Friday, January 23, 2015

PW6950 Week Two

Who would have thought the end of your master’s degree would be as overwhelming as the beginning. At the beginning, everything was new. Although I completed my bachelor’s online, the classroom for this degree was altogether different as were assignment due dates and pretty much everything else. It did help that each student was in the same position I was. So we forged ahead together, grasping new concepts and settling into new routines. The eighteen months seem to pass quickly.

Now, the final classes are upon us. NEC set up a consistent schedule for us to work on our final thesis projects. That helped tremendously for students like me, who are organized planners and procrastinators at the same time. Well, I won’t go so far as to say procrastinator, instead I will just say that I am a diligent reviser striving for perfection (or as close as I can get), which can cause some delay in finishing a project. Now that was an “aha” moment in the making!

Getting back to the final class, portfolios, I find the hardest subject to write about is me. In this class, we not only have to build a presentation that brags about what we have done, but then we have to continue the bragging rights and develop another presentation that brags about what we can do. It is not bragging though if we choose to describe it in different words. It is recognizing our accomplishments and demonstrating how we can use our achievements to go forth and help others. I guess it is all in the words one chooses to put together. Maybe it is a good thing I am writer so I can choose the right words when embarking on a new challenge, such as creating my portfolios.

But words are not the only choice I will be making on this journey. I will be choosing the tools of the presentation and visual elements. I find myself trying out new Web 2.0 tools constantly, seeking the platform that will offer the best features and functionality to accomplish my goals. The choices are numerous and I can spend hours "playing" with them! Ahh, my head is swimming.

The good news; however, is a discussion one of my classmates created resulted in this week’s “aha” moment. In defining the two portfolios that each of us is to design, she remarked that we “control” how the viewer experiences our portfolio. 
Control!?! - whoosh, down came the gavel, I was sold!

The word “control” reminded me of what I learned years ago as a car salesperson. Actually, a lot of things remind of my days in sales since I believe everything we do is sales whether it is selling a car on the dealer's lot, an old printer on Craigslist, or myself through a portfolio. 

A good salesperson controls the sale and control is achieved by following the process. This holds true no matter what is being sold; every sale follows the same process.There's that word again, "control." I was playing with all the tools instead of taking control of the job that needed to be done. To control the sale I must go through the process, committing to completion of each step before moving to the next one. 

The Sales Process

Step 1:  Product knowledge and be able to articulate the features and benefits to others
 - my product is what will be displayed in my portfolios.

Step 2:  Identify the customer
 – my target audience for each portfolio.

Step 3:  Develop the approach
– find the platform and discern content and visual elements that will entice  the audience.

Step 4:  Take a test drive
             – present drafts to classmates and professor for feedback.

Step 5:  Overcome the objections
– revision time!

Step 6:  Close the sale
 – launch the websites.

Taking control by breaking it down in steps that can be focused on individually suddenly makes the end result achievable.

Good-bye overwhelmed student, hello graduate!


  1. Thanks for sharing another wonderfully engaging post, Lisa! I am indeed a fellow organized planner yet procrastinator who is overwhelmed and who is clinging to glimmers of hope to maintain control. The parallel between the portfolio and sales processes is particularly striking! I'll be glad to have this analogy moving forward.

    1. Thank you! It’s nice to know another double "p" (planner and procrastinator)! I am happy the parallel was effective. Sales has become ingrained in me and it has served me well throughout my career.

  2. Hi Lisa : As usual you have provided us with some excellent insights. I appreciate the relevance you offer us in the steps we need to take in our portfolio process. I find myself feeling reassured by your characterization of yourself as an "organized planner." I too would say I'm a planner, but even more of a worrier. Perhaps I have not yet found my "aha" moment. Or if I have, I've been too busy worrying about it.

    1. Hi Colleen,

      Thank you! My first graduation experience was from the sales academy, so to speak!

      I share the "worry" issue with you, when I write. Though, I think your "aha" moment as a writer came long ago and now you continue to perfect the exceptional!