs have a functionality. If they have enough sense, they cohere with the rest of our understanding of the world. In science, models are simplifications of reality. In the past, models for atoms were incorrect or an oversimplification. But in high school chemistry class we still learn about Bohr’s model of the atom before we learn about the more complex, more current models. Because there’s a usefulness in the wrongness. The model is inaccurate, but it helps simplify the concept so it is comprehensible.
We’re wrong, a lot. Kathryn Shulz said in her talk, “Being wrong feels like being right.” And it does, until or unless we realize we’re wrong. But in the realm of religion or philosophy or etiquette or any number of other things, we will never know if or that we’re wrong. We can change our minds, sure, and think we used to be wrong in what we believed, but we can’t know.
For example, I don’t believe in any god or gods. But a lot of people do. I used to. I don’t know if I’m right or if some of the people who believe in a god or gods are right. I could very easily be wrong. They could very easily be wrong. Everyone is probably wrong. And we’ll never know what’s right. But what we believe is right shapes our lives.
That most of what we think and believe is true doesn’t entirely matter. Most of it is probably wrong. Whether it works and makes sense in relation to what we know and understand of the world matters. Though most of our understanding is probably very wrong. But it works, just like Bohr’s model of the atom. It has a utility.
When we can relate to the world and to each other in a way that makes sense and use that relation to create value, we can succeed. Even if a decade, or century, or millennium from now people look back and think we’re stupid for how wrong we are. If it works and we can use it to create value and improve people’s lives, including our own, we’ve succeeded.
How right we are doesn’t matter. How much value we can create does.
Alyssa Wright shares her experience learning Easil and the fun she’s had with the tool over the last two days.
For this week’s value prop, I’m designing social media posts. I was initially planning to learn and use Canva, but was turned off by the price barrier. I did a search for free alternatives and found Easil.
For the moment, I’m actually not using the free version. I have a free trial of their premium with all the advanced features that includes.
The tool has a quick, simple tutorial to explain the basic functions. Beyond that, it was easy for me to figure out how to do what I wanted.
At first I built off of their templates. The first image I created I didn’t even change the background image. After that, though, I changed the images, the text, often the fonts. If I used a template it was for a specific element that I knew how to create myself but could save time by not.
Yesterday my blog post was “Robin Hood’s First Theft,” a short narrative poem I wrote in January 2015. In only 20 minutes, I found an image on Pexels that I liked to represent Robin Hood and created a storybook cover for the poem. If you follow the hyperlink at the beginning of the paragraph you can see that image.
I’ve had a lot of fun making graphics for this value prop and for my blog. I’ve temporarily taken a step back from writing for Over the Invisible Wall, but I’m going to make the images for the blog posts in addition to continuing to help edit. The first one will be up tomorrow, so be sure to visit the blog to read the new post and check that out!
The details of Alyssa Wright’s first value prop, for Fundera.
Last week I created my first value prop for Fundera. They’re a business that helps other businesses get funding, make financial decisions, and learn about running or starting a business.
I had a lot of fun writing those two articles for Fundera. I learned a lot about SEO and crowdfunding, and I pushed myself to write quality articles in a short amount of time. I did all my research and all my writing for those two 1500+ word articles in only ten days total.
It was a bit stressful at times, but I pushed through to completion.
This week I’m working on my second value prop. I’ll share the details on that next week.
Alyssa Wright details how she taught herself SEO basics in only five days for a value prop.
On Wednesday, Johnny Roccia, one of the Praxis placement advisors shared three open positions at a potential business partner called Fundera. One of them was a staff writer which involved creating frequent blog posts for their niche — small business financials. I was immediately drawn to and excited about applying for this position.
I sketched out a value prop — one blog post for them by today and one to two more by next Monday. I thought of three possible topics, and chose to write a beginner’s guide to SEO.
Before Wednesday, I had never delved into SEO. I had heard of it, seen a blog post from a fellow Praxis participant about her experience learning SEO and how her blog traffic improved upon implementing it. But I had never learned about it myself.
Over the past five days I assigned myself a crash course in SEO from various Youtube videos. (You can check out the resources I found helpful in this playlist I’m making.)
I learned enough about SEO to write an article about metadata, keywords, finding more keywords including long-tail keywords, finding content gaps, backlinks, and conducting an SEO audit.
Not only did I learn the SEO basics in only five days, I simultaneously wrote a ~1500 word article about it for Fundera.
I’m going to pay attention to my traffic, Google rank, and subscribers to compare before and after implementing SEO on my site. This will help me measure how much I learned and how well I applied it for myself. I have yet to do a full-site update, though, so posts about the results will have to wait.
If you like this post and my blog, be sure to check out my Patreon.
“The opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference.” – The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, p. 42.
Both love and hate are a feeling, indifference is the lack of a feeling.
This line in the War of Art struck me. I’d never heard or read something like this.
We so often view love and hate as diametrically opposed to each other, as opposites, and in a way they are. But the opposite of feeling is not feeling, apathy, indifference.
When we love or hate or are angry because of something, we have a feeling. We care about it in some way, positive or negative. If we’re indifferent or apathetic, we don’t feel anything.
In that way, Steven Pressfield is right.
As far as a spectrum of emotions, love and hate may appear opposite.
But they are really rivaled against indifference.