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How to win friends and inf luence p e o p l e - t o ge t y o u r j o b n o w. A n d w h e n i t c o m e s t o ge t t i n g a j o b i n t h e 21 s t c e n t u r y … i t ’ s the secret of success. Lean, Trim, Clear, Ideas, Smart, Engaging, Compelling, Simply Delivered to any phone, any computer, on jobs becomes increasing more competitive, the individual who can define their idea, their experience and their value-add in a one-page proposal to an enterprise that conveys how by working together with you they can achieve greater success has a greater chance of landing a job. It’s a lesson entrepreneur Patrick Riley learned through experiences that combined personal power, the power of a good idea, plus the power of a one-page proposal to get people jobs all over the world. And now, in The Resume Is Dead introducing The One-Page Job Proposal, he shares his secret strategy – the one that has produced ­extraordinary results for himself and job seekers worldwide. The resume is dead! A new age now begins. Job success in the 21st Century involves new rules of engagement. In spite of the power of the Internet to disseminate thousands of resumes to thousands of employers through Internet job matching companies, no real connections are being made. The Internet is 10 to the power of infinity - accelerating the information about a job seeker AWAY from the human connection with the potential employer to a “place far away.” The multiplier effect of the Internet killed the resume as a marketing tool. It dehumanizes the process – ­effectively marginalizing the personal attributes of passion, will, courage and creative thinking. The resume is like one hand clapping. It is all about the job seeker, not about the job initiative. It is not engaging. And because electronic resumes are flooding employers and because one person of no distinction can send out a resume to 5000 companies tying up substantial resources, the companies are using computers to sort the resumes! The resume process as it stands today has made the process of getting a job impersonal, and more importantly it has hijacked the “can do” spirit of the New Frontier for


top of any preferred social network or - the human way - by hand to them personally. As competition for real

the individual seeking to make a contribution through his or her work. Meanwhile employers are very much follow your instincts, to be self-reliant, to become what you can, to own your life, to pioneer your own opportunities, to own your own job search, to adopt a positive attitude, to contribute good ideas that can make those enterprises of interest to you more successful and most importantly shows you step-by-step exactly how to get your job right now.

Patrick G. Riley is the principal of Geniisis Agents with business interests worldwide. He is a Chairman of The ­One-Page Company run by his daughter and CEO Joanna Riley Weidenmiller. Both are natives of San Franscisco.

Author photograph by James Whitcomb Riley

The One-Page Job Proposal® A Branded imprint of The One-Page Company Ideas Simply Delivered™


looking for the best people to work in their companies. This book shows you the Way. It encourages you to


The Resume is Dead! Introducing






• figuring out where you want to work • organizing your ideas • finding just the right words • getting it all on 1-page • standing out among the competition delivering your proposal to the right person • receiving a rapid and POSITIVE r ­esponse By the author of


O n e-Page

Pr o p o s al


The Resume is Dead ! The One-Page Job Proposal

T h e R e s u m e is D e a d! t h e O n e-Pa g e Job Propos a l H O W T O GE T YO U R JOB Now PATRICK G. RILEY The One-Page Proposal ® A Branded Imprint of The One-Page Company

the resume is dead ! The One-Page Job Proposal. Š 2007 by Patrick G. Riley. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information address The One-Page Company, 38 Calhoun Terrace, San Francisco, California 94133.

The One-Page Proposal books may be purchased for educational, business, ­government or sales promotional use. For information please write: Chief Marketing Officer, The One-Page Proposal, 38 Calhoun Terrace, San Francisco, California 94133. FIRST EDITION Designed by Datapage International Ltd, Dublin, Ireland Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Riley, Patrick G. The resume is dead ! The One-Page Job Proposal: how to get your job pitch onto one persuasive page / Patrick G. Riley ISBN 978-0-578-06585-451111 (paperback) 1. Proposal writing to get a job. 2. Getting a job. I. Title: The Resume Is Dead. II. Title: The One-Page Job Proposal.



1 Starting Out


  Discovering Personal Power and the Power of a Good Idea    DiscoverCombining Personal Power, the ing the Power of the One-Page Proposal    Power of a Good Idea and the Power of the One-page Proposal to Get The Resume Died! the Job   

2 Who Do You Admire? Go to Work for Them


  Still Not Sure? Drill Down and Find the Answers Within You, U ­ sing the ­ ossibilities, and SIC Tool   Need Another Example   Now Imagine the P Add Them to Your Shopping Cart   Troubleshooting: I Can’t Do It

3 Discover that One Thing


  Discover the One Thing—Inside You. Discover the Power of Step 1: Identify the Industry    Step 2: Getting More One Within You    Step 3: Getting Information About ­Information About the Industry    Step 4: Identifying the Key Players, Individuals and Specific Companies    Step 5: ZeroExecutives at the Company and What “Makes Them Tick”    ing in On the Key Player that You Would Love to Meet and Have a Discussion With, and Work for in the Company—Finding Something in Them Step 6: Discover the One Thing, You Respect—Outside of the Company    which More than Anything Else in the Company, that Drives, ­Annoys, Motivates or Concerns the Target Person

4 Choose an Idea You Are Both Interested In


  People Invest Where Their Minds are. Asking Someone to Hire You, is Asking Them and Your Idea. What do You and They Have in The Importance of Cool, Calm and Collected Preparation  ­Common?      Listen to What the Target Person, Company, and Industry are Saying Looking for Clues: First Do Some Mental HouseAbout Themselves    Be honest. Do the Work. There’s a Lot to Learn. Your Goal cleaning    Start Researching Your Idea With the InIs Complete Understanding    Here are a Few Tips to Help You Locate What You Need    Traternet    Who Gets The One-Page Job ditional Research Can Work Just as Well    Keeping It Personal    What’s the Deal On Your Targeted Proposal?    Factor in the Opposing Team    Make Sure Your Research Person?    Anticipate the Questions Reflects the Truth   

5 The Basics


  What is It?    Why One Page?    What It Says About You    How It It Couples You and Short Circuits the Human Resources Department    There are Other the Enterprise (Like You, Paris and the Eiffel Tower)    Why One and a Half Won’t Reasons for The One-Page Job Proposal    What’s Wrong with the Resume? The Resume is Dead!    What The Do    When Do You Use The One-Page Job One-Page Job Proposal Isn’t    How The One-Page Job Proposal Levels the Playing Field  Proposal?      Leapfrog the Executive Recruiter & Executive Search Firms    The The One-Page Job Proposal and the One-Page Job Proposal and You    Is The One-Page Job Proposal Right for You? Bad Idea   

6 The Road Map — Start to Think It Through   Pull It All Together    A Sample The One-Page Job Proposal    The ­Sequence is Sacrosanct


7 On Your Mark, Get Set. Translate Your Knowledge into the One-Page Format ­


  Step 1: Sort Your Research and Thoughts    Step 2: Downsize    Step 3: Step 4: Start writing. Write a few Now Prioritize Within the Folders    Step 5: Take a break. Leave, Then Revissentences about each folder.    Okay you’re on your mark and set — so let’s go, it this Document    its time to write the first draft

8 Write your DRAFT One-Page Job Proposal


  The Title Comes First. Headline the Story    Subtitle: Build Onto The Target: State Your Goal    Secondary Targets: Title With The Subtitle    Rationale: Who, What, Where, Why, How & Your Clarify Your Goal    The Financial Block    Status—Where the You and Your Idea Stand Bio    Action—If You Don’t Ask, Yours is Not a Proposal!    Date It Now    (and Sign It on the final-final OPP)

9 Improve, Reduce and Compress


  Add In and Take Out    Start the Elimination Round    Start Eliminate the Obvious    Shorten Through W ­ riting ­Compressing Data    Style and Language

10 Add Power to Your Proposal


  Use the Third Person    Use Positive, Active Words    Use ­Convincing Language

11 Troubleshoot — A Technical Edit   Do A Grammar Check    Subject-Verb Agreement    Spelling    Punctuation    ­ Abbreviations    Capitalization    Avoid ­Awkward


­ onstructions and Word Usages    C Try to Make It Universal    Reading ­ Get It on One Page for Substance   

12 A Great The One-Page-Page Job Proposal Getting a Job with Pharaoh Cheops


  Title and Subtitle    Target    Secondary Targets    Rationale    Now You Set the Stage for Your Pitch by Giving the Background I­ nformation    Financial    ­ Status    Action    The Max Riley - Dolby Side-by-Side Comparison: Resume versus One Page Job Proposal

13 Specifications & Production Values


    The Hard Copy—Use Quality Materials    Pick A Typeface and Type General Appearance Size   

14 Make the Connection—Presenting Your One-Page Proposal to Your Target Employer


  Putting It Into Play    Telephone Protocol    You are Prepared for All Know Your Proposal Inside and Out    Take It of These Possibilities    Up Your Own Organization: Get Promoted, to the Best and Brightest    Put Your Heart Into It    What If They Say Become the Real Apprentice    My Goals for You No?   

15 For Help: Tap into The One-Page Job Proposal Network


  Support The 1-page Wizard fully-automated only $11.11 from



Chapter 1

Starting Out

When I was a young man of 22 traveling through Turkey, I picked up a copy of Newsweek magazine. In its pages I came across an article ­describing the extraordinary life and conservation efforts of two ­Americans, ­actor William Holden and his best friend, Don Hunt. The picture alongside the article showed the two of them running through the tall grass of Kenya chasing a cheetah. The article described their life at the Mount ­Kenya Safari Club, and their vision for it. It was 1969. Most of my friends were serving in the Armed Forces, several in Vietnam. A couple of them had been killed in action. I felt lucky to be declared 4F as a result of a ­serious football injury, but I felt a certain sense of responsibility to use this ­reprieve for something wonderful with my life. I took the Newsweek article as a sign. I decided to go to work for them.

1. Discovering Personal Power and the Power of a Good Idea On my own account I traveled to Kenya and spent the next four months studying every detail of these two men’s lives—their businesses and their private concerns. [Holden was a big star (academy award winner, ­leading man to most of the beautiful ladies of the day) and a very successful ­businessman with media interests as far away as Hong Kong. Don Hunt

was (and still is) a self-made excellent businessman with a passion for ­saving endangered wildlife—which he does with great results using his own money.] So after four months of learning everything I could about these two guys, I called Don Hunt to make an appointment to see him, to make him an offer he couldn’t refuse—to hire me! (William ­Holden was away on location filming Wild Bunch.) Calling Hunt from the ­remote area of Lake Baringo in Kenya to Nanyuki, where the Mount Kenya Safari Club is ­located, required the use of a radio. That meant ­keying the ­microphone and saying “over” after each complete thought. The ­conversation was very awkward, as you can imagine. But basically because I knew the ­action I wanted (a meeting), and because I had thought out my ­proposition, I got that meeting to be held precisely at noon about three weeks from the date of the call. The meeting was to be a lunch held at Don Hunt’s home at the Mount Kenya Game Ranch in the foothills of Mt. Kenya itself. A couple of ­problems arose before the meeting: I was based in the outskirts of ­Nairobi (150 miles from the appointed meeting place), I didn’t have a car and I didn’t have a suit. As soon as I got back from safari, I went into Nairobi and convinced a tailor to make me a khaki suit for $50. I borrowed a club tie and white dress shirt from my host who was a British colonel in the Kings African Rifles. As for the problem of the lack of a car, I decided to hitchhike! The day of the meeting I got up at 4AM and set out at 6AM in my new suit for Nanyuki. [I carried no resume.] Six rides and six hours ­later I ­arrived at the Mount Kenya Safari Club where I was taken to the exquisite ­bungalow of Don Hunt. Also attending the lunch were two of the ­partners in the club from Switzerland and their beautiful wives. The ­feeling was more like the south of France. Lunch was exquisite and served. After lunch the other guests left and Don suggested we have coffee on the veranda. His first question to me was: “How can I help you?” My answer: “I’d like to come to work for you.” His answer: “We don’t have anything.” My response: “Well what about ‘x’ which I have been learning about, or ‘y’ which so and so told me about. Or what about ‘z’. All these things are projects you are working on where I think I could learn and make a difference.” I have been studying these projects and have an idea of how I can help you make these projects work even better. His next question: “How did you come to know about those things?”

2 the one-page job proposal

My response: “You don’t understand Mr. Hunt. I have come 12,000 miles from my home in Atherton, California to work for you. I am passionately interested in your enterprises. I want to work for you. If you give me the opportunity, I will work hard for you.” The meeting went on from there. We spoke for several hours. His telling me stories about their work in East Africa, visions for i­nternational wildlife preservations, documentary films in the making; my telling s­tories about my family and growing up. Finally it was getting dark; he wrapped up the conversation by setting another meeting in Nairobi in two weeks time. Meanwhile he invited me to stay the night at the Club. Now I must say this was a tempting offer, being one of the prettiest clubs I’d ever seen, but I turned him down, saying I had business in Nairobi the following day that required me to return that night. He then offered to walk me to my car! I told him I had hitchhiked and that if he would be so kind as to drop me on the Nanyuki-Kenya road I would find my way back to ­Nairobi just fine. Which I did. Following the next meeting, he had me flown up in a private plane to a cheetah capture operation 800 miles away in Somalia, where he had arranged for me to meet his Somali friends and a white hunter who introduced me to what was to become my favorite of all cats—the cheetah. A week later he flew up and said: “So what can you do for me”? I replied with a specific reference of things I could do to improve the operation in Somalia (Being that it was my first job the list was pretty small: I spoke Italian, had run a small business in college, was a good learner and would work very hard to increase his company’s position in Somalia). On the other hand I pointed out there was the matter of catching Cheetah! He said he would have the Kenya born white hunter teach me that part. We agreed on the salary and terms, and we shook hands. I got the job. Then for the first and only time he said “Oh yes can you send me and my company in the US your CV and three references for our records”. I returned home, got married, and after a little training headed back to Africa. [By the way, I found out later that literally three thousand of the people who had read the Newsweek article had written Holden and Hunt asking for jobs and sending resumes, but I was the only one who had traveled the distance to Kenya to meet them - and remarkably the only person to propose a new idea of how I could help them become even more successful.] And within five months I was on safari in the Horn of Africa with Holden and Hunt, catching wild animals in Somalia in a relocation ­effort. I was a long way from home and it was my first job. And I loved it.

Starting Out


I worked for them for six years, sometimes catching cheetah in Somalia, other times closer to home building drive-through safari parks for the likes of Warner Brothers. It was a great time in my life during which I enjoyed many wonderful adventures and began my career. Getting my first job was the end of the beginning. But I kept using personal power to create all sorts of wonderful opportunities in my job—I learned to use my personal power to cross boundaries of ­function, technology, hierarchical business and geography to create new ­business ­opportunities for my employers. I became a “marketeer”. I used ­personal power to learn about the world in new ways, even to get into Oxford ­University where I got my BA and MA. In all of this, I sort of threw away the rulebook about what was possible. I learned that business ­(whether the business of developing your career or the business of ­living) is ­personal. I learned that people commit themselves to other people, not to ­organizations. I learned that to be successful in anything you have to commit, to make a ­proposition to go forward, and go the distance y­ ourself. At the same time I also figured out something important was ­missing—something I wouldn’t learn until I was 37 years old from a Saudi ­Arabian—one of the best marketers on earth—in another one of those prettiest places on earth.

2. Discovering the Power of the One-Page Proposal So advance forward 15 years after starting my career, when I am a 37 year-old businessman, and Adnan Khashoggi, one of the richest men in the world, invited me to Monte Carlo to join him aboard his yacht to discuss a business proposition my company had presented to him a few months earlier. I had met Khashoggi some time before at the Mount ­Kenya ­Safari Club, where a mutual friend introduced us. Khashoggi is a uniquely ­personable and gracious man. I enjoyed him immensely and ­admired his obvious success in international business. I was looking ­forward to doing business with him. But here in Monaco two years later, getting around to business took awhile. I was his guest at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco for nearly a week as I awaited my turn in his schedule. While Khashoggi was busy hosting numerous guests, from the King of

4 the one-page job proposal

Jordan to the actress Brooke Shields, I was spending my days at Cap d’Antibes and other glorious spots along the French Riviera. This was the kind of waiting I could get used to. Finally my time to meet with him came—at 1 o’clock in the morning. I was summoned to meet Khashoggi on his yacht Nabila which at 272 feet was the largest yacht of its time. I was prepared for an in-depth discussion of the elaborate business plan my brother Tommy and I had sent to him a few months earlier concerning our company’s activities in the Horn of Africa. I was expecting him to ask detailed questions about the intricacies of our proposal, which concerned an equipment dealership I wanted to develop as a joint venture. But he had other ideas. Here is what he said: “I want to teach you how to write something very important—a one-page proposal.” Those few words put me on alert: obviously I had made some kind of mistake with the business plan. At first I was shocked. Like most ­businessmen, I was trained to be thorough, meticulous, and detailed in my presentations—my brother and partner Tommy even more so—his having graduated from Stanford and Harvard Business School. I hadn’t expected our 50-page proposal could have been too much. But here was a clear sign that it was. I wondered, was this my cue to thank him for his time and leave? Apparently not. Not only was Khashoggi not pushing me out the door, he couldn’t have been friendlier, and it was apparent that he was in earnest: he really wanted me to understand what he was trying to say. I listened as Khashoggi continued. “The One-Page Proposal has been one of the keys to my business success, and it can be invaluable to you, too. Few decision-makers can ever afford to read more than one page when deciding if they are interested in a deal or not. This is even more true for people of a different culture or language.” I could hardly miss the message. The proposal we had prepared was not suited for a man like Khashoggi—not because it lacked thoroughness, but because it lacked brevity! Following common practice, our original proposal was divided into sections—Company, Business, Risk Factors, Markets, Capitalization, Financial, Management, Recent Events, Legal, and References—and included dozens of appropriate diagrams, charts, and maps. But in preparing it, I quickly realized, we had failed to recognize an important fact about our target audience—he couldn’t take the time to digest our exhaustive proposal and make a decision. Even fifty

Starting Out


pages—short by conventional business-plan standards—would just take too long. Our proposal had failed to deliver our idea in a way that enabled Khashoggi to act. And that was a pity, as he explained, because he wanted to. He was motivated to act on our behalf for several reasons—he already had business dealings in the region, he liked us and our general idea, and, of course, he had the money. (According to his biographer, at that time Khashoggi had direct investments in 1500 enterprises and was earning two hundred thousand dollars a day from his un-invested capital.) He had been ready to move forward—until our elaborate, overwrought proposal had given him second thoughts and had frustrated his ability to make a decision. By the time I met with him, he had gotten it off his desk, passing it along to lower-level advisors for evaluation. The second, subtler, implication of Khashoggi’s advice was that in the international arena, key decision-makers may not have sufficient language skills or cultural knowledge to evaluate an elaborate proposal. In many cases such a figure would have to refer more demanding proposals to subordinates, as Khashoggi had done—taking the proposal right off the front burner, perhaps for good. Yet Adnan Khashoggi was thoughtful enough to take time to advise me on how to improve my chances. And so, for several hours in the middle of that night, aboard the most beautiful yacht in the world, one of the world’s wealthiest men carefully laid out for me the essence of writing a business proposal that a business person like him could read, digest, and act on immediately. For him the answer was a One-Page Proposal that described, in simple, clear form, the entire structure of the deal and what he was being asked to do. I knew Khashoggi knew what he was talking about, for he himself had successfully made similar proposals to kings, Presidents, and the CEOs of the largest multinational corporations on earth. In two hours he became a teacher as well as a friend. I left his company at about 3 a.m., enriched, and returned home to San Francisco with a wonderful gift and a secret. The secret I learned from Khashoggi that night has since brought me revenues of over 14 million dollars. I have used the principle he ­suggested to me to advance my business interests at home and overseas, using my own One-Page Proposal format to develop business ventures in the ­United States and Japan, and even to advance some private interests of my ­family. 6 the one-page job proposal

As I continued to use the One-page Proposal I knew I was on to something. On behalf of one of my clients, Fuji Photo Film Co Ltd of Tokyo, I had a meeting with the president of one of Silicon Valley’s great technology companies. When I arrived and was seated in his office, he was on the phone. Glancing around his office, I noticed on his credenza a stack of more than 40 proposals—solicitations from other companies, entrepreneurs, and even some from within his own company. They were slick proposals, no doubt filled with wonderful ideas, numbers, charts and graphs, using sophisticated graphic tools to illustrate all manner of brilliant points. All at once I realized what all these proposals had in common—they were unread! Thinking back to that night in Monaco, I realized that the OnePage Proposal was a tool that could expedite ventures not only with the wealthiest people in the world, but also with business people of all walks of life. I wondered how those proposal writers would feel if they knew their carefully constructed presentations were buried, unread, and likely to remain so. So many good ideas that would never take root; so much time lost; so much energy wasted; so much venture capital that would never find its way to worthy hands. I thought of my friends—businessmen, investment bankers, Hollywood producers, writers, young people with ideas for their companies—whose lengthy proposals were always languishing in the backwaters of executive suites. And it was then that I knew the secret Khashoggi had shared with me should be shared with entrepreneurs everywhere, to help them convey their important propositions quickly, powerfully, and persuasively to the busy men and women who could make them happen.

3. Combining Personal Power, the Power of a Good Idea and the Power of the One-page Proposal to Get the Job Even though I felt evangelical about it, I had kept the secret of the OnePage Proposal to myself for years, even as I used it as a private ­working ­practice and key element of my business style. I even improved on it ­after carefully studying famous One-Page Proposals in history—from the ­Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence to the ­Arecibo ­Interstellar Message sent into deep space. Then a good friend, ­publishing ­mogul Judith ­Regan, encouraged me and eventually published the secrets of the one-page proposal in a book of the same name under her imprint, Starting Out


­ egan Books at Harper Collins. The book was titled “The One-Page ProR posal.” And the word was out. In spite of no ­publicity or marketing, the secret methodology of the one-page proposal was ­spreading around the world, with translations in ­Japanese, Korean and Chinese. I started to get inquiries everyday from around the world. People of all ages using the OnePage Proposal in a thousand different ways—many, many to get jobs. Then, recently, something happened that made me decide to combine the two secrets, personal power and the One-Page Proposal and write this book. My children and their friends grew up and they themselves were looking for jobs. Also many friends my age, being voluntary or involuntarily displaced from their jobs, were faced with looking for jobs too. Women friends who had now finished the job of “raising their families” were ready to go back into the work place. And of course many people with jobs were switching jobs. I started to listen to them. Just like the circumstances of the “deluge of proposals” had created an opening for the One-Page Proposal as a new business development tool for companies around the world, my friends resumes were suffering a similar problem of being drowned out by a hiring climate deluged by tons of meaningless resumes distributed to faceless companies through the Internet, thus creating an opportunity for a new tool to get a job. Reaching the movers and shakers with a resume to get a job was becoming more ­difficult, in part because it lacked brevity yes, but more ­significantly ­because it lacked connection! Resumes lacked connection. Resumes had become extraneous bits of information in a world drowning in bits of information. Resumes had increasing lost value as a tool for getting a job in the new “crowded” economy. And very obviously resumes contained no new ideas for success for the enterprise in question! Resumes lacked ­engagement and commitment to an employer’s’ interests and ­appreciation for the circumstances and market factors in their world. I began to understand that job success in the 21st Century involved new rules of engagement. In spite of (or because of) hordes of books about writing resumes and getting jobs, or the power of the Internet to disseminate thousands of resumes to thousands of employers through companies like, no real connections were being made. The essence of the human experience that I had exchanged with Don Hunt years ago was being lost in the crowd.

8 the one-page job proposal

The Internet was 10 to the power of infinity—accelerating the information about the potential employee away from the human connection with the employer. Removing the important biographical information to a “place far away.” The multiplier effect of the Internet killed the resume as a marketing tool. It was dehumanizing the process—effectively marginalizing the human being.

4. The Resume Died! The resume as an “opening marketing tool” for getting work in the 21st century had become obsolete. The resume is dead! It is like one hand clapping. It is all about the job seeker, not about the job. It is not engaging; quite the opposite. The resume fails to make a connection to a specific enterprise–and so the information contained in the resume has no relevance to the opportunity that might exist with a particular company. In a crowded world with ever growing new ways to get even more information, the resume has become extraneous. “Of external origin; introduced or added from without; foreign to the object to which it is attached or which contains it.” And because electronic resumes are flooding employers and because one person of no distinction can send out a resume to 5000 companies tying up substantial resources and screwing up the process, the companies are using computers to sort the resumes! The employment process is being guided by “the machines” al la Matrix and Terminator. Meanwhile the employers are very much looking for the best people to work in their companies. I realized that to get a job today required taking oneself to the first power—namely you having a conversation with the employer ­personally. To get a job today people have to go beyond “changing the color of their parachutes or moving their cheese,” they have to engage their ­employer directly. They have to penetrate the “noise” of the Internet. They have to deliver their proposition to perform a job in a form that presents their individual proposition and their credentials—in one page. I realized that with over 15 million Americans looking for jobs this year, the multiplier effect worked against my children and friends finding good jobs. Starting Out


And beyond those numbers a lot of people switching jobs who wouldn’t appear as unemployed but who could use The One-Page Job Proposal to their advantage, as competition for good jobs becomes increasingly more competitive and the individual capable of defining their interest and value add in a one-page proposal to a new enterprise has a greater chance of landing a job. So I wrote this book. In his State of the Union Address, January 27, 2010, President Barack Obama said, “But I realize that for every success story, there are other stories of men and women who wake up with anguish where their next paycheck will come from, who send out resumes week after week hearing nothing in response.” At The One-Page Company we believe in you and appreciate that you have a unique life experience, and unique ideas that if applied to an enterprise can make that company, our world – and most importantly you and your family – prosperous. In the pages ahead you will discover the benefits of The One-Page Job Proposal, and learn how to write one yourself. The One-Page Job Proposal will enable you to find your real job, engage them with your idea of what together you can do to achieve greater success and deliver it simply on One-Page. I think you will find it to be a perfect communications tool for most get-the-job situations in your life—and that it can have fascinating unexpected benefits for you as a person. Like all processes, it is a journey, so let’s get started.

10 the one-page job proposal

Chapter 2

Who do you admire? Go to work for them

 Subtext 1: What enterprise do you believe is making a real difference in your life and the world around you? Go to work for them.  Subtext 2: Where on the planet do you want to see and experience before you die? Go to work there.  Subtext 3: “Do not be encumbered by history. Go off and do something wonderful.” (Robert Noyce co-founder Intel) The first part of the journey is to decide where you want to go. I realize what made it possible for me to put my heart and soul into the proposition of working in my first job was fundamentally I admired the principals in the company as people, admired their enterprise, and longed to experience Africa. The business of getting a job is personal, meaning you and your needs drive it. A friend of my grandfather lived to be a hundred and decided to hold a most unusual birthday party in the redwood forest north of San Francisco. Among these old and grand trees some as old as 2000 years, he hosted a great party for his still living friends—meaning one 90 year old, four 80 year olds, seven 70 year olds, ten 60 year olds and one 45 year old (yours

truly as a representative of my grandfather Miles O’Brien). He began the party with a toast that went as follows: “First of all let me say how happy I am to be here and alive to see you, my now closest living friends. Now at 100 years of age, friends are my treasure. When I was a little boy at the end of the nineteenth century, my grandfather told me a most valuable ­lesson which has served me all my life: ‘If you want to have friends, you have to be a friend first’.” Translated into the message of this book: If you want to be admired by an employer (someone who is going to be paying you tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions over many years), you have to admire them first. To admire them first you have to get to know them, and if you know them now, get to know them even better. Your admiration will be apparent. It is the fuel of your passion. Passion is the “tipping point” that is evident to any employer in your eyes, voice, and posture when you finally meet. If you are looking for an easy exercise to help you find the desires within, start by making a list on one sheet of paper, divide it into three columns under the headings Persons, Companies, and Places. Fill the columns as best you can. Notice how they relate or don’t relate. Your list gives you the coordinates for YOUR One-Page Job Proposal. In these you are at level one - ground zero. And ready to go to work for them. If so, you can skip the rest of this chapter and go to Chapter 3!

Still Not Sure? Drill Down and Find the Answers Within You, Using the SIC Tool For those who aren’t quite at ground zero, I’d like to help you “drill down” to those levels that more accurately reflect where you are, to hit your personal bedrock of knowledge and comfort from which together we can get you back to the surface from which you can build your proposal. I call the tool the SIC and Edgar Game but it is properly known as the Standard Industrial Classification System. It’s a codebook of sorts. And it’s free. Simply on the internet search:­edgar/­siccodes. htm. But for now I can get you pretty far by just encouraging you to read along and think as you read the rest of this chapter). The Standard ­Industrial

12 the one-page job proposal

Classification (now called NAICS) was originally developed in the 1930’s by the US Department of Commerce to classify establishments by the type of activity in which they are primarily engaged and to promote the comparability of establishment data describing various facets of the U.S. economy. If you are trying to understand companies and how they interrelate there is nothing better. The SIC covers the entire field of economic activities by defining industries in accordance with the composition and structure of the economy. Under the SIC system industries and forms of companies are identified by a 2 to 4-digit code. The longer code accommodates the larger number of sectors and allows more precise designation as to the types of companies. X XX XXX XXXX

Titles and Descriptions of Industries Industry Subsectors Establishments groupings Types of Establishments

Here is how it can work for you: At the simplest level, the descriptions of industry groups, you would ask yourself to examine and choose your preference from the first level of classification describing the most basic categories of industries. In fact all industry in the world of SIC breaks down to these 10 areas: Agriculture, Forestry, & Fishing Mining Construction Manufacturing Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas, & Sanitary Services Wholesale Trade Retail Trade Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate Services Public Administration As you review the list above cross out what industry types you are not interested in. At this point you are making progress by defining what you are not interested in. Okay, now let’s get more specific. In the SIC world these industries are further broken down to the two-digit level. Examine the list below

Who do you admire? Go to work for them


(足 particularly in the industrial sector you identified above) and become even more selective. Remember you are trying to find YOUR passion, not what you think others want you to do. A. Division A: Agriculture, Forestry, & Fishing Major Group 01: Agricultural Production Crops Major Group 02: Agriculture Production Livestock & Animal Specialties Major Group 07: Agricultural Services Major Group 08: Forestry Major Group 09: Fishing, Hunting, & Trapping B. Division B: Mining Major Group 10: Metal Mining Major Group 12: Coal Mining Major Group 13: Oil & Gas Extraction Major Group 14: Mining & Quarrying Of Nonmetallic Minerals, Except Fuels C. Division C: Construction Major Group 15: Building Construction General Contractors & Builders Major Group 16: Heavy Construction Contractors Major Group 17: Construction Special Trade Contractors D. Division D: Manufacturing Major Group 20: Food & Kindred Products Major Group 21: Tobacco Products Major Group 22: Textile Mill Products Major Group 23: Apparel & Other Finished Products of Fabrics Major Group 24: Lumber & Wood Products, Except Furniture Major Group 25: Furniture & Fixtures Major Group 26: Paper & Allied Products Major Group 27: Printing, Publishing, & Allied Industries Major Group 28: Chemicals & Allied Products Major Group 29: Petroleum Refining & Related Industries Major Group 30: Rubber & Miscellaneous Plastics Products Major Group 31: Leather & Leather Products Major Group 32: Stone, Clay, Glass, & Concrete Products Major Group 33: Primary Metal Industries Major Group 34: Fabricated Metal Products Major Group 35: Industrial Machinery & Computer Equipment 14 the one-page job proposal

 ajor Group 36: Electronic & Other Electrical Equipment & M Components Major Group 37: Transportation Equipment Major Group 38: Measuring, Instruments; Photographic, Medical & Optical Major Group 39: Miscellaneous Manufacturing Industries E. Division E: Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas, & Sanitary Services Major Group 40: Railroad Transportation Major Group 41: Transit & Interurban Highway Passenger Transportation Major Group 42: Motor Freight Transportation & Warehousing Major Group 43: United States Postal Service Major Group 44: Water Transportation Major Group 45: Transportation By Air Major Group 46: Pipelines, except Natural Gas Major Group 47: Transportation Services Major Group 48: Communications Major Group 49: Electric, Gas, & Sanitary Services F. Division F: Wholesale Trade Major Group 50: Wholesale Trade-durable Goods Major Group 51: Wholesale Trade-non-durable Goods G. Division G: Retail Trade Major Group 52: Building Materials, Hardware, Mobile Home Dealers Major Group 53: General Merchandise Stores Major Group 54: Food Stores Major Group 55: Automotive Dealers & Gasoline Service Stations Major Group 56: Apparel & Accessory Stores Major Group 57: Home Furniture, Furnishings, & Equipment Stores Major Group 58: Eating & Drinking Places Major Group 59: Miscellaneous Retail H. Division H: Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate Major Group 60: Depository Institutions Major Group 61: Non-depository Credit Institutions Major Group 62: Security & Commodity Brokers, Dealers, Exchanges

Who do you admire? Go to work for them


Major Group 63: Insurance Carriers Major Group 64: Insurance Agents, Brokers, & Service Major Group 65: Real Estate Major Group 67: Holding & Other Investment Offices I. Division I: Services Major Group 70: Hotels, Rooming Houses, Camps, & Other Lodging Places Major Group 72: Personal Services Major Group 73: Business Services Major Group 75: Automotive Repair, Services, & Parking Major Group 76: Miscellaneous Repair Services Major Group 78: Motion Pictures Major Group 79: Amusement & Recreation Services Major Group 80: Health Services Major Group 81: Legal Services Major Group 82: Educational Services Major Group 83: Social Services Major Group 84: Museums, Art Galleries, & Botanical & Zoological Gardens Major Group 86: Membership Organizations Major Group 87: Engineering, Accounting, Research, Mgmt, & Relate Major Group 88: Private Households Major Group 89: Miscellaneous Services J. Division J: Public Administration Major Group 91: Executive, Legislative, & General Government Major Group 92: Justice, Public Order, & Safety Major Group 93: Public Finance, Taxation, & Monetary Policy Major Group 94: Administration of Human Resource Programs Major Group 95: Administration of Environmental Quality & Housing Programs Major Group 96: Administration of Economic Programs Major Group 97: National Security & International Affairs Major Group 99: Non-Classifiable Establishments Any bells going off yet? Let me lead you through a couple of examples. On your first pass looking at the ten industrial classifications you eliminated all the categories like Agriculture, Retail, Public Service, etc., and 16 the one-page job proposal

decided you wanted to be in Division I - Services of some type. In going through the list of services e.g. Legal, Motion Pictures, Health etc., you are attracted to SIC Major Group 79: Amusement & Recreation Services. In your further look at 79, you look at establishments under this group like Racing, Including Track Operation (7948) but what really catches your eye in Industry Group 799: Miscellaneous Amusement And Recreation is the description for 7991: Physical Fitness Facilities, which the SIC book describes as “Establishments primarily engaged in operating reducing and other health clubs, spas, and similar facilities featuring exercise and other active physical fitness conditioning, whether or not on a membership basis. Also included in this industry are establishments providing aerobic dance and exercise classes. Sports and recreation clubs are classified in Industry 7997 if operated on a membership basis, and in Industries 7992 or 7999 if open to the general public. Health resorts and spas providing lodging are classified in …” This attracts you for a lot of reasons. One, it already exists in your life. You currently workout at Fitness USA 3 days a week. You understand and appreciate the service they provide. Besides Fitness USA you have friends who work out at Curves and have read recently that Curves and Fitness USA are opening new facilities all the time and going into ancillary businesses as well, like coffee bars. Besides these you have learned that one of the best Health Resorts, Canyon Ranch, is also expanding its facilities beyond Arizona to new operations and even ships at sea. You start to put your “life experience” and your “life interests” together with your search for an enterprise and person engaged in that enterprise that you can admire. Check it out. By going through this pretty simple exercise of selecting an industry, subgroups to establishments (and reading their descriptions), instead of floating in your job search YOU have decided: as a person you are more interested in the Services sector than other choices (manufacturing, retail, etc.) and that while this includes a wide range of business types and professional services establishments that YOU PERSONALLY have narrowed your immediate investigation to industries in the Amusement and Recreation Services. And you are starting your search in the establishments primarily engaged in operating reducing and other health clubs, spas, and similar facilities featuring exercise and other active physical fitness conditioning, whether or not on a membership basis. This is an important part of what I mean when I advise you to learn how to Take One(self) to the First Power.

Who do you admire? Go to work for them


See and listen to the world around you. You have taken a first step to get into your own head, and more importantly, you are constructing knowledge of the industry and therefore moving closer to a greater understanding of the person(s) to whom you will give your proposal. You are acknowledging yourself, your power, that you are the First Power. You begin to put your business interests in perspective of real markets. Using our example above you know now that the owner of your local workout place is in the business of providing distinct services, that he competes not just with other health clubs, but with a variety of establishments in the Amusement and Recreation Services, such as spas. When you finally meet him, understanding and appreciating the competitive forces that shape his or her business strategy may come to be very useful to you.

Need Another Example? Or another example: let’s say you are a skier. And in the Division I: Services industry, you found under major group: Hotels and recreation that one of the categories is operating ski resorts. This really interests you because you are an avid skier. You zero in on the industry and certain types of establishments, using SIC. But you might ask: If my success depends on connecting the dots, how do I find all the dots. In other words, if I know where I want to focus my attention by industry group and classification, how do I learn quickly who the major players are in my chosen fields. Meet Edgar, the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system also run by the Department of Commerce. Here is the really cool part of the same Industry Classification System codebook game, all companies in North America are classified by these very same numbers. The system is called EDGAR. The next part of your search now that you know which direction you want to begin your career journey, you can reverse engineer your job search and instantly get a list of some of the specific companies in the very classification. Using the same SIC numbers for reference, EDGAR “performs automated collection, validation, indexing, acceptance, and forwarding of submissions by companies and others who are required by law to file forms with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Its ­primary 18 the one-page job proposal

purpose is to increase the efficiency and fairness of the securities market for the benefit of investors, corporations, and the economy by accelerating the receipt, acceptance, dissemination, and analysis of time-sensitive corporate information filed with the agency.” Sticking with our example of the skiing industry, even a simple search identified over 2000 ski resorts in 37 countries and in 39 states of the US and uncovers several great prospects (for example the American Skiing Company—one of the largest operators of alpine ski, snowboard and golf resorts in the United States such as Killington and Mount Snow in Vermont; Sunday River and Sugarloaf/USA in Maine; Attitash Bear Peak in New Hampshire; Steamboat in Colorado; and The Canyons in Utah. For another example Vail Resorts, Inc. is a holding company that operates, through various subsidiaries in three business segments: Mountain, Lodging and Real Estate that owns and operates five premier ski resort properties that provide a comprehensive resort experience throughout the year.) My message: Bring your passions with you as you begin your journey for a new job. When you identify YOUR PASSION and the companies that support your passion, go to work for them.

Now Imagine the Possibilities, and Add Them to Your Shopping Cart A friend of mine, Archie, graduated from University of California at Santa Cruz two years ago. Archie is a fabulous guy, smart, resourceful, at home in many ­different cultures, a world traveler and good looking from two successful parents. His passion, which did not resemble his parents’ passions or the passions of any of his friends, is RESCUE, protecting and saving people from catastrophic events. When he came to me for advice just 14 months ago, all he could come up with was working for the police, fire department, or the military—none of which appealed to him, and all of which would “box in” Archie’s entrepreneurial spirit into a long term indentured career path, that would inhibit Archie’s real goal of someday running an extraordinary company that was at the leading edge of rescue operations world wide. So together Archie and I applied another variation of the SIC and Edgar Game above to unlock the answers already inside Archie, which he didn’t know. Using the index of the SIC codebook we did a “key word” Who do you admire? Go to work for them


search. We started with words like “rescue”, “emergency”, “firefighting”, “helicopter”, “Non Government Organizations (NGO)”, “military”, “nurses”. Here is what we came up with: Aerial surveying (except geophysical) 8713 Air ambulance services 4522 Coast Guard 9621 Emergency medical centers and clinics 8011 Emergency planning and mgmt offices, gov’t 9229 Emergency relief services 8322 Emergency shelters for victims of domestic or international disasters or conflicts 8322 Fire Fighter training schools 8249 Fire Insurance carriers 6331 Fire prevention, forests 0851 Fireboat building 3732 Firefighting volunteer and government 9224 Firefighting equipment and supplies—wholesale 5087 Firefighting services (including volunteer) 9224 Helicopter manufacturing 3721 International NGO “Non Government Organizations” 9721 Military: Air Force, Army, Navy 9711 Nurses’, licensed practical or registered 8049 Rescue services, medical 4119 Archie put all these establishments in his shopping cart. As if he were buying books on or clothes at LL Bean. He decided to “think through” his interest in each of these establishment types. Target one. He “reverse engineered” using the classifications codes using Edgar, to find the names of the leading companies in the field that HE admired, and decided to go to work for them. He found hundreds of companies, some global, some national and some regional. After he played Edgar he went to his local Yellow Pages and found companies “in his own community” that were in that field. He put a couple of the companies on his next Walkabout (coming up in this chapter) so he could eyeball the operations first hand and form his own impressions which he started to supplement with facts he was gathering through his own research (more about this later). What Archie thought was a small industry for rescue was in fact very large and could accommodate his needs going forward. In fact from classifications, based on about 15 minutes of work in the index, it was 20 the one-page job proposal

clear Archie’s quest for a job in “rescue” had crossed boundaries of no less than seven Industrial divisions: Agriculture, Forestry (A.), Manufacturing (D.), Transportation (E.), Wholesale Trade (F.), Finance Insurance (H.), Services (I. ), and Public Administration (J.). He then ranked these, according to his preference as to where to start. Archie, being very “hands on” and well-traveled decided he wanted to start with working for International NGO’s (like the Red Cross, Flying Doctors, etc.), at the same time based on preliminary conversations with people in NGO’s he is considering getting his credentials as a registered nurse while doing his field work for an NGO. Because he likes to travel and the tuition is the same, he is looking into nursing schools overseas in “countries he wants to experience before he dies.” As I write this section Archie has just returned from several months in Burma, all expenses paid by a physician working there to whom Archie provided a range of technical support services. Archie is starting his journey, now let’s see if we can start yours. But before going on to the next chapter I’d like to do a little trouble shooting for those who still feel a bit left behind.

Troubleshooting: I Can’t Do It I wrote this book to help people make their dreams come true. I know it is not easy. I am sure for many of you, like me, you have had failures and disappointments in getting a job and providing for your needs and the needs of your family. This is a human condition. The ebb and flow of life. I know because not only have I experienced it myself but also I now talk to people all over the world who use The One-Page Proposals to elevate their lives. I know for some the idea of getting a job is a big problem. I can hear their voices: I am ­powerless to get a job and unable do something wonderful in my work. Life has been tough for me. I don’t take personal pride in my work or anything. I live in the East, I need to move to the West. I live in the West and need to move to the East. I have made mistakes in my life. I am too poor, too rich, too skinny, too fat, the wrong color, too young, too old. I am not qualified to do anything. Not smart enough, not educated enough. All the advertised jobs require 3 to 5 years experience, this is my first job. I am afraid of rejection. I am afraid no one will hire me. I am hopeless. Who do you admire? Go to work for them


I wrote this book for you too. And I don’t make light of the difficult and different circumstances you may be facing as you approach getting a job. Someone I admire is Oprah Winfrey (US actress & television talk show host and by the way someone who has worked extremely hard for her own success and to promote the welfare of others). She expresses my sentiments when she said in an article in her O Magazine in September 2002: “I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint—and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” That is what getting the job—your best job—entails: to paraphrase Oprah, discovering what you love and finding a way to offer it to ­others—and get paid to do it as well. So for you people that just can’t get inspired to admire I suggest a special exercise, which we will call the Walkabout. The dictionary defines Walkabout in three ways: walk·a·bout (wôk’ -bout’) n. Australian. A temporary return to traditional Aboriginal life, taken especially ­between periods of work or residence in white society and usually involving a period of travel through the bush. A walking trip. Chiefly British. A public stroll taken by an important person, such as a monarch, among a group of people for greeting and conversation. e

I’d like you to think of this little exercise as a bit of each of the definitions. For the next few weeks as you move around in your life start observing all that is around you. The shops and shopkeepers, the banks and bankers, the bakery and bakers, the stores and storekeepers. As you do, think back on the best parts of your life growing up. Think about your roots (the struggles of your family to become established in society) and the places of business you remember as a child: the movie theater and the theater owner, the corner drug store and the pharmacist, the school and the school teacher, the post office and the mailman, the hamburger place and the waitress or waiter, the firehouse and the firemen, the place of worship and its guiding forces. As you travel on your walking trip through the streets of your life, remember the establishments and the people who 22 the one-page job proposal

ran them. Those ­establishments employed people with all sorts of dreams who found joy and reward in serving you and their community. That was THEIR job. [SIC codes,,,,,,respectively]. Stay alert to the possibilities around you. A couple of years ago, I got a call from a marvelous woman in a big Midwestern city in the United States. When she called me, she said: “Mr. Riley I read your book in a library. I need your help. I am jobless. In fact if the truth be told, I am homeless. I sleep among various friends but occasionally I am forced to sleep on the streets. The idea I want your help with occurred to me last night when I was forced to sleep in the alcove of an ATM machine. I noticed while sleeping in the ATM alcove that the ATM machine was filthy and that it was a bad reflection on the bank. I was wondering if you could help me write a 1-Page JOB Proposal to the person at the bank to clean their ATM machine every day.” She wrote the 1-Page. She got a job not just cleaning that ATM machine but others around her city. Now that is job creation. And she did it for herself. You can too. By the way I really look forward to hearing about your success. Please contact me at, send it to my attention. If you really want to go the distance in this exercise, go into these places of business all around you today and think of yourself as an important person (because indeed you are, or at the very least as a customer who uses their services or buys their products) greet them, introduce yourself, and have a conversation. I think you’ll find in them something to admire, and I think they may just find something in you that they admire. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Plus you get the exercise of getting out and getting moving which will change your state of mind and give your body some fresh air, an important ingredient for beginning your journey to GET THE JOB. When you go through the whole process, if you still need help contact me on our website and I’ll help you all I can.

Who do you admire? Go to work for them


Chapter 3

Discover that one thing

 Subtext 1: You are embarking on a journey of discovery within a specific company to have a conversation with a known or unknown person and talk about that one thing that you and they believe in common so you can convince them to hire you to join them in getting that one thing done better. What is that one thing?   Subtext 2: The business of getting a job is personal. It is all about ­connection between real people—you and the person with whom you want to work. What is that one thing that both you and he or she do or believe in c­ ommon?  Subtext 3: Look beyond the obvious for new knowledge that when integrated into your existing knowledge base leads to a completely new discovery about yourself and the company (of people) you have targeted.  Subtext 4: “Find out what that one thing is and everything else don’t mean sh*t.” (Curly-played by Jack Palance City Slickers 1991) In the 1991 movie comedy City Slickers three guys going through midlife crises (one having lost his job, another disenchanted and thinking of quitting his job, and the third consumed by his job) take a vacation on a western dude ranch where they get to experience the “cowboy adventure” by driving a cattle herd from their grazing ranch to the ranch where they will be rounded up and sold off to market. On the surface for the guys it is an eco-tourism adventure—the guys are going through the

motions but not investing themselves in the process. Not thinking beyond their narrow frames of reference. Not appreciating the real relevance of their circumstances, and the real people and real cowboys for whom the cattle drive is not a game but a livelihood. Then something happens to Mitch (the character played by Billy Crystal) when riding alone with the gruff trail boss “Curly” to round up some stray cattle. Curly then explains that all the rest of the stuff in life “don’t mean nothing” if you know the one thing that is the meaning of life. The Billy Crystal character asks what that one thing is. Curly tells him he has to find that out for himself. In the rest of the picture, Mitch finds his “One Thing” as he nearly drowns in a rain-swollen river. He is saved, leads the herd to Colorado through hard work with his friends, returns to his family, and embarks on a more meaningful, purposeful life. A lot of people treat getting a job like the “City Slickers” guys. They read a brochure, they sign up, and they “go to the dude ranch”, are amused, and walk away. The key to success in finding THE job is to think creatively. Start with you.

Discover the One Thing —Inside You. Discover the Power of One Within You In Chapter Two, you hopefully were able to identify your area of passion and put it into an industry context. Now I am going to take you through a step-by-step method for discovering more information about the industry, company, key people and finally key person who will help you get THE job. Throughout the process look for what interests you in the information. As an example in Chapter Two we used the case of an individual, let’s call her Mary Taylor, who was passionate about skiing in her ­recreational life, and then identified three or four major companies that would be good prospects for careers that operate ski resorts, such as the American Skiing Company (one of the largest operators of alpine ski, ­snowboard and golf resorts in the United States such as Killington and Mount Snow

26 the one-page job proposal

in ­Vermont; Sunday River and Sugarloaf/USA in Maine; Attitash Bear Peak in New Hampshire; Steamboat in Colorado; and The Canyons in Utah). As Mary goes through the step-by-step, it is important that she not lose a sense of what she enjoys about skiing that she would like to translate into any job she would want at the American Skiing Company. In fact her passion for skiing has a lot to do with her enthusiasm for the outdoors and mountains, her independent character (to be able to choose her own route down a mountain), her high energy and competitive ­spirit, her appreciation of her like-minded skiers, etc. [These are the search terms that in part define Mary as relates to her passion for s­kiing.] So as she starts digging into discovering more about the American Skiing Company or similar skiing companies, it is important that she bear in mind her own deep seated and particular interest in the skiing industry or that particular company—learning about the company, people and industry as a whole as it matches up with her. For example, in learning about the ski industry, Mary learned in fact the ski industry is part of a much larger resort industry. That the large companies in the industry in fact operate year round—even when there is no snow! She also learned that the ski resorts that operate year round have clientele that come for outdoor recreation for the season: skiing and a range of related sports in the winter and hiking and sailing in the summer. Obviously running a resort requires all kinds of talented people: food service people, accountants, hospitality services … as well as a whole range of services related to outdoor recreation. As Mary goes through the step-by-step, given her passions for the outdoors, she begins to pay particular attention to the information she is gaining by the step-by-step process related to the outdoor issues and opportunities. In the example, Mary decides to target an entry-level position in the American Skiing Company at Steamboat in Colorado. In particular she learns that she can combine two seasonal jobs, a cross-country ski trail maintenance team member in the winter, and a hiking guide to summer visitors. She now knows both positions are available at the American Skiing Company. Mary has also now identified the person responsible for both programs at Steamboat, and she decides to go after them with her one-page proposal.

Discover that one thing


Step 1: Identify the Industry The good news is you have already completed this step in Chapter Two. [It is important to do this. So if you didn’t quite get it, go through ­Chapter Two again and jump on our website to get this part right.] And even if you know the company or better yet the person you want to work for this is still the first step to real discovery and success. This step gives you the peripheral vision you need and your target person already has, that can provide a real context for your connection to the company.

Step 2: Getting More Information About the Industry My approach to getting excited about going through the step-by-step is to treat the whole process as an attempt to discover a lost treasure. If “X” marks the spot then by the time you got there the treasure would be gone. Responding to want ads, assumes that X marks the spot—and it does but very rarely. Like in director Steven Spielberg’s and writer George Lucas’ movie “Raider’s of the Lost Ark,” to find the lost treasure a couple of things are required. First and foremost you have to want to find the treasure and second you have to believe YOU CAN FIND IT. Information about the industry is very much like gathering the basic knowledge that Indiana Jones knew BEFORE setting off to Egypt to find the Lost Ark. For those of you who may have forgotten the story here is the ­summary according to Derek O’Cain, himself a great summary writer for some of Hollywood’s best motion pictures: “The year is 1936. Archaeology professor Indiana Jones narrowly ­escapes death in a South American temple with a gold idol—by poison dart, fall, and finally a giant boulder that chases him out the front. An old enemy, Rene Belloq, steals the idol and then orders Hovito ­Indians after Indy. Indy, however, escapes back to the USA, where Army ­Intelligence officers are waiting for him at his university. They tell him about a flurry of Nazi archaeological activity near Cairo,

28 the one-page job proposal

which Indy determines to be the possible resting place of the Ark of the Covenant—the chest that ­carried the 10 Commandments. The Ark is believed to carry an incredibly powerful energy that must not fall into Nazi hands. Indiana is immediately sent overseas, stopping in Nepal to pick up an old girlfriend (his old professor’s daughter) and then meeting up in Cairo with his friend Sallah. But danger lurks ­everywhere in the form of Nazi thugs, and poisonous snakes in the Ark’s resting place.” … Indiana Jones was a professor of Ancient History at the University of Chicago. He understood the historical context surrounding the Ark of the Covenant. He suspected it was in Egypt or thereabouts but did not know for certain. But he did know the historical parameters that could give him a clue. Even he needed more information. A clue, so he went off in search of clues. Step 2 “Getting More Information about the Industry” is simply learning as much as you can about the industry, to give you a platform of knowledge from which you can go off and get new clues about your specific target. A real basic tool that I use is Google. I literally key in “[the name of the industry] and the word “industry” to see what comes up. I pick and choose a couple of articles and scan them. If there is something I like I simply “cut and paste” that information into a word file that I name the “XYZ notes” file, knowing that I am going to dump into this file all sorts of information—some relevant and some irrelevant from which I am going to do my first draft of The One-Page Job Proposal. For all the discovery phase and step-by-step dump it into one file and don’t worry about organinzing it. The important thing is to have a depository for all your information so you don’t lose it. But let me see if I can’t be more helpful. A great friend and ­publisher Lily Binns, now the Managing Editor of Saveur, the world-renowned gourmet food magazine, in reading my first draft of this book challenged me to explain “how” I think through and discover the information about a person, company, or industry that gives me “the edge” in writing and presenting successful one-page proposals. Her comments lead to the ­inclusion of this very chapter. So to you and to Lily …

Discover that one thing


When I am reading through the general information about an industry I am thinking about things like: ÖÖ What is the history of the industry? ÖÖ How old is it? ÖÖ Has technology impacted the industry? ÖÖ What is working, or not working in the industry? ÖÖ What is the importance of weather and climate on the industry? ÖÖ What international pressures are there on the industry? ÖÖ Does any government regulate the industry? ÖÖ Which trade organizations and trade shows are there for the industry? ÖÖ Any recent revolutionary product or particular company in the industry? To get this information I try to keep my search terms and internet search portal to Google. I really don’t know exactly what I am looking for so I don’t want to get stuck. I don’t want you to get side tracked either. If you think some information is useful later, “cut and paste” it into your ONE notes file.

Step 3: Getting Information About Specific Companies Okay. Here is the situation, in terms of Raiders of the Lost Ark. You are Indiana Jones and you now know what you are looking for is nothing less than the fabled Ark of the Covenant—[in our case THE job for you]. Fabled is a key concern going around in your mind because people have been talking about the Ark for no less than 3300 years—and no one has found it. Certainly there is no “X” that marks the spot—or is there! There is in fact archaeological evidence from digs in Egypt and artifacts found on those sites that you learned about in your “industry search” that the Ark is indeed in Egypt. Furthermore one particular archaeological find, a medallion, if found and placed at the right point at the right time will “throw light” on the precise location of the treasure. Whoever finds the treasure takes home the prize. 30 the one-page job proposal

Step 3: Getting Information about specific companies is exactly like trying to find the evidence or the clues that “throw light” on where you are going to find the treasure. By zeroing in on a particular company, you are going to Egypt—and you need to learn everything you can about Egypt—the specific company—to find the clues and evidence inside that company that will throw light on an emerging opportunity that will ultimately link you to the treasure. Stay focused on ONE Company at the start. Even if later you decide to go after another company instead, the information you gather here will be very relevant. Indiana was going after the Ark. In the process he would uncover many artifacts that in themselves were good ­archaeological finds— but not for him. He stayed focused on the prize—and so must you. First, visualize the company. Again go back on Google (or your favorite search engine) to get basic answers to questions like: ÖÖ Where is the company headquarters? ÖÖ Do they have several locations? ÖÖ Are they located in a city or suburbs? ÖÖ Are they large or small? How many employees? ÖÖ Do they have their own website? Check it out—but not exclusively! ÖÖ Are they a publicly traded company or large government organization? ÖÖ If they are publicly traded, what is their trading symbol? [Check Yahoo Finance.] ÖÖ Does the company have a newsletter? ÖÖ What are some of the companies’ most famous products and brands, if any? ÖÖ Who are the company’s competitors? Before going on in your research in one specific area take a breather. Think about the company and enjoy a few moments absorbing this first level of information. If we go back to the skiing example and Mary Taylor, I would ask her to think about what it would be physically like for her at Steamboat in Colorado. I would ask her to envision living in Steamboat Springs. Take a minute to look at where the company is on a map—to enable you to get your bearings. If you have Google Earth, punch in the location and zoom down into the region to get a feel of the scenery, terrain, neighboring cities, etc. Look how the roads connect to Discover that one thing


the company; envision yourself at the company’s front door. Because that is where you are at in your research—at the front door! Second, let’s go into the company and look around—and take a look at their products and services. We are looking generally for an accurate “current” picture of the company: ÖÖ history ÖÖ major events ÖÖ major products ÖÖ niche products ÖÖ competitors ÖÖ trademarks ÖÖ patents ÖÖ contracts ÖÖ brands ÖÖ key leaders or officers ÖÖ new product introductions ÖÖ major planned future events Simply, these are your “search engine key words” which you plug in to your search engine juxtaposed to the exact name of the company, e.g. ­[company name] “major products” or [company name] “president.” What you are trying to do is narrow the information about the company to suit YOUR interests. If you don’t discriminate with “key words” you are either going to be overwhelmed by zillions of hits or in frustration you will ­retreat to the company’s own web site—which surprisingly is not necessarily the best place to get the edge information you are looking for. Expand the list to suit YOUR interests. Our skier, Mary Taylor, might for example do a search of “American Skiing Company” and “major events” and learn: “With two major events coming up next month (the Sports Illustrated for Kids Next Snow Search, March 3-5, and the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships, march 23-26) we’re excited to have the best skiing and snowboarding conditions we’ve seen all season as we head into March,” Rathbun added. [Rathbun refers to Dave Rathbun, vice president of brand management for Killington, one of American Skiing Company’s resorts.] 32 the one-page job proposal

Mary dumps the info into her project notes file, not in any order, and moves on. But unconsciously Mary has learned a lot here: that her target company does major events periodically through the season to promote its business; she began to wonder, albeit subconsciously, if there might be a place for her on the “special events” team; she registered the name of one of the key people Dave Rathbun at one of the company’s resorts in ­Vermont and wondered if he had a counterpart at Steamboat; and ­curiously she learned that the spokesman for “major events” is in fact in “brand ­management.” As she dumps it into her notes file, she moves on to ­discover other information … but her mind keeps working on these new facts! There are a couple of cool sites you can check into off the beaten track that can give you company information. For this step besides Google, check out the Internet Archive, Google Groups, and Blog Search Engines to find relevant blog content. Don’t worry if you don’t find great content on the blogs themselves; they are an excellent place to look as they “throw the light” to excellent context—that is not on the company’s own site and not well known general knowledge. One of my favorites is Amazon, the bookseller. They have a feature on their website called “search Inside” that allows you to search text in millions of books for a company’s name. If you find a book that has a reference to the company you can often read for free and on-line the first ten pages of the book. If you like what you see you can get the book from your library or buy it from Amazon. Oh yes, and apropos of the Walkabout in Chapter Two, if you can physically visit the company, do so. Drive by the company; browse their lobby and waiting room. In your mind’s eye try to envision yourself a part of the company based on what more you see and feel about the company and its culture.

Step 4: Identifying the Key Players, Individuals and Executives at the Company and What “Makes Them Tick” A cornerstone of my life experience is that the business of living is personal. Susan Scott in her book Fierce Conversations says life is nothing more that a series of conversations—between you and other people. Step 4: Identifying the Key Players, Individuals and Executives at the company and What “Makes Them Tick” is all about understanding the Discover that one thing


full cast of characters inside the company. In the next step we will focus on one person. The next step is the important step so don’t dwell too long on this. You are only looking at the key players through binoculars! But for now we need to understand as many of the key players as we can. This will become very important as we begin to write the ­rationale part of your The One-Page Job Proposal. It is in this step that you will ‘clip and paste” actual quotes from some individual which will give you important insight into their approach to the company’s future—an ­approach that we want to include you! To start, if you can you want to establish the universe of company key players, that is the officers and key managers and/or directors of the company. Also check what you can about the founder of the company. For a public company this is real easy, you simply look them up on Yahoo Finance where they are listed, often with their bios. All this you load into your notes file. A real good source that I use is local (meaning local to the location of the company) news clips and articles about the company and the executives who run it or ran it in the past. If the company has a website check out all the recent press releases. Remember, what you are looking for is personal information. You want to go as far beyond the titles as possible. Pretend you are about to marry into the family—only in our case it’s a company. Some would argue it is the same difference. Companies are ­often a culture onto themselves, and that culture is determined by the women and men who work there. I think of it like being invited to ­Thanksgiving dinner to “Meet the Parents” and the family. At this point in my research I get excited to see if I can figure out the “Crazy Aunt Sarah” equivalent, the mom, the dad, the entire family dynamic. To find that out I have to ask questions and listen to answers. If I do it right, I will gain ­tremendous insight into how her family might regard me, my fiancé, and most ­importantly MY FEELINGS for her. Companies are people. Good companies have people working together with a common mission and mutual respect. As you review the key players in that part of the company that interest you look beyond the obvious. Let me give you an example that happened to me within the past three months. About three months ago I was contacted for help with a one-page proposal by a wonderful guy, Jeff Osterman, Vice President of Strategic Accounts at Allstate Life Insurance Company headquarters in Chicago. Before replying to Jeff I wanted to understand everything

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I could about him (in and out of work) and some of the key people he works with. Before I called him, I learned as much as I could about Jeff, what exactly were his roles inside Allstate; what the word “Strategic Accounts” meant for a large company like Allstate, and in particular what it meant to Jeff. I keyed in on Allstate’s stated values of its business—“integrity, caring, initiative and innovation”—and asked myself what they meant when they said “apply to our corporate ­responsibility and community outreach efforts”. I reminded myself of their slogan: “You’re in Good Hands with Allstate®”. I picked up the telephone and had a conversation with Jeff. Because I had done my homework, I ­already had a lot of respect for Jeff and his responsibilities. I asked a lot of questions to try and learn what his specific proposal needs were and made comments on how we could work together to provide his strategic accounts better proposals. We established a connection and had a very good conversation. As I began to learn about Jeff in the course of a few weeks I added to that information. One thing led to another. Jeff did a winning One-Page Proposal with excellent results for Allstate. I learned about his role in Allstate and his own personal philanthropic endeavor called One Village where he helps foster kids survive and achieve. I learned that Jeff, like his boss, Edward Liddy (who was their Chairman of the Boy & Girls Clubs of America and now is CEO at AIG), made outreach much more than a business slogan. When you are examining the key players in your target company, imagine if you were to be invited to have a cup of coffee with them. What would be important for you to know about them? ÖÖ Who are the key two or three players? ÖÖ What are their responsibilities in the company? ÖÖ How long have they been at the company? ÖÖ What is their previous experience? ÖÖ What are their outside interests? ÖÖ Are there any other individuals that significantly impact the business? ÖÖ Is there a single inventor that is responsible for the creative spirit of the company? Discover that one thing


ÖÖ Is there a great financial or marketing mind that provides unusual ­horsepower? Get excited about the possibility of meeting them and shaking hands. If they have one, check out the company newsletter. As you read it, ­remember you are looking for the personal human interests of the people in the company—don’t get caught up in company strategy. You are trying to understand personal motives. Keep dumping this data into your one Notes file. Don’t stop to organize it.

Step 5: Zeroing in On the Key Player that You Would Love to Meet and Have a Discussion With, and Work for in the Company —Finding Something in Them You Respect —Outside of the Company We are still in the research phase. But this is the most important ­research step. All other steps to this point have been directed toward Step 5. The “Business is Personal” theme runs throughout this book. And ­finding out everything you can about the one person who may be able to make your dream come true is vital. Step 5 done correctly will enable you to ­identify the “personal power” of your targeted person and most ­importantly DIRECT YOUR PERSONAL POWER TO THAT ONE PERSON. It is all about respect—you for them and their experience and considered thoughts; and them for you and your experience and considered thoughts. Respect is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as: To have ­regard, or relation to, or connection with, something. To get a job in the 21st century it is vital that you engage in the ­process by learning and showing respect and connection to your targeted ­person. The problem with most people going after a job and the problem with their resume too is they are all about themselves! They approach the ­opportunity of working inside a company from one point of view—me, me, and me.

36 the one-page job proposal

Right now, in your research stage, you need to change that point of view—and completely reverse it. Ask yourself what your target person has on their mind, what are their problems inside the company and ­finally what you might be able to help them get accomplished better and faster that is troubling them now. The human connection between you and your targeted person is the driving force for your connection and getting the job. In some ways he or she is the primary agent for getting the job proposal. You must treat him or her like a brand new friend—even in your research. Start outside the box—the box in this case meaning the office—so you can understand them as human. I really go this distance on this point in all my businesses and I suggest you do the same. The time you invest upfront in learning about them as individuals will pay off in spades, not just because it drastically improves your chances of making the job connection, but more because it provides a subtle and internal way for you to gain respect for them as people. Start with the simple questions. The questions are simple, and the answers are sometimes very revealing. Generally they will give you several points of connection. They are real fundamental questions: ÖÖ Name? ÖÖ How old are they? ÖÖ Are they married, do they have children? ÖÖ Where are they from? ÖÖ Where do they live? ÖÖ Where did they go to school? ÖÖ What are their interests, outside of work? ÖÖ What community activities do they participate in and enjoy? ÖÖ Getting these personal answers is less difficult than you think. And you can use a couple of tools like Google and Yahoo to get most of the ­answers. I start here because I really want to give my brain time to think about the person. Name: I start with the name in all its derivations. So let’s say you were trying to find out about me, Pat Riley. I look up “Pat Riley”, “Patrick Discover that one thing


Riley”, it is a pretty common name so I know from the book that he was born and lives in San Francisco. So I add the search term “San Francisco” and find that he wrote another book called The One-Page Proposal, and Amazon lists his name there as “Patrick G. Riley”. I look up all three, ­using different modifying key words to see what I can learn about Pat ­Riley outside the box and outside his duties as CEO of his company ­Geniisis Agents. I am dumping down good information from my research into my one Company file. To make my point another way: If someone came to meet in my capacity as head of Geniisis Agents and didn’t know or connect me to The One-Page Proposal book, they would not be in a position to ask me a pretty insightful question like: “Does the OPP concept apply in anyway to the marketing success of Geniisis Agents?” In one way or another all the events of a persons life are connected to his or her name. So dig deep here. Look for peripheral information attached to the name like address (company and/or personal). How old: You are not looking for exact age here. Sometimes you can be lucky and especially for large companies they will identify his age in the stockholder reports. Sometimes when you locate his or her high school or college graduation info they will tell you what year they graduated which gives you a measure against your own lifeline and graduation enabling you to calculate their age. Age can be helpful in enabling you to see them in a generational context. Married? Children? Spouses name? Other family: their brothers, ­sisters and parents? Most people place the ultimate value on family and friends. I include this in order to make you realize the person you have targeted had two parents, perhaps brothers and/or sisters, and families of their own. Like for you, family also has a direct bearing on your target person. Family considerations are a part of his or her psyche. Where are they from: What part of the US or the world do they come from? This information is more difficult to get. Normally this would be in a press release a company issues when a person joins the firm, or in a “human interest” article in a local or national newspaper depending on how prominent the person is. Sometimes the person’s name will be crossed referenced in an obituary of their parents or siblings. In cases where you know the person already, you may already know or have a friend who knows.

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Where do they live: If you go to Yahoo and look up “people search” and you know the name of the person you can start with a search of the town in which the company is based. If that comes up empty, you can widen your search parameters by state and cross check by area codes in the region of the company, and finally you can look nationwide but it is doubtful you could have a narrow enough result. Anyway, if you do find the home address it is one more bit of information for your brain to absorb. You can even click on the address and telephone button and it will show you a map of the residence. Don’t worry about the significance of this, “cut and paste” and drop it into your electronic file. Where did they go to school? This information is often readily available in any of the company bios or press releases. In Google add the search term “university” to the name and see what comes up. Besides the place it might also give you insight into his or her field of study. People are often very loyal to their schools and proud to have been a part of the alumni. The connection in such a case doesn’t have to be literally to you to be a point of connection. It could be one of your family members or friends. What are their interests, outside of work? I am always surprised by this and how often it produces results like a ranking of 10K runners in a particular race. Start with some of your own extracurricular interests as one search term juxtaposed their name. Learning that someone has a passion for a particular sport can give you insight into his or her ­vitality. What community activities do they participate in and enjoy? Every donation to a political party is recorded and published on the internet. If you cross-reference the name and the city of residence it will come up. Keys words like “community” can also bring up information. Stop for a minute and catch your breath. When I get to this stage in my discovery I try to imagine the person as a person, not a business executive. We are about to get into the target person’s compelling issues inside the company. But first take a minute to think about the personal information you have gathered here. If you were not successful in finding parts, that is okay. Focus on what results you did find. Man or woman. Old or young. What do you know about them you didn’t know? Imagine how it might be helpful to you to know this information as a backdrop for ­approaching this person.

Discover that one thing


Step 6: Discover the One Thing, which More than Anything Else in the Company, that Drives, Annoys, Motivates or Concerns the Target Person A teacher and artist in San Francisco, we’ll call her Jane Green, decided she was very interested in going to work for a small four year college in Oakland, California which we will call XXX College. At first she really didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do for them—except that she had a belief that XXX College was a good college with a good faculty, a great campus which is well located, offering a good curriculum. She had heard rumors from several sources including students, faculty and board members of XXX College that all was not well. She wanted to help. She came to me for help in drafting her The One-Page Job Proposal. She targeted her proposal to the President of XXX College. She went through the steps: ÖÖ Step 1: She identified the Industry: higher education in four-year c­ olleges. ÖÖ Step 2: She got more information about the industry: both nationally and regionally, for example the Bay Area colleges like Stanford, UC ­Berkeley, neighboring State University Colleges and Junior Colleges and other small four year colleges like Menlo College. ÖÖ Step 3: She read everything she could about XXX College, including its ­national ranking and third party analysis, student blogs, and internal r­eports to the trustees. She also interviewed friends of hers who were insiders at XXX. ÖÖ Step 4: She identified the key players at XXX (President, Treasurer, and Development Director) and What “Makes Them Tick”. ÖÖ Step 5: She focused in on the key player—the President of the University: that she would like to meet, have a discussion with and work for at XXX. And she found areas and friends of common interest—outside of XXX. It was not until Step 3, that Jane began to discover what she was l­ooking for, the archaeological evidence that would “throw light” on the treasure and define the opportunity for Jane to get a job at XXX.

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What Jane found was that XXX College is a good liberal arts college in America, ranked 66th (US News & World Report ’04). She confirmed that XXX has excellent facilities, faculty, administration and dedicated alumni. But the one thing that really concerned the college President and her Board of Trustees was the issue of enrollment and retention. In the ranking (US News & World Report ’04) of the 110, 1st and 2nd tier liberal arts colleges in retention of students overall, XXX finished dead last and in the retention of freshmen placed 102 out of 110. And of great concern also to the President was that strategic plans adopted by the Board of Trustees in 1993 and 2003 that had set out specific goals to build local, regional, national, and international recognition for XXX—were proving unsuccessful in terms of the enrollment and retention issue—and so requiring the Board to consume the principal in the endowment to make up the deficiencies. Armed with the knowledge of the one thing of most importance, Jane began to realize that the one thing that was troubling the President of XXX, was the one thing that she could deliver almost better than anyone else—a connection to the community of high schools and colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area and at the same time a connection to the most powerful women corporate leaders (XXX is a women’s college) in the area who together could promote better students to go to XXX College with four-year scholarships from the associated women-run companies. Jane sent the College president her The One-Page Job Proposal and within one week got an appointment (one of many to follow) to discuss her idea with the President, the Treasurer, and the Head of ­Development. The point is your frame of mind as you do your research and develop your The One-Page Job Proposal has to find that one thing—the one thing that connects you to your key-person target inside the Company.

Discover that one thing


Chapter 4

Choose an Idea you are both interested in

People Invest Where Their Minds are. Asking Someone to Hire You, is Asking Them and Your Idea. What do You and They Have in Common? I am reminded here of a story about my mother’s good friend Murph Couzins Slattery, a philanthropist and grand dame of Detroit. Murph’s pet project was Detroit’s Children’s Hospital, to which she contributed much of her own wealth. She did not like to ask her friends for contributions, but when the hospital found itself in need of capital improvements, she let her friend and neighbor, Sebastian Spering Kresge (founder of K-Mart), know that she wanted to speak to him concerning the situation. When Murph arrived at Kresge’s home he was rushing to a Detroit Tigers ­baseball game, already decked out in team jacket and cap. He had fifteen minutes before he had to leave, and he asked Murph how he could help her with the hospital. She was ready for the question. She said she wanted him to

contribute enough money to build a teaching auditorium at the hospital, where doctors from all over the world could assemble to discuss pediatric breakthroughs. “How much do you need?” he asked. She replied, “Ten million.” He agreed on the spot, and then left for the ball game. As this story illustrates, important people appreciate knowing ­specifically how they can be of help. They may not know intuitively what they can do: Define it for them with your action sentence. If Murph had not thought through the amount and purpose of the gift she was soliciting, her meeting would have been a lot less productive, or maybe not productive at all. If she had not learned of his interest in teaching, she could not have focused his interest in the context of the teaching auditorium. If she had not identified the Teaching Auditorium, she could not have put a price tag on it. Get it. At this point in writing your The One-Page Job Proposal hopefully you will have targeted the industry, the company(s) and may have a specific idea about the person to whom you would like to make the proposal, based on your desires and passions. But if you don’t feel entirely comfortable with the target yet, don’t worry. Start at the industry level, if that is all you know now, and work to identify the company. If you know the company, work to identify the person. While you are doing all this stay cool. All will become clear in time.

The Importance of Cool, Calm and Collected Preparation Preparation is the key to The One-Page Job Proposal success. Preparation implies time—time to research all the facts and figures you will need, time to learn all you need to know about your subject and about the recipient of your proposal. Yes, time is a luxury, and ironically, I’ve developed The One-Page Job Proposal in large part because time is a shrinking commodity in today’s world. But you will need a certain amount of time to gather the information you need to do The One-Page Job Proposal and do it well. You also need time to structure your argument strategically, write it articulately, and review it objectively. None of these can be done at breakneck speed. Your mental outlook is important at the beginning,

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too. Calmness, not panic, is the proper emotion with which to begin the process. Don’t set unrealistic deadlines for ­yourself. Your The One-Page Job Proposal should not be sent out into the world until it is perfect, no matter what the day is on your calendar. The higher the position of the decision maker, the more valuable his or her time. Respect their time – get it right.

Listen to What the Target Person, Company, and Industry are Saying About Themselves The insights you are seeking about your common interests with your ­target person are already there, in their own words. Recently, a company I admire and one of the world’s great electronics firms, SONY, had a radical change in leadership. For the first time in its ­innovative life, it brought in a non-Japanese to run the company, Sir Howard Stringer. Stringer was at the time the head of Sony Corporation of America. I was working on a project where it was very important to understand the opportunity of working with Sony, from Sony’s perspective and more ­importantly from Sir Howard’s point of view. My project had a lot to do with HDTV display systems—or more to the point, content for HDTV ­generated for the 2008 Olympics. The normal channels into Sony were ­hesitant to make any decisions lest they go contrary to their new Chairman. I knew I was interested in a series of HDTV wildlife documentary films being produced by one of the most innovative wildlife ­conservation groups of the 21st century called WildAid ( for the 2008 Olympics for airing in China to an audience of 208,000,000. What I needed to know was whether the feeling might be mutual. What I was looking for was anything in Sir Howard’s background that might i­ndicate some common ground. What I found in his bio was positive: “From 1986 to 1988, Mr. Stringer served as President of CBS News, where he ­developed several new programs including the award-winning 48 HOURS, which continues as a primetime hit to this day. Prior to that, during his ­tenure as executive producer of the CBS EVENING NEWS with Dan ­Rather from 1981 to 1984, that program became the ­dominant ­network ­evening newscast of its day. From 1976 to 1981, while Mr. Stringer was ­executive producer of the CBS REPORTS documentary unit, it won ­virtually e­very

Choose an Idea you are both interested in


major ­honor, including 31 Emmys, four ­Peabody Awards, three ­Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Christopher Awards, three Overseas Press Club Awards, an ABA Silver Gavel and a Robert F.­ Kennedy Grand Prize. Among his award-winning programs are the Rockefellers, the Palestinians, a tale of two Irelands, the defense of the United States, the boat people, and the cia’s secret army. Mr. Stringer earned nine individual Emmys as a writer, director and ­producer from 1974 to 1976.” So the words that jumped out to me from his bio were: “developed several new programs”, ­“executive ­producer of the CBS ­REPORTS documentary unit”, and “writer, d­irector and producer”. Okay. I knew his background, but after taking the reins at SONY now were there any indicators that would suggest his possible interest in my project. Then, digging a little deeper I ran across an article about the shakeup of SONY, which also quotes Sir Stringer. The article read as follows: “Stringer has also been highly influential in ­persuading Sony’s Japanese leadership to invest in building the kind of c­ontent library that could give its new consumer electronics offerings an edge. He strongly urged the purchase by a Sony-led consortium of film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, for instance—a move seen as key to its ­upcoming new high-definition DVD format Blu-Ray and to provide content for its new PlayStation Portable. “That is why content is at the heart of Sony’s strategy,” Stringer said in a speech last March. “Like a new world orbiting an ancient sun, the broadband entertainment planet will orbit around content, as surely as the analog world did before it. Content is the flame that beckons.” So the words that jumped out to me from the article were: “building the kind of content library that could give its new consumer ­electronics offerings an edge”, “its upcoming new high-definition DVD format Blu-Ray and to provide content for its new PlayStation Portable”, and [right from the horses mouth,] Mr. Stinger himself said “the broadband ­entertainment planet will orbit around content” and “Content is the flame that ­beckons.” The One-Page Job Proposal to give the job to me and my firm is ­attached in the appendix. By doing a bit of research, SONY defined our area of mutual interest in their own words. In advance of presenting The One-Page Job Proposal, I listened to SONY and the new chairman

46 the one-page job proposal

and found our common interests. This set the framework for the OnePager that followed.

Looking for Clues: First Do Some Mental Housecleaning Here is a good first step: Always keeping in mind your end objective, take an inventory of the things around you that could be source material for your The One-Page Job Proposal. You may have already set aside articles, letters, notes, pictures, photocopies, and files for just the right time. This is the right time. Next, continue your preparation with two lists. First, write a list of what you know about the idea you plan to propose. Not what you suspect, or what you’ve heard, but what you know. That means firsthand information about the industry you’re concerned with, about the company you’re targeting, the person you’re targeting within it, and about the prices and costs of your project. You must be honest with yourself about the confidence level and certainty with which you hold this knowledge. It is essential that this list be real, because it leads to the more ­important list— the list of things you don’t know. Understanding the width and breadth of your lack of knowledge is the true starting point for your research. Even if you know the individual to whom you want to direct your proposal, on your “don’t know” list you would include personal and business information about her or him. The “don’t know” and “know” lists should be equally rigorous when dealing with the finances. It is pretty common that you will know how much something will cost to build or invest in but may “not know” ­exactly how you or the potential investor will get a return on the investment. This is the flip side and important for you to think through. Don’t worry if your “don’t know” list is long at this point. My suggestion is that you make both lists as long as possible. On the plus side, give yourself credit for knowing even small things that may prove very important down the road (for example, if your cousin’s best friend works in the company’s accounting office). It will come together easier and more naturally now that you know where the gaps are that have to be

Choose an Idea you are both interested in


filled. A lot of the information is probably to be found in a careful reread of the materials you already have in your possession. Check simple references that may be lying around your home or office. Is there a recent article you picked up from a magazine or newspaper? Start with the familiar and while you are checking around the obvious haunts. Start making a mental note (and written list) of what documents you are not finding—documents that if you had would make your proposal a real winner. T. S. Eliot said, “All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,” and that is a very healthy attitude to bring to the process. Do not be stingy on the length of your “to learn” list. You will be tempted to, because the list can get long, and every new entry represents another block of time, another bit of work to be done. But if you cheat on yourself, you’ll only be hurting yourself and your proposal.

Be honest. Do the Work. There’s a Lot to Learn. Your Goal Is Complete Understanding The goal of your research is complete mastery of the subject—the kind of comprehension that allows you to express yourself clearly, simply, and with great impact and confidence. The great 17th century samurai warrior Miyamoto Musashi in his very famous A Book of Five Rings, gave some very good advice that applies to developing a complete understanding that can lead to your success. ÖÖ Do not think dishonestly. ÖÖ The Way is in training. ÖÖ Become acquainted with every art. ÖÖ Know the Ways of all professions. ÖÖ Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters. ÖÖ Develop intuitive judgment and understanding for everything. ÖÖ Perceive those things which cannot be seen.

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ÖÖ Pay attention even to trifles. ÖÖ Do nothing which is of no use. Much of your research will involve the aggregation of dry facts and figures. That is one specific kind of homework. But the tone and style of your written representations will reflect your total understanding of the “what is on the mind” of your target. Most people can tell when another person knows what he’s talking about. This means that everything you learn during the course of your research is beneficial, even if it extends beyond the strict number of topics that are on your “to be learned” list. This is not a test; don’t focus solely on your list. Take in all the information you can. You may find it bubbling to the surface in ­unexpected ways later, when you are actually writing The One-Page Job Proposal. Keep digging. If you are confident you know it all, for example that you have made similar proposals before, or in the case where you are pitching an internal The One-Page Job Proposal to your boss, dig deeper. Ask yourself what may have changed and needs to be learned anew. If you know the industry, company and financial parameters, turn your focus to the individual decision maker to whom you are addressing your one page proposal. Are they stable, expanding or receding in business? Do they have concerns that could affect their view of your proposal? Are they recently promoted? Is their home life stable? Are they devoted to a particular project currently? Do you have any acquaintance in common?

Start Researching Your Idea With the Internet Do you know what they say about the World Wide Web? That it is like a library containing all the books in the world—all in a big heap on the floor. In other words, the web is so full of information that it defies ­organization. Much industry-specific data, statistics, projections, news, and information pertinent to your The One-Page Job Proposal can be found on the web. The trick is in knowing how to find it in an efficient, timely manner.

Choose an Idea you are both interested in


Here are a Few Tips to Help You Locate What You Need Start big. Broadly search your area of opportunity. Use the Internet to see how big the universe of information is, but don’t be overwhelmed by the number of hits. Remember to keep your end objective in mind, to ­interest your target employer in hiring you. You may find a sizable cache of ­information by using any of the popular Internet search engines: ­Excite, Yahoo, Lycos, HotBot, Hoovers, Northern Light, About, Google, ­Metacrawler, or Ask Jeeves. Simply go to those web sites, type in a broad search command, and see what pops up. You are looking for general ­information first about the industry, then specific firms, and then specific people. If you have done any Internet browsing at all you will know that when your search words are too broad, the search engine will cough up thousands upon thousands of web sites for you to check out. That, obviously, is too many to be useful. So be as specific as you can with your search commands. Further, each pertinent site you do discover will probably contain dozens of links to other pertinent sites, which also have links, and in a short time the number of possible sites to explore will have risen exponentially to a number so large that, again, it is not useful. Do not follow every trail. Try to stay on-topic. Finally, it is always a good idea to be skeptical about the accuracy of information you find on the web. Unless it is the official home page for a company or organization, be leery of every fact and figure until you see it verified by a second source. This is good journalism practice, and could save you some real embarrassment. Remember, there is no ombudsman for the Internet. Anybody can post anything, and they do, so be careful.

Traditional Research Can Work Just as Well If you don’t have Internet access at your home or office, the closest ­public library can have you online in minutes. But if you prefer the old­fashioned way, there are still dozens of ways to find what you need. Do it the easy way for you first. Meet with a reference librarian and tell him or her ­exactly what information you desire. Library professionals today are well-armed with research tools and they are generally great sleuths. Here are the books and guides they will likely present to you: 50 the one-page job proposal

SIC Code Books—The Standard Industry Classification System (discussed earlier) categorizes every industry in the U.S. by a number code that reveals its market, size, and other specifics. It is a great way to get a conceptual framework for your opportunity and to learn about competitors, potential partners, distributors, the financial dimensions of the industry, and the associations that govern or promote the industry. The leading publisher of SIC books is the Thomas Register. Annual Reports—Libraries often contain current copies of public and private companies’ annual reports. This is where you find not only facts and figures, dollars and sense, but also the language that they use to describe their industry, the competition, and their market strategies. If your library does not have any, you can find virtually any annual report online. Try these websites: ÖÖ ÖÖ ÖÖ ÖÖ ÖÖ (This site is especially useful for finding the valuable information on people, companies, and industries that lurks deep in Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Forms include virtually all public companies’ 10K and 10Q forms, Registration Statements, proxies, information statements, Quarterly and Annual Reports. It’s a subscription service in part, but it could be worth it.)

Association journals and magazines—Every large national industry is supported by an association that lobbies Washington and publishes newsletters and magazines of topical interest to its members. These are a great source of industry data, trends, and even information on specific executives. Government regulatory agency bulletins—another source of industry data, trends, and problems plaguing an industry. All of the above are available to the public at no, or very little, cost. Private business information services can provide much more data at c­onsiderable cost. These services include financial reporting firms like Dun & Bradstreet and Moody’s, and broad information services like Nexus. Choose an Idea you are both interested in


Who Gets The One-Page Job Proposal? Maybe you have known from the outset the person for whom The OnePage Job Proposal is intended. That’s important information to have at the beginning because it helps shape the content and tone of the proposal. If you know him or her personally, then your knowledge of their personality, interests, habits, and other details can be a major advantage in writing persuasively. If you do know who the intended recipient is, but not much about them, do some research. Do a name search in the archive of the newspaper in their home city. There might have been articles written about them. Talk to industry or social peers who know them personally or professionally. Check Who’s Who for an entry on this person. If they are a company executive, you may even find material about him in annual reports or in company brochures. Check with the company’s PR department and see if there are any recent press releases with his or her name referenced. Sometimes through the PR department you can even get a press release describing the person’s hire or recent promotion that gives great bio and background information. Remember: Business is personal. You want the reader to read your paragraph bio so read his or hers first. Think of getting to know him or her—like you want them to get to know you. Once you know a little about him or her, use what you have learned to create a strategic attitude in your proposal that fits their personality and interests. Use your research to anticipate the experience of your targeted reader. What if you know the company or organization that deserves your proposal, but not the right person in it? Call the company and ask. Try the PR department first, then receptionists or secretaries. Read trade publications and see who is quoted within the company as the authority on your area of interest. Call people who have worked with the company; call the company’s ad agency or law firm, especially if you know people in those firms. After you’ve identified the person, go the extra mile and find out about him or her, so that the proposal can reflect some of that foreknowledge.

Keeping It Personal The point is this: Carefully select the person to whom you plan to take your proposal. Always remember that business is personal. 52 the one-page job proposal

People commit themselves to other people, not to organizations. This works both ways. Meaning the person you are targeting is more than just his or her company. Like you they have lives outside the company that often ­reveal their passions. You want them to commit to you and you to them. If you approach them correctly, you will make a new friend – whether they go for your proposal or not.

What’s the Deal On Your Targeted Person? It is virtually a given that the person you have identified as the ideal ­recipient for your job proposal has a track record in business, ­philanthropy, investments, or decision-making. Learn about those dealings, and how the person played a role in them. This is strategic research—the kind of information that can really make a difference in your proposal. There are many newly wealthy young investors, for example, in my part of the world (San Francisco) who are interested in backing new deals, but who prefer deals that benefit society as well as their own back pockets. If you know such a thing in advance and are willing to accommodate their taste by adding a philanthropic or charitable component to your proposal, you’ve given it a better chance for approval. Obviously there is a strategic advantage to knowing the patterns and habits of the intended recipient of The One-Page Job Proposal. But don’t take it to a ridiculous extreme. Yes, tweak the details to play to your recipient’s idiosyncrasies, but do not change it radically or do anything crazy just to please an investor. Always keep your proposal’s integrity intact.

Factor in the Opposing Team Do not assume that there won’t be factors working against the success of your proposal in the form of competitive people, competitive interests, and, in the case of political projects, opposing ideologies and interests within the targeted company. Even if your proposal is entirely benign, and has no direct competitors, there will always be those who will weigh in against it simply because Choose an Idea you are both interested in


the principal’s interest in your project diverts time and money away from their pet project. There is not much you can do about this except keep your ears open for disparaging or false claims made against you. If that happens you may have to rebut in a timely manner.

Make Sure Your Research Reflects the Truth As I mentioned with regard to the Internet, you must be very careful and very certain about the quality of data you derive from your research. It is quite easy to be misled by fragmentary, partial, or false information from Internet sources, or from any other sources for that matter. My suggestion would be to follow the old journalistic rule and have at least two ­independent sources for the facts and figures you will use in The OnePage Job Proposal. What is the downside to bad information? First, your reader may just happen to know as much as you—or even more—about the topic of your proposal. As they read the data sections, any mistakes or errors of interpretation will surely catch their attention. This could create doubt in their mind about you personally and the whole proposal. Second, incomplete data can lead you to a false conclusion. You may assume something to be a fact based on your readings, and this fact may form the entire underlying rationale of your The One-Page Job Proposal. Make sure you are right. Every fact in your The One-Page Job Proposal should be irrefutable, and every opinion, judgment, and conclusion in it should spring from truth.

Anticipate the Questions Why are most proposals in life turned down? Because the easiest, safest thing to say to a proposal is “No.” Remember in my first job interview the head of the company, Don Hunt, said “No, we don’t have anything.” I got the job though and it lasted for six years and my friendship with Don Hunt has lasted to this day. When you say “no” there are no future complications, there is no downside, there is no risk. That is why decision-makers say “yes” only when 54 the one-page job proposal

the outcomes of their decisions are virtually guaranteed to be good. Why gamble? A smart, savvy employer doesn’t need to take wild risks. When a lay-down winner comes their way, they act and take advantage of the opportunity. Which leads me to my final thoughts about The One-Page Job Proposal research. Its ultimate purpose is to anticipate every point at which the recipient could become uncomfortable and say “No,” and eliminate it with solid facts and impeccable reasoning. Anticipate the questions your target reader will have, and find the ­answers to them during your research phase. The absolute kiss of death in any transactional dynamic is the presence of unanswered questions. Forward movement is just impossible when the “unknowns” ­outnumber the “knowns.” My experience with businesspeople and managers has ­informed me that impetuousness is not one of their traits. They will move quickly when all the deal’s particulars are on the table and they are ­comfortable with them. But until then, caution is their byword. Knowing that should spur you to be so diligent and thorough in your research that your proposal can be built on solid fact, not speculation. To sum up: Your The One-Page Job Proposal’s thorough and accurate research should anticipate the recipient’s questions, win their confidence—and never, ever, give them a chance to say no. If you think quantifying your proposal requires careful work—you’re right. But as you will see, it pays off in spades. People trying to write a one-page job proposal for the first time have said to me they can’t figure out the specific details because they have too much uncertainty. If you can’t address the specific details of your idea, you haven’t got a one-page proposal. If you don’t have the details at your fingertips, do you expect the reader to fill in the gaps? No way. If you don’t have the details at your fingertips, find out who does and go and talk to them. Leave as few unanswered questions as possible if you can help it. On the other hand in the interview don’t be afraid if you don’t know something. Say you don’t know. In fact tell him or her about your ­attempts to answer the question, that you are still looking, but as of now you don’t know. Examples of questions that can’t go unanswered: ÖÖ How is the project structured? ÖÖ Who will take responsibility to implement the project? ÖÖ How much will it cost? Choose an Idea you are both interested in


ÖÖ What similar projects are out there (complimentary and competitive)? ÖÖ What makes your proposal unique and timely? ÖÖ What action do you want the reader to take after he has read your proposal?­ ÖÖ What particular experience do you have that will boost the proposal? These are the types of questions that you need to be considering. Don’t worry just yet how and where they fit into you’re The One-Page Job ­Proposal. I’ll show you how in the upcoming chapters. Now that you know to which company and maybe even person you are going to direct your proposal and you know more or less the general proposal you are going to make, lets make it a true The One-Page Job Proposal. I need to explain the basics.

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Chapter 5

The Basics

What is It? Here is my definition: The One-Page Job Proposal is a document that a) succinctly expresses all the facts, reasoning and conditions ­surrounding an undertaking or project you might be able to do for your targeted ­employer, b) persuades by its language, and c) proposes a specific course of action he or she can take with you—and does it all in an effective ­format that is a single printed page in length. Its objective is to convince a specific person to hire you to take that course of action or another course of action on their behalf. Its format is designed to encourage its reader, whose time is precious, to see you as a person of initiative. The project on one page gives them a context for you and demonstrates your respect for them. Its parts are codified and its language is precise, in the service of brevity, but not to the exclusion of understanding. Each paragraph of The One-Page Job Proposal serves to support and promote the desired decision and course of action. The One-Page Job Proposal is a template, a step-by-step procedure to accomplish your aim. It contains a distillation of ideas, plans, ­analysis, and action steps that, if explored completely in written form, might ­extend

to hundreds of pages. Like black holes in space, it involves compressed matter, which occupies little space but is weighty beyond imagination. For the writer, The One-Page Job Proposal is also a process. The process involves not only a comprehensive understanding of yourself and the subject at hand, but also sharp verbal skills, intuition, psychology, great discipline and a faith in the clarity that comes from simplicity. The preparation of a successful The One-Page Job Proposal in that sense is not ­unlike the poet’s preparation to create a haiku: a composition that expresses complex thought about your interests and theirs in very few words. Before we delve into the specifics of creating the perfect persuasive document, let me offer a few reasons that The One-Page Job Proposal may be the answer for you.

Why One Page? Adnan Khashoggi gave me one answer: For him it was simply a matter of time. Too many proposals of too many pages were being offered to him. He could not read them all—no time. He needs the information now and to the point. He was a decision maker. He needed all the facts so he could make a decision or recommend it to people who worked for him. The same goes for an employer receiving too many resumes, ­resumes that have no context for the reader. Men and women of power are i­nstinctive businesspeople, relying on their impressions, feelings, ­knowledge, and ­extensive experience to guide their decisions. They know too that ­surrounding themselves with good people is a key factor in their own success. For Khashoggi and others of his wealth and alacrity, a ­resume is almost an insult; it implies that the writer couldn’t be bothered to explore and propose a goal of mutual interest. Even before it is read, a brief, printed proposal says a lot to a man of Khashoggi’s stature. It conveys that the preparer has respect for his time. It demonstrates that the preparer recognizes the extent of his ­target reader’s knowledge and his experience. It gives the reader credit for ­being able to act quickly and decisively. And it impresses upon the reader that the ­preparer knows his subject so well that his entire venture can be ­summarized without oversimplifying or diminishing its content.

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What It Says About You Don Straits, CEO of Corporate Warriors and a recognized authority on job search strategies, in two of his writings: “Focus on the Needs of the Decision Maker” and “Burn Your Resume” identified ten traits that all employers look for: ÖÖ Ability to do the Job ÖÖ Initiative ÖÖ Job Growth (going beyond “the job description”) ÖÖ Self-Confidence ÖÖ Leadership ÖÖ Compatibility ÖÖ Attitude ÖÖ Social Skills/Interests/Involvement ÖÖ Integrity ÖÖ Communication Skills. By giving your target a well thought out The One-Page Job Proposal you are demonstrating (not just persuading, but demonstrating) immediately six of the ten, namely: Initiative, Job Growth, Self-Confidence, Leadership, Attitude and Communication Skills. By following the methodology of the preparation your The One-Page Job Proposal which we will discuss later, I will teach you how to demonstrate and express in your one page the other four traits: Ability, Compatibility, Social Skills and Integrity.

How It Short Circuits the Human Resources Department Human resources is a fancy word for people. In a business, the Human Resources (“HR”) Department “monitors the availability of qualified

The Basics


workers and recruits; screens applicants for jobs; helps select ­qualified ­employees; plans and presents appropriate orientation, training and ­development for each employee; and administers employee-benefit ­programs.” Often it is the human resources department in a company that places the advertising for jobs or hires another company (an executive search firm) to sort out job candidates for them. The orders for those jobs come from management “up the food chain” who are staffing up for a particular job or a particular location. It is the job of the HR department to make sure the company has sufficient “human capital” (meaning people like you and me) in their “human capital bank” to fuel their company’s growth needs. Human Resources departments are an important part of the ­hierarchical structure of a company, because they insulate the company from losing valuable time of key operating and management ­personnel ­being interrupted by people seeking work. It enables management to ­“refer” matters of employment to a specific department, so the real ­workers can get back to their business at hand, which is to generate ­revenues, profits and shareholder value to the stockholders. The trouble for people seeking work is that the human resources ­departments are more like “a job shop” operating a parking lot of human capital that they call up as needs arise. HR departments are rarely central in a proactive way to important strategic initiatives—until after the fact. Going through the human resources department, directly or indirectly, is like starting your career to become a “race car driver” by parking your car (only in this case, your life) in a parking lot at the Indianapolis Speedway. The drivers (movers and shakers) in that company have no idea you exist—because in fact you are not even on the track (in the building)! You are in the parking lot. Engine switched off. Waiting for someone else to decide when you can get going. The One-Page Job Proposal gets you and your credentials on the track for a trial lap—with the entire pit crew, and team owner watching. Don’t forget though, have respect for the system. In fact use the system to your advantage. You have to be sensitive to the hierarchy in any company. The HR department doesn’t like to be “gone around.” They really don’t like relinquishing control of the “hiring process.” That is what they are paid to do. If they let a lot people go with resumes directly to executives eventually

60 the one-page job proposal

they’d be out a job. Of course, people do go direct all the time armed with their resumes to test the waters up high. The very cool thing about The One-Page Job Proposal, is that it is not a resume and because of its emphasis on the proposal which happens to feature your credentials and ability to do the job—it can properly ONLY be considered by the business management team—not HR. The HR ­departments are not tasked with business development—so, so, so by ­presenting your The One-Page Job Proposal, you are not only not violating “proper channels”—to the contrary you are showing total respect for the company’s system. One last note on HR departments: While they are not very often proactive, they are staffed by excellent people who really measure their performance in terms of their ability to attract and keep the best people in their corporations. One such excellent person is Ivy Ang. When I met her she was in charge of HR at Landor Associates and later went on in HR for Genentech. Ivy, like all good HR executives, is very much interested in making a connection between talent and the company, and she has tremendous knowledge about where the two meet. As you zoom in on a particular company, pay attention to what the HR people are working on. Sometimes it is quite obvious. For example if you go on you’ll sometimes see a group of ads by one company in one city with a particular type of establishment. So let’s say you figure out by your research that a particular ­company, let’s say you identified in your search of SIC 3949 ­Sporting and ­Athletic Goods manufacturing with a special focus on Golf ­Equipment ­Manufactures and zeroed in on a West Coast-based golf club ­manufacturer like Riley Golf in Monterey (that really does make top end custom-made golf clubs that you have been tracking) is staffing up for a new marketing office in North Carolina to give itself an East Coast ­presence. The clue is the number of job offerings for that location on or other equivalents from Riley Golf for ten jobs in ­Raleigh, North ­Carolina. A read of the ads tells you quite a bit. Whether you respond to the ad or not, you put together your The One-Page Job Proposal centered on marketing and sales of golf products and services. You don’t get distracted by the “job description”—which is the way the HR department broke it down and budgeted it. But somewhere behind this initiative is a real person. Go find them and present your The OnePage Job Proposal.

The Basics


The message is HR people can be good resources, not so much for the job, but for giving you a sense of company priorities and direction. Ivy Ang, for example, were she in HR department of our example of Riley Golf, she would instinctively know whose pet project the East Coast initiative was. Get it.

It Couples You and the Enterprise (Like You, Paris and the Eiffel Tower) The impact of The One-Page Job Proposal is a bit like a good photograph of you in front of a famous monument. Both are important. For example, say you were in Paris, France and you want to have someone take a picture of you to send home. You have three choices: 1. A picture of you standing in front of a white wall; 2. A picture of just the Eiffel Tower; and 3. A photograph of you standing in front of the Eiffel Tower. The resume is just like a picture of you standing in front of a white wall. You could be anywhere. The picture of just the Eiffel Tower is typical of any postcard: it simply describes the opportunity; it doesn’t create a dynamic. The photo of you in front of the Eiffel Tower, like the The One-Page Job Proposal, creates a dynamic proposition and context.

There are Other Reasons for The One-Page Job Proposal The information age and the saturation and pervasiveness of media have vastly increased the number of messages and job solicitations we each receive every day. The results of this information carpet-bombing include information overload, lack of time, a short attention span, and task saturation. Decisions in this environment tend to come quickly; few decision-makers have time to mull things over for long. They hire people for specific tasks. No matter how important the person may be resumes unattached to a goal fall to the bottom of the pile. The law of the “easier decision.” One method busy people use to manage their time involves decision matrices. When confronted with a long list of decisions to be made, they make the easier decisions first. Anything 62 the one-page job proposal

that requires further study, or meetings, or more data, gets pushed back. Too much information can make a decision more difficult, not easier. Worldwide competition for jobs has mushroomed incredibly in the last twenty years. Right now there are 160,000,000 unemployed worldwide – 50,000,000 in industrialized countries. It is estimated over the next ten years there will be 460,000,000 new young job seekers. Getting the smartest most capable people on earth to drive enterprising initiatives is a challenge all leaders face. Armed with a The One-Page Job Proposal, you are showing initiative and smarts and offering both. It is very true in the international arena where you must take into account the language and cultural difficulties that an unattached resume might create. The One-Page Proposal has already proved to be a wonderful solution to this business problem. And it will work well in job context. People and companies with superior communication tools like The One-Page Job Proposal are cutting through the glut and getting hired.

Why One and a Half Won’t Do The first rule is absolute. The final result must be exactly one page, and no more. Why not one and a half, some might ask? Why not two? Two pages are still pretty short, but offer a little more flexibility and writing room. Besides, they say, what are we talking about—a few minutes of reading time? Sorry, it’s one or nothing. This book isn’t entitled The Two-Page Get The Job Proposal, and for good reason. Once the proposal extends past the first page, the battle is lost. Chances are, if it’s more than one page, even the first page will not be read. All the elegance and confidence that comes from having all the salient points of a proposal in one page are lost when the format is violated. Why disqualify yourself before you’ve even had a chance? And there’s another reason to stick to the format. The work involved in compressing your job pitch into one page can be an important step in developing your own understanding of your career goals, perfecting your oral pitch, and perhaps even your own development as a person. ­Writing a The One-Page Job Proposal can help you identify a clear ­objective, ­focus on it, ferret out pitfalls, sharpen your thinking, and pitch it ­perfectly. ­Every aspect of your career can benefit from the process. Think of The One-Page Job Proposal as a photograph. It is one complete thought, on one page, composed deliberately for one frame. Given The Basics


the option, would you take a picture of your family that cut out your two youngest children because they were standing at the side of the frame? Of course not. Likewise, to relegate the last few elements of your pitch to a second page looks like bad planning. It devalues and fragments the composition to the point that the whole idea is lost. One page, up to 400 words in length, will take an average reader three and a half minutes to review. It’s those few minutes of mind-share that you’re after. Your reward is the accomplishment of the first, and perhaps most important, objective in the proposal game—getting you (and your idea) onto the radar screen.

What’s Wrong with the Resume? The Resume is Dead! There is nothing wrong with a full-scale resume—AFTER the initial ­engagement and the first conversation sometimes. At some point in one form or another you are going to have to provide an employer in summarizing of your experience—in an application, CV or resume. You have to get the job first! You must engage. Only then give over your full resume. But a resume will NOT get you to the job and to the person driving the company. The traditional resume, when required, is a specific kind of document that fulfills a specific function later in the process. It is not the right document to introduce yourself. Where once the resume may have served to introduce a reader to a potential hire, for all the reasons we’ve discussed it has long since outlived its utility as an introductory document. Long before the resume is submitted, then, its essence is digested into The One-Page Job Proposal. This heavily abridged format collects only the most critical data found in the resume (experience, ambition and reputation) and presents it simply in a way that can be quickly read and understood. So if you’re already in the middle of an extensive resume, don’t let me dissuade you—you may need it eventually. For right now, all the pertinent information about you is going to be embedded within your The One-Page Job Proposal.

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What The One-Page Job Proposal Isn’t The One-Page Job Proposal is a little like a lot of other short-form business documents. It is something like an executive summary or the “blue book” busy politicians use to brief themselves about the concerns of a particular constituency or even the cover pages of equity capital marketing team reports. But here’s the difference: While all those document forms are short, only The One-Page Job Proposal is an actual proposal to hire you. The others are simply abridgements. They do not engage, persuade, or ask for anything. The executive summary, for example, is just a short report presenting the status quo. Its language is declarative, not persuasive. A blue book is an edited-for-time document that reaches brevity by excluding rather than compressing. It communicates only what is absolutely necessary for a certain audience in a certain window of time. And an equity capital marketing team cover sheet summarizes the key points of a deal, but proposes nothing. The One-Page Job Proposal delivers not just a summary but also all the important information its reader needs to make a decision of whether to hire you or not. It is not a cut-down version of a longer document; it is the whole job proposal. And remember, it is a template—a formula that is repeatable. If you do not follow the formula and use all the parts, you don’t have a job proposal—you just have a short description of yourself.

When Do You Use The One-Page Job Proposal? The One-Page Job Proposal format lends itself to the complete range of business activities and, for that matter, many civilian activities as well—a new job, joining a new company, joining a new team starting a new project within your own company, joining an expedition of sorts. I once used a The One-Page Job Proposal to carve out a job within a great c­ ompany that when it was later combined with my resume that followed, got me the job. The One-Page Proposal in that situation enabled me to define our (mine and the company’s) common goals, the resume only ­reinforced it.

The Basics


This approach will become increasingly the rule to get a good job in the 21st century. Anything can be proposed effectively using The One-Page Job Proposal format. The One-Page Job Proposal is an instrument of initiation. That means it starts things. Inertia is the most powerful force in the universe. Things stay just as they are unless and until something—brute force, reason, fear, enlightened self-interest, the survival instinct—effects its movement. The One-Page Job Proposal sets things in motion by proposing something new with you attached to someone who can break the inertia and make it happen. But The One-Page Job Proposal is more than just an opening gambit. It is not merely a teaser, or a first stage. It is a complete proposal. It opens, it argues and it closes vs. the CV that is only a personal qualification tool.

How The One-Page Job Proposal Levels the Playing Field One of the promises of the internet is that it empowers individuals—even one person armed with personal power and a The One-Page Job Proposal can compete with the big boys (the HR departments, the Executive Search Firms, and the Executive Recruiters). Executed properly, The One-Page Job Proposal can be an enormously effective means of business communication. Its power does not derive from being handsomely bound, printed in full color on expensive ­paper, adorned with cutting edge graphic design, or any of the other ­material ways in which big companies suggest their size, wealth, ­and stature through their proposals. Its power derives from the knowledge that it ­expresses succinctly and powerfully. Any qualified person with the ability to do the job can produce a The One-Page Job Proposal and accomplish a necessary part of competitive business—to get in the game. In fact, The One-Page Job Proposal may just get you a leg up on the competition. Executive Search Firms and Executive recruiters are cumbersome and slow. The One-Page Job Proposal is a great alternative to the standard and erroneous preconceptions regarding getting jobs in general—that you have to spend a lot of money, have to have all kinds of advisors who

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charge you a fortune to make the connection—you can make better and faster. Pricey “packaging of you” in today’s climate often goes nowhere. It costs individuals seeking a job a fortune and for what? To create a great first impression and make the connection. The One-Page Job Proposal changes that game by both substituting substance for flash and by substituting you for an intermediary.

Leapfrog the Executive Recruiter & Executive Search Firms Traditionally some of the biggest jobs have gone to candidates put forward by executive search firms. These are big firms like Heidrich and Struggles, Russ Reynolds and Gow Associates—excellent companies at what they do for companies with very specific needs and timelines. These firms are retained by companies to identify and hire the best management people for an emerging need. But they are expensive for the companies doing the hiring. In addition to the retainer they get a % override of the employees income for at least the first year. As evidenced by cut backs in executive search revenues in recent years, given the choice, it appears many companies would prefer not to pay such a surcharge. What executive search firms do for the big ­companies, you can do for yourself by writing your own The One-Page Job Proposal—­ saving the companies a lot of money—and providing the company an ­incentive to hire you.

The One-Page Job Proposal and You We have talked so far about what The One-Page Job Proposal does for the reader/recipient, but what about the writer/sender? I believe the preparation and writing of The One-Page Job Proposal is the most valuable process anyone, in personal development, can undertake. As you will see when we get into the specifics of execution, The One-Page Job Proposal requires preparation and research; it requires understanding your subject and yourself so thoroughly that no speculation or ambiguity remains;

The Basics


and it imposes—through practice, not by requirement—a program of self-evaluation that together leads to mastery of the subject, powerful language in the proposal, and confidence in its positive outcome. The One-Page Job Proposal process will encourage you to be articulate but concise; broadly informed but sharply selective in what you present; confident in your proposal’s strengths and your ability to do the job, but aware of weaknesses; passionate and self-confident, but mindful of the importance of proportion and grace. Moreover, the practice of crafting such efficient documents can only help foster your own diligence and ability to concentrate on one job until you get it or chase another. A good The One-Page Job Proposal cannot be dashed off while driving in your car. Neither can it be spoken into a Dictaphone. Through thinking, then researching, and then writing, and finally refining, even those who are already-skilled communicators will find their evaluative abilities heightened immensely.

The One-Page Job Proposal and the Bad Idea The process of creating a concise job proposal involves looking at your experience with an objective eye. After you have done your research, wedged your ideas into the recommended paragraph format, ­sharpened your writing into gem-like hardness and clarity, and have asked for ­something, you must step back and evaluate your proposition as if you yourself were on the receiving end. How do you feel? Does the job fit your ­experience and expectations for yourself. Is the proposal you are making a good idea? This is very important: The One-Page Job Proposal won’t save a bad idea. It is not designed to sell inflated skills to unwitting employers. It won’t make something worthless appear to be ­valuable. It won’t make last year’s idea into the Next Big Thing. And it won’t make something bad sound good just because you said it quickly. But it can help you discern when there’s something wrong with your pitch. The One-Page Job Proposal works when your idea and your experience and expectation of emerging trends make sense, and when the course of action you propose is the right course for everyone. It’s a tool, and like all good tools it works beautifully when applied to the proper situation. Even the best screwdriver in the world won’t drive nails.

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Is The One-Page Job Proposal Right for You? What kind of person are you? Pressed for time, eager for a shortcut, hoping this book might save you some work? If so, The One-Page Job Proposal process may not be right for you. It might seem as though writing a single page could be done easily or in a hurry, but the fact is that The One-Page Job Proposal while taking a lot less time to write, in some ways requires greater thought and concentration in its preparation. To do a responsible job condensing all your information into a one-page format, you’ve first got to amass, evaluate, prioritize, and master every bit of it. And that kind of work takes time. So if you’re in a time bind, The OnePage Job Proposal—at least a good one—probably isn’t the best choice for you. The beneficiary of “short time” is the reader of The One-Page Job Proposal, not the writer. If you are willing to do the work and have the time; if the action you seek is possible; if you know the person to whom to send The One-Page Job Proposal, and are certain that he or she can hire you to work on the project, then The One-Page Job Proposal is right for you.

The Basics


Chapter 6

The Road Map — Start to think it through

Pull It All Together The ideal The One-Page Job Proposal, in the approach I recommend, has a distinct format—eight sections, each with a specific purpose. Ultimately each will have a specific place and a general length on our one sheet of paper. For now though, we will not worry about getting our thoughts down to one page, but will concern ourselves only with recognizing these eight sections: the Title; the Subtitle; the Target; the Secondary Targets; the Rationale/Bio; Financial; Status; and Action. The One-Page Job Proposal follows a logical and organic progression of thought and argument: ÖÖ Title and Subtitle label and define the entire proposal. ÖÖ Target and Secondary Target sections identify the goals of the proposal. ÖÖ Rationale section lays out the basic reasons why the action is necessary. ÖÖ Financial section puts dollars and cents to the deal. ÖÖ Status states how things stand at the moment. ÖÖ Action makes clear exactly what the proposer wants the recipient to do.

These are the eight ingredients of The One-Page Job Proposal. Like a culinary masterpiece, its greatness comes from the dynamic interplay of all its parts. For best effect they must be added in sequence, in the proper proportions, each complementing the others and none left out.

A Sample The One-Page Job Proposal On the following page, you will find a sample One-Page Job Proposal. This is a proposal used by one of our team to come to get a job with our company, The One-Page Company. As you can see, the major parts of The One-Page Job Proposal are organized top to bottom on a very full page. This sequence is inviolable. The length of each part may vary—but the sequence should stay the same.

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B u z z i n g

O n e

P a g e

A proposal by Frances O’Brien to join The One Page Company team as a primary driver of viral ­marketing.

Target: Create extraordinary favorable buzz among One Page’s most promising markets—the Y-Gen and Baby boomers that result in extraordinary revenues. •  I ncrease unique visitor traffic & grow audience w/ the lowest possible expenditures for paid advertising. •  Create unique branding and brand awareness opportunities “My One Page” wizards. Buzz (a.k.a. viral or “word of mouth”) marketing is changing the way of consumer marketing. Spontaneous buzz is free, can reach consumers isolated from all other media, and unlike conventional media, consumers tend to trust it. The number of people using social networks is projected to grow from 14 million in 2007 to 600 million in 2012. The One Page Company (“One Page”) is uniquely well–positioned in the “self-improvement” and “human potential movement” to exploit the growing opportunities for viral marketing to networks of like-minded friends through the world’s most popular channels: (e.g. MSN Video, YouTube, iFilm, MySpace). Frances O’Brien with 15 years experience in buzz (employed sequentially at Double Click, My Space, GMail-Google, and Hot Mail) on her own initiative has designed a Buzz program for One Page. The program is designed to be spontaneous and yet planned and built upon the quality of the product, service, and the idea of the “My One Page” wizard itself. It is designed to (i) provide an incentive to the customer to pass the message along; (ii) facilitate the communications process between the customer and their personal human networks; (iii) be scaled to fit any volume of response; (iv) play upon common human motivations; (v) spread via existing communications networks not affiliated with the program; and (vi) demonstrate One Page’s sensitivity to their needs. These videos will be distributed through high-traffic online websites and finally will include a URL link to marketing landing page that includes the library of clips and viral tools like contests and pass-it on rewards. O’Brien is a member of the Viral & Buzz Marketing Association in England and is an honors graduate of Medill of Northwestern University, with a degree in Integrated Marketing Communications. Financial: Ms. O’Brien estimates she can launch a full Viral Marketing program for One Page’s My One Page Job Wizard for approximately $100K plus her compensation. O’Brien is proposing her compensation to fit within the established parameters of entry-level One Page. Previously Ms. O’Brien’s compensation has varied from a low of $60k to a high of $250k, on a combined basis of base salary and performance bonuses. She seeks in working as part of the One Page team the opportunity for substantial income and direct participation in the equity of such an exciting company. Status: Frances O’Brien has identified a profile of individuals with high “social networking potential” for One Page products. O’Brien has roughed out some viral messages that she believes will appeal to this segment of the population and have a high probability of being passed along concerning the various One Page applications. Action: Jo Kidd Riley CEO One Page to set an appointment with O’Brien in San Francisco or Beijing to review O’Brien’s viral marketing plan.

© All Rights Reserved Frances O’Brien Nov-07 Contact: Frances O’Brien 415 xxx-xxx

The Road Map—Start to think it through


Let me explain each of these sections—what type of information goes into each, and why. Later, after you have an understanding of these parts and their roles in the overall scheme of a The One-Page Job Proposal, we’ll discuss the finer points of execution—getting it all down on paper. The Title

B u z z i n g

O n e

P a g e

We always lead, as you would expect, with the title. Of course, it goes at the top of the page. Visually it signifies commencement, and it does something more: Just as The One-Page Job Proposal condenses a much larger “what I can deliver if you hire me” into one page with no loss of impact, clarity, or intention, the Title condenses the whole proposal down to a single phrase. If nothing else, your reader will read this, and that’s why it has to frame and accurately reflect the contents of your document. O’Brien threw in a visual at the title point in her proposal. It worked ­because it was a clever play on words. The Subtitle A proposal by Frances O’Brien to join The One Page Company team as a primary driver of viral ­marketing.

The Subtitle appears in upper and lower case letters just below the title. It is a follow-on statement that amplifies the title, giving it color, interest, and a second layer of information and explanation. While the title does its job simply by naming/labeling the project, the subtitle has to be both explanatory and expressive. Even if he has reservations after the Title, your reader will surely read down this far, too; the subtitle is where you can hook him and intrigue him enough to read on. In some cases it may contain your name. The Target Target: Create extraordinary favorable buzz among One Page’s most promising markets—the Y-Gen and Baby boomers that result in extraordinary revenues.

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Just underneath the subtitle comes the Target section, which is composed of a main Target Statement. It could just as easily be called the intention because it declares, in plain language, just what the proposal intends to accomplish. In other words, in the Target you are answering the question, “What are you trying to do?” More specifically, it answers the question, “What will be accomplished if I (the recipient of your proposal and my company) were to hire you?” This is the statement of the main goal of your proposition. The Secondary Targets •  I ncrease unique visitor traffic & grow audience w/ the lowest possible expenditures for paid advertising. •  Create unique branding and brand awareness opportunities “My One Page” wizards.

Whatever project your The One-Page Job Proposal intends to set in ­motion, it almost certainly has more than one objective. Secondary Targets, are important, but none of them alone could carry the proposal. They complement the main objective and build the case for its approval by adding to its perceived benefits. This listing of objectives or benefits has a cumulative effect; assuming the reader looks well upon the primary objective, the project moves from good to great as the secondary targets stress the broader payoffs of hiring you. The Rationale & Your Bio Buzz (a.k.a. viral or “word of mouth”) marketing is changing the way of consumer ­marketing. Spontaneous buzz is free, can reach consumers isolated from all other media, and unlike ­conventional media, consumers tend to trust it. The number of people using social networks is projected to grow from 14 million in 2007 to 600 million in 2012. The One Page Company (“One Page”) is uniquely well–positioned in the “self-improvement” and “human potential movement” to exploit the growing opportunities for viral marketing to networks of like-minded friends through the world’s most popular channels: (e.g. MSN Video, YouTube, iFilm, MySpace). Frances O’Brien with 15 years experience in buzz (employed sequentially at Double Click, My Space, GMail-Google, and Hot Mail) on her own initiative has designed a Buzz program for One Page. The program is designed to be spontaneous and yet planned and built upon the quality of the product, service, and the idea of the “My One Page” wizard himself. It is designed to (i) provide an incentive to the customer to pass the message along; (ii) facilitate the communications process between the customer and their personal human networks; (iii) be scaled to fit any volume of response; (iv) play upon common human motivations; (v) spread via existing communications networks not affiliated with the program;

The Road Map—Start to think it through


and (vi) ­demonstrate One Page’s sensitivity to their needs. These videos will be ­distributed through high-traffic online websites and finally will include a URL link to ­marketing ­landing page that includes the library of clips and viral tools like contests and pass-it on rewards. O’Brien is a member of the Viral & Buzz Marketing Association in England and is an ­honors graduate of Medill of Northwestern University, with a degree in Integrated ­Marketing C ­ ommunications.

The Rationale section comes next. It is that block of text that salespeople would call “the pitch.” This is where you sell yourself. In one, two, or three short paragraphs it lays out, in convincing prose, all the reasons why you can, will, and should get hired. It is the largest prose section of The One-Page Job Proposal, and it is here that much of the specific research you have done comes into play, as your mastery of the facts and the force of your pitch is presented. Because it closely follows the stated objectives of the targets in the previous sections, the Rationale is your chance to tell the reader why those objectives are valid and desirable. Moreover, it helps explain why you can successfully deliver on all the benefits you claim. Your bio info goes here as does your expression of your experience, ambitions and reputation. It must be done in the third person and you have 3 to 4 sentences tops. O’Brien, in the above example, gets it down to only two sentences about herself; the rest is all about her idea for the reader that she can deliver if she is hired.

Financial Financial: Ms. O’Brien estimates she can launch a full Viral Marketing program for One Page’s My One Page Job Wizard for approximately $100K plus her compensation. O’Brien is proposing her compensation to fit within the established parameters of entry-level One Page. Previously Ms. O’Brien’s compensation has varied from a low of $60k to a high of $250k, on a combined basis of base salary and performance bonuses. She seeks in ­working as part of the One Page team the opportunity for substantial income and direct participation in the equity of such an exciting company.

The next big block of text is a section called Financial. It is called ­Financial, not Money, because it is about more than dollars and cents. It ­concerns costs, yes, but also other kinds of financial resources and considerations that will be required to make your proposal a reality. It is the only place in The One-Page Job Proposal where money matters are discussed in detail. This section is where you quantify and qualify the ­financial parameters of your working with the company. It establishes the financial framework for your proposal. The reader needs to

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­ nderstand the ­financial implications of the proposal, even though he u may not necessarily be an owner himself. You may be asking the reader only for support, but he will still need to understand the money issues if he is to back your proposal, or take it to the money people. Status Status: Frances O’Brien has identified a profile of individuals with high “social networking potential” for One Page products. O’Brien has roughed out some viral messages that she believes will appeal to this segment of the population and have a high probability of being passed along concerning the various One Page applications.

Status is our next section, and it is here that you want to answer the following questions: What is the situation now? Where do you stand in your career. Or better yet how you have been instrumental in bringing the deal to him or her, What has been done to date? What elements of the proposed deal are in place already? Who has been talked to? Have any agreements already been signed? Outline exactly where the deal stands on the very day the proposal is set before the reader. This timeliness is important: If you have to change this paragraph every day as things change, then so be it. Action Action: Jo Kidd Riley CEO One Page to set an appointment with O’Brien in San Francisco or Beijing to review O’Brien’s viral marketing plan.

We’re near the bottom of the document now, and it’s time for the payoff. In the Action section you finally ask for what you want. Your ­action statement is basically the answer to your reader’s implied question, “What can I do for you?” Everything you have written in The One-Page Job Proposal so far has been in preparation for this crucial sentence. Obviously you must be specific about what you want—to be hired to do the job. Date and Signature

The Road Map—Start to think it through


Finally, at the very bottom of the document, come the date and your signature. Although I don’t formalize this sign-off section as an intrinsic, doctrinal component of all The One-Page Job Proposals, I do think it is important in most cases. This is a formal business document, after all; it just feels best to close it appropriately. I recommend dating it and signing it at the bottom just as you would any other piece of business correspondence. Registration Mark  and Contact info. © All Rights Reserved Frances O’Brien Nov-07 Contact: Frances O’Brien 415 xxx-xxx

At the bottom right hand corner of The One-Page Job Proposal document, on one line with a slightly smaller font put “ All rights reserved. [Month, Year].[Your Name] Contact: [Your email address] [Your best telephone number]. This enables any reader to contact you. It is very ­important to include this, otherwise follow-up will be difficult.

The Sequence is Sacrosanct The north-south sequence of sections I have outlined above has an ­internal logic that I hope you recognize and can appreciate. It follows the basic tenets of the single-sheet proposal idea that Khashoggi shared with me long ago, but reflects the addition of a few wrinkles and improvements that I developed over many years of experience and usage. The sections act like inverted stairs, if you will, that are cemented in place one by one to carry your target reader from point A (no knowledge and no interest) to point B (full knowledge and full interest), and to do it quickly. The sequence is the strength; it cannot be deconstructed or rearranged and still retain its persuasive power.

78 the one-page job proposal

Chapter 7

On your mark, Get set. Translate your knowledge into the one-page format

Step 1: Sort Your Research and Thoughts Now that you have a basic understanding of the parts and format of a The One-Page Job Proposal, and the reasons for its deliberate construction, you can begin shaping your The One-Page Job Proposal in your mind. You’ll start mentally sorting and placing your knowledge and research into one of the eight compartments; it is human nature to start picking up the pace when you’ve got a good idea of the road map ahead. ÖÖ Try this: Gather all your notes, all your research—include everything you’ve written, photocopied, (or even doodled) so far—and put them into one of eight file folders labeled Title, Subtitle, Target, Secondary Targets, Rationale, Financial, Status and Action. ÖÖ Gather all your notes, papers, 3 × 5 cards, newspaper articles, ­photographs, and other research materials—stuff them into one of the folders.

ÖÖ Use your new knowledge about the definition and goals of each section to guide you. Don’t leave anything out, at first. ÖÖ If you are working primarily onscreen, you can do the same thing ­electronically—create eight folders on your desk top and sort all your scans, documents, old bio, and other files into the appropriate folder.

Step 2: Downsize Even at this early stage you’ll find some material that clearly is not going to be important to keep. Focus on one section at a time; the best way to do that is to stay within each folder until you’ve absorbed it all, made a few appropriate cuts, and it’s time to move on to the next. Trying to hop, skip, and jump randomly through the folders will only cause confusion and make it more difficult to master each section fully and quickly. Expect the thickest bundle of material will probably fall into folders three (Target) through seven (Status). Pay no attention to the length or amount of material in those sections right now. Having them in the right folder is enough. You may have no research material in some folders, like Title, Subtitle or Action. These are not research-based sections. But as a start, and a warm-up exercise, jot down a preliminary list of possible titles, subtitles, and action sentences and add them to those folders.

Step 3: Now Prioritize Within the Folders In each folder, prioritize your material. That is, put it in sequence, from the most important or relevant material to the least. Once you see it ­arranged this way, you may find it easier to start dispensing with the ­lesser ­material—so go ahead. Any stray nugget of good information should be thrown in with the more important papers. What you’re doing, it may soon become clear, is creating a sequence of thought—which should help you envision a sequence to follow during the writing phase. Again, don’t

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worry about the amount of material you have—not yet. We’ll cut it down later. For now it’s just helpful to have your most relevant material right at the top of each folder; it should begin to take shape as a kind of virtual outline, a blueprint for the proposal to come. This kind of prioritizing will require that you bring value judgments to bear on your own material, and a certain breadth of knowledge as well. I’ve found that prioritizing the Rationale folder has always presented the most challenge, as it usually contains the most material and requires a deft touch to arrange in a useful order. By the time you’ve finished this process you will have completed an ­important and necessary part of the process—organizing all your ­material, and arranging it for maximum utilization and priority.

Step 4: Start writing. Write a few sentences about each folder. Now comes a critical process—converting your research material from a stack of papers into a start-up document containing discrete, stand-alone sentences. Starting with the Target folder (you can skip the Title and ­Subtitle folders—they are special cases) take a clean sheet of ­paper (or open a new document) and literally write one sentence for each ­important piece of information still residing in the folder. Note: We’re not writing The OnePage Job Proposal yet; this is simply an ­organizational ­procedure and a method for getting your first words on paper. Don’t ­worry about how many pages it takes at this point. Style points don’t mean a thing here. Just write a basic sentence (or several) that ­summarizes or ­represents an informational point in your folder. Don’t concern ­yourself with gaps or redundancies; this is meant to be an imperfect process and there is wide leeway for error. But, as rough as it looks and probably reads, by the end of each folder you will have cobbled together a list of ­sentences that, if you have prioritized your material ­correctly, flows to a large ­degree in logical order. Now, after a long, deep breath, review these sentences. ÖÖ Is all of your good, pertinent research represented in at least one of the sentences?

On your mark, Get set. Translate your knowledge into the one-page format


ÖÖ Do they follow a logical progression of thought within their sectional domain? ÖÖ From folder to folder do they accurately reflect the conclusions and ­understandings derived from your research? Assuming they do, let’s take it another step. Take these sentences, by folder, and try to assemble them as paragraphs. That is, change your ­disconnected list of sentences into a connected sequence of sentences, based on the logic of a normal written paragraph. Do this for each ­appropriate folder (Rationale, Financial, and Status). For the Title, ­Subtitle, Target and Secondary Target folders, the paragraph form does not apply. What you have now is a document, on paper, that more or less summarizes the results of your research, the extent of your knowledge, your goals in working with the targeted company, and your intent. It’s not a The One-Page Job Proposal; it’s not even the first draft. But it is the starting point for writing one. The document you’ve just created could be three to four pages in length—and that’s fine. The work ahead will involve compressing the data and sharpening the language until you achieve the goal of a single page document. It is only natural that you have more data than you can use right now. Don’t worry. This may be the steepest hill on our journey; getting this far is a huge accomplishment.

Step 5: Take a break. Leave, Then Revisit this Document Whenever I reach the point of having a serviceable, pre-The One-Page Job Proposal document, I stop. I put it aside, and treat myself to a long walk or some other pleasant diversion. Do a Walkabout—but this time Walkabout (in your car) the c­ompany or the types of companies to which you are directing your proposal. Let’s say you have targeted going to work for a commercial real estate ­developer who builds shopping centers. Your research has given you the address and names of several of the centers they have built in the past few years. In addition, you know they are planning a shopping center near a new university campus. You read in one of the newspapers that local ­community was upset with the permitting process because it did

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not ­satisfy the students’ need for a 24-hour convenience store. Go take a look at that site as well. Look for things that cannot be seen. I find getting away from it for a while, hours even days, adds ­perspective, and subtly changes how I am thinking about the project. And I find I’m always eager to get back to it once I’ve replenished myself physically and mentally. On my return, the first thing I do is re-read this collection of paragraphs—as objectively as I can. Putting aside any distracting thoughts about the writing style, I try to make a whole new judgment of the content. Have I captured everything I want to say? Is it clear? Is anything missing? Is there any gap in my logic? Are there any unsupported claims? Do the numbers add up? And—most important—are the basics of my anticipated proposal persuasive? Is it compelling on its merits? Taking a brief vacation should give you the perspective to see what’s missing from this pre-draft. It may also allow you to see points of overemphasis, faulty logic, wrong figures, disproportion, or unnecessary ­information. Take a red pen and make notes in the margins about what needs to be added, and where. Again, it’s not quite yet time to worry about language. Keep your focus on content. Bring all your knowledge to bear, and by the end of the process you’ll have all your information arranged in the right order, right proportion, and in the right s­ equence. Momentarily pull back. Clear your mind. Ask yourself, “What am I t­rying to accomplish with The One-Page Proposal?”—of course to get the job.

Okay You’re on Your Mark and Set — so Let’s Go, Its time to Write the First Draft Don’t get psyched out. Get started. In the end your final product is going to be about 30 sentences. You’ll do fine—just take each section one at a time. What are we waiting for? Let’s get writing the real The One-Page Job Proposal.

On your mark, Get set. Translate your knowledge into the one-page format


Chapter 8

Write your DRAFT One-Page Job Proposal

The Title Comes First. Headline the Story As we’ve seen, the Title of your The One-Page Job Proposal is best ­expressed as the simple declarative statement of its subject. Examples: When I was doing the one-page proposal for Duke Solar on providing a supporting role in the development of their international strategy, my initial OPP title was “Solar Power Marketeering.” My ­initial thought was to play on the “eer” letters in “marketeering, as e.e.r. is a well-known acronym in the alternative energy business standing for “­efficient energy renewables”. On the surface it seemed to be ­innovative which was a point I wanted to make somewhere in the One-Page ­Proposal But after seeing it written out, it was clear to me it was too cute for a utility company. The culture of utilities is conservative and engineering driven. In the end I settled on something simple, direct and conservative: Duke ­Solar Strategic Market Development Project. It worked. The head of Duke S­ olar read on . As you can see, the fewer the words, the better. It should be no longer than six or seven words, set in all capital letters, centered in bold type at the top of the page.

Too simple? Not really. What you want here is a framework that is easy to comprehend and memorable. The main goal isn’t creativity. In this case, that could lead to confusion. Clever or abstract titles increase the risk of ­losing your readers before you’ve got them hooked. The title is not meant to be declarative. It is a label. It does give words to the final outcome.

Subtitle: Build Onto The Title With The Subtitle Word choice is critical here. If you are looking for a declarative ­statement it is in the subtitle. Years ago my wife (now ex) and I were doing a film production one-page proposal addressed to Sony, the large ­Japanese ­electronic company, to produce a series of 6 low budget films using all ­Sony’s new High Definition Television (“HDTV”) technologies—the ­cameras, the editing, and the display systems. Sony was interested in ­gaining a foothold in the US HDTV market. At the time the United States, Europe and Japan had competing standards for HDTV. The marketing notion was “first in last in.” In other words who ever got to market first would gain the market share. The one-page proposal was designed to catch the attention of members of the Sony Board of Directors in Tokyo, in particular its Chairman Marita. The title was “HDTV Feature Films.” Flat but accurate. In writing the subtitle my first stab was “New Films for New Technologies.” Something was missing. I hadn’t appealed to the audience and given them a compelling reason to relate to the proposal. By eventually adding in the word “Sony” and “to attract US ­Consumers” it made all the difference: “New Films to attract US consumers to ­Sony’s new HDTV technologies”. Descriptive words are needed—the more ­powerful, the better. What you are really trying to do is define the topic of the proposal, give it dimension and flavor, pique the reader’s curiosity, appeal immediately to his interests, and provoke him to read on. The subtitle does not need to be a complete sentence; in fact, it rarely is.

86 the one-page job proposal

Target: State Your Goal This is the first expository statement in The One-Page Job Proposal. You’ll notice that this statement begins with “to.” Stephen Covey calls this “beginning with the end.” After all, if you don’t know where you want to end, there is a good chance you won’t get there. It’s also true that if you don’t know your destination, you won’t be successful in convincing your reader to go there with you. Most ­important, the target should be a shared target of you and the reader. And that is what we want—the reader’s immediate inclination to go with you on the journey the proposal initiates. The target should be labeled clearly, as in the following model that we did on the films for Sony. TARGET: TO ESTABLISH THE MARKET FOR JAPANESE HIGH DEFINITION PRODUCTS IN THE UNITED STATES BY ­PRODUCING PROFITABLE US-MADE HIGH DEFINITION FEATURE FILMS. The target is one thought, one objective. It’s a statement of the ­principal outcome you and the reader desire. In the example with Sony, both Sony and our company wanted to establish the market for their HDTV systems in the US. It is the one main target. Keep it focused. This is important because the Target defines a common interest you have with the reader. Don’t make it too broad. If you focus on two masters you will serve ­neither. As you prepare the Target, it’s important to keep everything you know in mind. If you have done your research, you’ll already know something about your reader. Frame your target sentence in their context, not yours. Be clear about what it is you want to accomplish, but try to use your knowledge of the reader’s wants and needs to nudge them with vocabulary toward taking ownership of the proposal, and wanting what you want. All told, the Title, Subtitle and Target will likely command no more than 20 seconds of reading time, but in that time the reader makes what may be their most important decision: whether or not hiring you interests them enough to read on. The One-Page Job Proposal format has made clear, right up front, just what you want, and if they keep reading that means they’re interested—at least in principle.

Write your DRAFT One-Page Job Proposal


Secondary Targets: Clarify Your Goal Secondary Targets should be expressed in the same manner as the ­primary Target, and set off with bullets or other comparable design elements on the left side. Think of it like a bombing run. Pilots on a bombing mission always have secondary targets in case there is bad weather or cloud cover over the primary target. This aspect of the OPP focuses the reader’s attention and adds emphasis to these sentences. There may be many secondary goals for your project, but my advice is to list no more than six. There is no upside to padding the list to make more than that. Keep it real; keep it credible. Following on from the sample one-page job proposal from Frances O’Brien, she targeted the following sub-targets: ÖÖ Increase unique visitor traffic & grow audience with the lowest possible expenditures for paid advertising. ÖÖ Create unique branding and brand awareness opportunities “My One Page” wizards.

Rationale: Who, What, Where, Why, How & Your Bio This is your argument and most importantly this is where you walk on stage. The classical Argument form has been around since rhetoricians taught Greek farmers how to appeal their cases to Greek courts in the 5th Century B.C. It is the time-tested model for presenting any case ­logically and plausibly to a decision maker, and as such it is of immense ­importance here. This Rationale section is nothing but a classic ­Argument, write small for space reasons. But all five elements of the classic Argument apply: ­Introduction, Narration, Confirmation, Refutation/Concession, and Summation. I have modernized these names and shortened them into “Setting the Stage”; “The Pitch”; and “Compelling Points”. But no ­matter what you call them, together they make up the crossties of classic argument architecture. You’re going to build this case in 150 words or less. We’ll start with the first subsection of the Rationale block: Setting the Stage.

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Setting the Stage

Probably one of the most well known One-Page Proposals in history is the Declaration of Independence. It is a great example of how important it is to explain the rationale to the reader. What happened on July 4, 1776 was that 56 men signed a one-page proposal, called the ­Declaration of ­Independence, that started the American Revolution. Seven years later and with the significant loss of men and women from all sides, England and the rest of the world recognized the United States as an Independent ­Republic. As a direct consequence of that one-page proposal the United States of America was born. Thomas Jefferson wrote it for two audiences: directly to the King of England, George III, and indirectly to the people of the thirteen colonies. To the king he was proposing independence to his fellow Americans. He was proposing that they “join up” in the fight against the British. History has tended to simplify this event, as if the Declaration was the end in itself. It wasn’t it. It was a proposal. A one-page proposal. The king wasn’t the only one who needed to be convinced. In addition to getting a copy to the King of England, the one-page proposal was copied many times and c­ irculated through each of the colonies to sell the idea of independence to the c­olonists and invite them to join the Revolutionary Army against ­Britain. From the start the outcome was uncertain. The majority of the people in the colonies were unaware of the events going on in Philadelphia. A ­consensus was forming that might be called anti-British, but the people of the soon to become United States of America had to be convinced. Opinion wasn’t universal. It was essential that Jefferson explain the rationale and set the stage for the reader: So: “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands … We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal … that whenever any form of government becomes destructive … To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world …. He has plundered our seas ….” In fact, if you look at the Declaration of Independence notice that more than half of the text is the Rationale. Give your reader yours and his or her’s rationale for going ahead with the idea of hiring you. In the first sentences, perhaps even the first full paragraph, your challenge is to accomplish many things quickly. Your ­objectives ­include: a) capturing your reader’s interest, perhaps with a fo-

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cusing ­statistic or startling quotation; b) announcing or re-stating the theme of the proposal, reinforcing the Title and Subtitle; and c) giving the reader a sense of who you are and what you believe, thereby establishing your voice and perspective and inviting the reader to feel a sense of rapport. Remember, this is the first block of text in The One-Page Job Proposal that is written in complete sentence form. It is as if you were “speaking” for the first time. Show a little personality. Your second objective—and the more important one at this early stage—is to summarize the relevant background material and provide the information the reader needs to know about the environment, circumstances, and the historical context of your proposal to work with them. This establishes the context of your appeal. It explains the situation to which your proposal is responding. In just a few sentences you also need to give the reader an understanding of what is at stake, so that he can evaluate your claims objectively. All this is more than a warm up for the Pitch, which comes next. These multiple objectives require careful planning: to juggle facts, make decisions about what to include, and make word choices that convey just the right tone. Every word has connotations—hints and shades of meaning, often registered unconsciously by the reader—and you want to make sure they are creating subliminal respect for you and your argument. That done, the stage is set for the second subsection of the Rationale block: The Pitch.

The Pitch & Your Bio

Now, at last, you have walked onto the stage. In your next s­entences, or full paragraph, explain why the reader should believe in you and your ability to get the job (The Target) done. Then you need to support all your claims and benefits—those Targets and Sub-Targets—by providing evidence of your experience, facts about the emerging trends that drive your passion for the project, your reputation for handling this type of project and examples in a way that explains why and how those b ­ enefits will be realized. Usually this is presented in a “ladder” of ­reasoning from strongest to weakest, or from most obvious to most subtle.

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Compelling Points

To complete your Rationale, in the last sentences pile on the ­compelling facts in a way that creates a conclusion to this section. Make sure you’ve clarified why the Target and Secondary Targets will be achieved by ­working with you, and why you provide the best solution to ­commercial ­success of the company at this time. Make your ideas important, ­significant, and timely. Close your argument with a strong, well-rounded conclusion ­rather than just a cessation, to lend the pitch a sense of authority and logical finality.

Timing Issues—the Readers and Yours

In his famous book on strategy, A Book of Five Rings, the sixteenth-­century samurai Miyamoto Musashi gave the following advice on ­swordsmanship: “There is timing in everything. From the outset you must know the ­ applicable timing and the inapplicable timing, and from among the large and small things and the fast and the slow timings find the ­relevant ­timing, first seeing the distance timing and the background timing. This is the main thing in strategy.” What timing issues are central to your job proposal? Are there ­deadlines, drop-dead dates, or seasonal considerations that are driving the need for a decision? Is there an event, a meeting, a trade show, or a convention that is critical to your coming onboard the company just now? And when? Rare is the opportunity for which time is in no way an issue. “When” impacts everything. It has all got to come together sometime, and it is here in the Rationale that you let the reader know what that time is. This is also your chance to impart other time information—the “birth date” of important events in the project’s history; critical path timelines; and when you need the reader’s help. These indications of time do not constitute a paragraph unto themselves, but should be included as parts of Setting the Stage, the Pitch, and Compelling Points whenever appropriate. Having read the Argument on merit, the reader is poised to move into the Financial section next. Lead him into it positively, so that he is looking for confirmation of his good feelings about the proposal.

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The Financial Block In some way, at some point, every proposal involves money and the ­backing of a strong credit—a company, person, or a business partner. This is where you quantify and qualify the financial commitment. If there aren’t financial implications to your proposal, for example if you are using The One-Page Job Proposal to join a Board of a non-profit charity, then this is the place to point that out. This section is called financial, not money, because its about values and resources that are going to be required to make your proposal a ­reality. It establishes the financial framework for your proposal and shows the reader that you are responsible and respectful—for your own money and other ­people’s money. You can’t write a successful The One-Page Job Proposal ­without true financial considerations. Without this section the whole ­proposition is incomplete. However this is not the place to discuss ­salary ­required though you can discuss the terms. Or recently I have found it ­useful to discuss high-low compensation amounts for your previous compensation. I ­usually recommend in the financial section you begin with a strong declarative sentence indicating the terms of your employment: as an employee, subcontractor, or as a part-time employee. Then a second declarative sentence such as: Mr. (or Ms.) X is prepared to work within the financial parameters of the company for their type of work. If there are project costs, beyond your direct compensation, this block offers an opportunity to show the reader that you are completely ­familiar with the financial aspects of the proposal and that you are responsible with money. The best way to accomplish this is to put yourself in the ­reader’s frame of mind. An investment is both an opportunity and a risk. The reader, I guarantee, will concentrate on the risk. If he is experienced, he will know the main causes of potential project failure, many of which are financial—cost overruns, cost surprises, collapse of ­financing, ­uninsured losses, increased pricing, and poor financial oversight and management. Could any of these causes impact your proposal? Here’s where you can do your best to demonstrate that you’ve anticipated the pitfalls, and made allowances for them.

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A word of caution: Resist all temptation to misrepresent the ­financial facts. They are what they are. In this section you must express ­yourself competently and confidently. Competence and confidence are often ­important enough to carry a deal forward despite less than ideal ­economic conditions or serious financial demands. Whether you’re providing financial details simply for information and context, or asking directly for financial help, it’s best to make this ­finance paragraph brief, accurate, and easy to understand. This is not an ­annual ­report. Hit the highlights, using the big picture, and important numbers only.

Status—Where the You and Your Idea Stand Now Status means the condition of things bearing on the outcome of the ­proposal. What’s the situation with regard to the proposal as of the date you’re writing it. Be open. If there is some predicament be sure and ­mention it. We said in the beginning the one-page proposal had to be complete—this means with the good and the bad. If the reader decides to hire you, they won’t want to find out some surprises later. If you have been ­shopping the proposal to others indicate that and qualify why you are now ­approaching the reader. The importance of status is illustrated in a stellar fashion in the onepage paperless proposal called the Arecibo Interstellar Message. It’s one of the most ambitious proposals of mankind—a proposal asking ET to call our home. On November 16, 1974 a radio signal was transmitted from Arecibo Observatory to the globular cluster M13, about 25,000 light years away from earth. It is the ultimate “Knock-Knock. Who’s There” proposition. The proposal tells the extra terrestrials our status (who, what and where we are) and asks them to take a specific action: Call earth. Relaying the status across the Milky Way galaxy to an unknown ­audience is especially important and tricky. But you can see it from the printout of this message in the appendix. Taking a page out of the late Carl ­Sagan’s book Cosmos: “The signal contained 1,679 bits of ­information. But 1,679 = 73 × 23, the product of two prime numbers, suggesting that

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the bits be arranged in a 73 × 23 array, which yield the picture. The top row establishes a binary counting convention; the second specifies the atomic numbers of the chemical elements: hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorus, of which we are made. In these terms, green and blue locks represent, respectively and numerically, the nucleotides and ­sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA. The vertical white block ­represents the number of nucleotides in the genes of the red creature, of which the total population is the number to its left (in wavelength of the transmission, 12.6 centimeters). In yellow is the creature’s planetary system, the third planet having some particular significance. In violet is the radio telescope transmitting the message. Its size is given between the horizontal lines.” In your Status section: be frank, and don’t ignore the negative or the controversial. For example, let’s say you are a single working mother with children in grammar school who need to be dropped off at 8AM each weekday morning and picked up at 3:30PM each weekday. So your window of work is from 9AM to 3PM every day. You put that requirement on the table in your The One-Page Job Proposal. At the same time you offer to work at home in ‘flex hours’ in the evenings for two hours after the ­children are in bed at 9PM every evening. Or let, say you are in the Army Reserves and have to take a leave for two weeks every summer and could be called up anytime, then mention it up front. Put all your cards, good and bad, on the table. The status paragraph also acts as a setup for the action paragraph that follows it. You’re finally about to ask for something, so this is the windup before your pitch. If, for example, the whole deal is in place, awaiting only the last bit of financing, say it here. But say it in a way that will encourage the reader to become the first to hire you to take this exciting next step.

Action—If You Don’t Ask, Yours is Not a Proposal! Lets stop here for a moment and look at this word “proposition.” ­Proposition is the essence of what you are doing. In other words, taken from the Oxford English Dictionary: “The action or an act of ­putting ­something forward for acceptance; an offer … An enterprise, an

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­ ndertaking, esp. with regard to the likelihood of its commercial s­uccess; u a (difficult) ­problem or project, a prospect with regard to its likely ­difficulty; a (formidable) person etc. to be dealt with.” The One-Page Job Proposal is simply the written result. The whole basis of your proposal and the underlying value of The OnePage Proposal (vs. a resume) is that it allows you to make a ­proposition to a potential employer that distinguishes you as a ­prospect for his or her commercial success. Get it. By presenting them with a solution to a ­(difficult) problem or project that they are ­thinking about already, you are letting them see you as a formidable person to be dealt with that might increase the likelihood of their commercial success. We recommended earlier that you should know what it is you’re ­asking for up front, even before you start your research. So by this point you should be able to make your ask sentence precise and clear. Also, make sure that what you ask for is do-able. You cannot ask for something the reader cannot provide. Your research will have told you, hopefully, what your reader can do. Ask for something clearly within their capabilities. So far, your The One-Page Job Proposal has provided the reader with who, what, when, where, and how much. The action sentence now tells them how—as in, “How can I help you?” Do not assume that the ­reader will necessarily have deduced the step you want them to take by the ­previous parts of The One-Page Job Proposal. Spell it out: Do you want them to s­chedule a meeting with you to discuss the project? [This ­approach is ­usually very successful.] Do you want their recommendation to a third-­party (for ­example the HR department)? If you are already in the ­company, do you want them to recommend you for a new position and increased ­compensation? Do you want them to let your spearhead a new initiative for the company. Do you want them to schedule a presentation with other members of the company to consider your idea? Do you want their ­backing, which is another way of saying that you want to borrow their power? Ask, and ask unambiguously. Explain exactly what you want.

Date It (and Sign It on the final-final OPP) The date is important because it shows that the information is current right down to the day. Write your DRAFT One-Page Job Proposal


The signature, on the other hand, symbolizes personal commitment and conviction. It took a lot of courage for the 56 men to sign the ­Declaration of Independence. If they had lost the revolution they all would have ­ended up on the hanging gallows. The One-Page Job Proposal is a personal transaction. Your name, ­reputation, and good character are behind it. Signing your name ­signifies that fact and lends a personal touch to The One-Page Job Proposal. You may also wish to have your name appear in type at the bottom to ­accompany your signature, especially if your signature is difficult to read. Add a copyright designation at the bottom as well along with your name, email and direct phone number. I do this when the information I have used in The One-Page Job Proposal is sensitive or confidential, and I want to protect it from being disseminated or published freely. Using a copyright mark does not guarantee privacy, but it does put the reader on notice that the material is for their eyes only, and should be used further only with the consent of the author.

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Chapter 9

Improve, Reduce and Compress

Congratulations. Your first draft now exists. But it will certainly not go forward just like it is. It’s probably more than one page; and it’s probably still a bit rough. Sit back and read it as if you were the intended reader; read it straight through without stopping or making notes. Then read it a second time and start making revisions based on these factors:

Add In and Take Out Errors, omissions, and missing data—these are all things that polishing the language alone cannot fix. If on reading your first draft you’re ­dissatisfied with the quantity or quality of your data, you may have to shore it up with new research. In many cases you may find minor inconsistencies, or incomplete support statements, requiring only a few minutes of targeted research to fix. In others, you may find that this draft opens up new ideas for supporting research that take longer to pursue. Whatever it takes, this extra work is likely to be worth the trouble, because if you noticed a flaw yourself, chances are your reader would have too. Take the time to flesh out incomplete areas of your proposal.

On my first pass of writing the One-Page Proposal for buying and renovating Riverdance Mill years ago, for example, I had only scratched the surface of the history of the mill and the surrounding property. Only upon looking over my first draft did it become clear to me that for the one-pager to be successful with my intended audience (the bank), I ­needed to go back and collect more information. ­Adding this new information added enormously to the credibility of our proposition. In particular by adding the history: “In 1875, Oscar Beeman, a local master builder built a sawmill and carpentry shop on the East Aspetuck River just south of Lake Waramaug. The structure itself was built on the ­foundations of an old iron ore blast furnace built in 1834—the iron ore having been brought from Ore Hill in South Kent. The mill was powered by harnessing the East Aspetuck River, which runs there at a rate of 3000 gallons per ­minute. Mr. Beeman was a barn builder and used the lumber milled there to build barns throughout ­northwestern Connecticut—some of which can still be found in the surrounding area and are distinctive given their ­characteristic cupolas—the Oscar Beeman trademark was also found atop the mill itself.” We demonstrated clear respect—respect for the property, respect for the people of ­Litchfield County, and respect for our reader who was 7th generation in the c­ ommunity. When this process is complete, you should be confident that you’ve ­mastered everything you need to say, and that you’ve included e­very ­pertinent fact and figure that is known to you, and is contained ­somewhere within your working draft. You should be very comfortable with what you see on paper. No one will have as much working knowledge of this project you want to do with this company as you do at this moment, but there may be some value in letting someone else read your first draft before you go further. Another pair of fresh eyes just might catch something you missed, or might suggest an addition that had not occurred to you. As the ultimate producer of The One-Page Job Proposal you can accept or reject their thoughts, but a fresh, knowledgeable reader may spot something obvious that makes all the difference. It can’t hurt. At the end of the day you should have a new, freshly typed first draft. It will still be more than one page in length. Now the fun really begins— ­getting it down to one.

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Start the Elimination Round From here on, the process of making The One-Page Job Proposal is an ­exercise in reduction—paring, compressing, shortening, cutting down, and sharpening. Let’s do the easiest part first. Starting with a big, broad knife, let’s begin cutting material out of the final draft. What goes? Give it some thought first. I like to start by eliminating: 1. Interesting But Unnecessary Facts

You’ve gathered a lot of facts and data, but not all of it is absolutely necessary to carry the pitch. You may have included some information because you found it interesting, unusual, or startling, or perhaps it was a great find in your general research. Take your red pen and strike through the sentences that are not absolutely critical to the ­comprehension or persuasiveness of the core idea of your proposal. 2. Ambiguous Statements

Not everything you have written down will be rock solid. There is ­always variation in the certainty of your source material from the research phase. Strike out all uncertain, vague, or obscure sentences. 3. Factually Shaky Numbers or Financial Data

You have uncovered lots of financial data. Some of your numbers may not agree, or for that matter, may be in total conflict. Some of it may be optimistic, or overly speculative. Always choose to present financial data from the most unimpeachable sources. If the origin of your financial ­information is unknown or unsupported, strike it out. 4. Redundant Information

Sentences that repeat earlier statements, or differ only slightly from them, are not necessary. Red line them.

Improve, Reduce and Compress


There, with just those few steps you have probably cut down the first draft significantly, maybe even in half.

Start Compressing Data To reduce the size of the first draft even further, you will have to start making some tough decisions. Here are some tips for how to proceed. 1. Your proposal should be organized in support of one, and only one, proposition. Look at every sentence in each section. Does each of them declare, support, and/or propose that core idea? If not, get out your knife and get cutting. 2. Look for second appearances of the same data. No facts, statistics, figures, or statements are important enough to be included in more than one section of The One-Page Job Proposal. Each sentence should deliver only the information most relevant to that section alone. If you have two sentences that say essentially the same thing, eliminate one or the other, or join the best parts of each to make a single sentence. 3. Check for relevance and applicability. Is every sentence truly relevant to the matter at hand? In this process you’ll have to make informed choices about what to leave in and what to take out. The guiding principle has to be, “What is the absolutely critical information that has to be present in each section for the proposal to be successful?” Think and rethink every sentence in every section in the context of criticality. Can the proposal go forward without it? After this elimination process is complete, print out your draft again. It will be smaller, but probably not down to one page yet. Let’s call this the Second Draft.

Eliminate the Obvious Here is another way to reduce the sheer word volume of your The OnePage Job Proposal—exclude the obvious.

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We cautioned you earlier to assume your reader knows nothing about your particular project. That advice was meant to guide your research, to remind you to be thorough in your preparation. Now that we are in the writing phase, keep your eyes peeled for general background information that you’re certain your reader must know very well. There’s no need to remind a petroleum baron of the profit potential of the oil business, or in explaining film distribution to George Lucas. When your reader has ­extensive background experience in your field, you can reduce the ­explanatory text in several sections—especially Rationale and Financial— dramatically. Include only the details that are unique and proprietary to your proposal. Review your proposal through his eyes—is there anything that might make him think, “No kidding, bub?” Anything that would make you seem naïve for including? Now’s the time to take it out. Of course you’ll need to be quite familiar with your reader to make that judgment—another reason your research is so important. ­Modify your proposal to reflect your understanding of the reader’s level of ­experience, and you may shorten it in at least two key places—Rationale and ­Financial. Moreover, you may save yourself some embarrassment— and rejection.

Shorten Through Writing Style and Language Up until now you have exerted your skills and strengths as a thinker and strategist to reduce the length of the proposal. From this point on, further contraction of the proposal will depend on your ability to use and control language. My high school English teacher drilled into my head that good ­writing should be “clear, concise, grammatical, and complete.” “Clear” and “­concise” are direct functions of word choice. Taking care with your word choice is the first way to reduce word count. The key is ­precision. ­Choosing the noun, verb, or adjective that exactly expresses your thoughts helps you communicate not only well, but also efficiently. ­Precision e­liminates extraneous wording. One word will often do where you might have used several, cutting right to the meaning you desire. High-flown, florid w­riting may dazzle with its cascade of words and

Improve, Reduce and Compress


phrases, but it can also make you seem unprofessional—and can take up a lot of extra room in the bargain. Cutting down on the rhetorical flourishes can mean a gain in your reader’s comprehension and reading speed. Re-read the second draft with an eye toward exchanging long words for shorter ones and single adjectives for adjective strings (“a really big, huge ­opportunity”). Likewise, look closely at your sentence style. Are there similes or ­metaphors in your writing that could be excluded with no loss of ­meaning? Are there parenthetical phrases that, despite being well struck, can be ­sacrificed for brevity’s sake? As you reduce the quantity of words you are increasing the pressure, energy, and power of your proposal.

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Chapter 10

Add power to your proposal

Now we are down to a page or so. We have just about accomplished our goal for length. Let’s spend a minute on creating the right tone and voice for The One-Page Job Proposal.

Use the Third Person The One-Page Job Proposal is not a resume. The focus of the proposal is the proposition, not the proposer. So I suggest you write the entire onepager in the third person—he, she, it, the company, etc. No “I”. When referring to yourself, use your full name the first time (and just the last name afterwards). Calling attention to yourself distracts the reader from the proposal itself. Let your knowledge speak for itself. Reveal yourself and your qualifications through your mastery of the subject.

Use Positive, Active Words Use an active voice to give the reader a sense of your enthusiasm. One ­persuasive way to prime the pump is to show some early success or ­positive results. If you can demonstrate momentum from others, in ­addition to your own enthusiasm, highlight it. In other words what milestones have you accomplished already and on what dates. Use that somewhere in your lead sentence. Positive movement prior to ­investment is a crucial factor for moneylenders and important supporters. If you’ve got it, show it. Writing persuasively certainly demands clarity and coherence, but it also requires words and phrases that add emphasis to your important ideas. This comes from the use of strong, active language instead of a weak, passive voice. Negative sentence constructions and the passive voice will subtly but invariably impart weakness to your proposal. Here is what I mean: WEAK: “As the financial goal is reached, the need for additional ­money is reduced.” STRONG: “The need for additional financing disappears at the $1 million mark.” WEAK: “Positive endorsements were gathered by the investment ­banking firm as it went through the month.” STRONG: “Bear, Stearns locked up ‘yes’ votes in 30 days.” The voice is active, the words are positive and emphatic, and they are shorter, punchier and more memorable as well.

Use Convincing Language You are trying to convince someone to take an action that will result in your being hired, so use strong honest words in The One-Page Job Proposal. Avoid the hype words. Convey strength and integrity through your choice of words. Read and learn from the literature the individual uses to describe themselves and their company.

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Chapter 11

Troubleshoot — A technical Edit

Let’s sweep through your latest draft again, this time not for length or style but for conformity to the standards of composition, word usage, ­grammar, and spelling. You can be your own editor, or you can ask ­someone to do this editing job for you.

Do A Grammar Check The old strict rules of grammar have been loosened over the last twenty years or so, and I won’t say that is a bad thing. If we enforced every ­grammar rule still on the books our writing styles might still resemble that of Wuthering Heights. Modern writing can be very effective when it breaks out of old boundaries and reflects instead the freshness of ­contemporary speech. By and large The One-Page Job Proposal is a traditional business document and the basic rules of grammar always apply. Even if you’re not a professional editor you can probably spot many basic errors if you read carefully and self-critically.

Subject-Verb Agreement A singular subject requires a singular verb; a plural subject uses a plural verb; a compound subject uses a plural verb, and so on. This comes as second nature most of the time, but occasionally a subject-verb ­agreement goes awry even for the pros.

Spelling Spelling errors can include both typos and accidental misspellings of ­proper names, uncommon words, or esoteric industry terms. Some ­consider these mistakes incidental; on the contrary, they can be quite damaging. They create an impression of sloppy, inaccurate work, and betray the credibility and thoroughness that may otherwise exist in your proposal. Misspelling proper names and company names is especially egregious. For example, I’ve heard there have been movie proposals that cited “my good friend, John Houston.” Ouch. It’s Huston. Spelling it the wrong way both ­contradicts your inference of acquaintanceship and ­emphasizes your sloppiness. Similarly, spelling a company name ­incorrectly ­highlights your own unfamiliarity with the subject or the industry. People might pronounce the name of the well-known pharmaceutical ­giant F-I-Z-E-R, but it is not spelled that way. It’s not Phizer, either. It is spelled Pfizer. A similar homonym involves the publisher of this book. Count on it: their reaction to a book proposal sent to “Reagan Books” (instead of ­ReganBooks) is not unmixed. And the computer giant Cisco is no doubt tired of being confused with the food company Sysco. Double-check all proper names and company names for accuracy.

Punctuation This can be a complicated business, even for a seasoned editor. My ­advice is to simplify your sentence structure so you don’t risk putting your wrong foot forward—or losing the reader. Still, be sure your commas, ­colons, and semicolons are in the right places. Refer to the Associated Press ­stylebook or the Chicago Manual of Style if you are unsure. 106 the one-page job proposal

Abbreviations Use only the most common, acceptable abbreviations such as “Co.”, “Inc.”, “etc.” (Use sparingly!) or “St.”; or generic acronyms such as “NFL”, “CEO” or “NATO.” When in doubt, spell it out.

Capitalization Since there is a high probability that there will be titles somewhere in The One-Page Job Proposal, consult your style manual to guide your usage of “president,” “vice president,” “ambassador,” and other forms of address such as “sir,” “madam,” “Dr.,” and so on.

Avoid Awkward Constructions and Word Usages Though they may not necessarily be fatal, awkward sentence ­constructions and word usages can be distracting and ultimately counterproductive to the success of your The One-Page Job Proposal. Since you’re so close to the document, you might not recognize the flaws in your own language: dangling modifiers, misplaced pronouns, or other writing imperfections. Ask another person to read it cold. He or she may find sentences here and there that can be improved. Again, the remedy for clumsy word usage or grammatical missteps is simplicity. A simple, clear style will eliminate the kind of problems that only an experienced editor can fix. There are many books that can be helpful to authors in these matters. Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, is a classic text that has served writers for generations. Also consider Fowler’s A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, Bernstein’s The Careful Writer, and the latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, among hundreds of other dictionaries, texts, and manuals. The development of a serviceable writing style comes with study, ­practice, and reading good writers. It is a very useful skill no matter what your profession. But you don’t have to be Hemingway to write a s­uccessful The One-Page Job Proposal. You just have to find a simple, clear voice. Troubleshoot—A technical Edit


Stay within yourself. Don’t stretch for fancy language. When you use simple words with certainty, you’ll give your reader the ­impression of ­fluency and competence, and that is what we are after.

Try to Make It Universal The One-Page Job Proposal, once completed, should ideally be a fixed ­document—to be modified only when your project’s financial ­details change, or the status changes, or when certain sections need to be ­abbreviated to accommodate readers with specific needs. You don’t want to have to change it every time you present it. So it’s important to keep the language of The One-Page Job Proposal free of references or images that the average reader won’t know or understand. The ­readers of your The One-Page Job Proposal may vary widely in education, ­background, native language, and national origin. A cute reference to Don Quixote won’t necessarily hit home with a multi-millionaire ­professional athlete. An analogy to cavalry strategy in the Civil War might mean ­nothing to an Asian investor. A Seinfeld metaphor may not be understood by a South African philanthropist. Likewise, use of current American slang will ­probably fall on deaf ears everywhere. Resist the temptation to be hipper than thou or showy in the words you use. Your goal is to use common but expressive language that ­virtually anyone can understand, regardless of age, language, background, or ­education.

Reading for Substance A good editor is more than just a tough grader, marking up a ­document for punctuation errors and typos. In addition to performing a line edit—a word-for-word review of the text for stylistic and ­grammatical errors—an editor will review a document’s substance, looking for ­contradictions, gaps in logic, or other errors of sense. Does the document follow a ­natural, logical argument? Does one paragraph lead naturally to the next? As a whole, does the manuscript work as a unified, cogent presentation?

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To be your own best editor, you should review your The One-Page Job Proposal for all such flaws—trying, again, to view it through ­another’s critical eye. You may have cited a fact or dollar figure in the ­Rationale ­section, for example, that you repeat, somewhat differently, in the ­Financial section. It’s crucial to catch these discrepancies in order to head off reader confusion. No The One-Page Job Proposal should be submitted without first ­being given this substantial edit, either by you or by someone whose eye for ­detail—and whose judgment—you trust.

Get It on One Page In An Essay Upon Projects, English novelist Daniel Defoe wrote: “The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.” After all this, there’s still a possibility that your The One-Page Job Proposal hasn’t quite boiled all the way down to one single page in length using conventional formatting specifications. If that’s the case, you need one last review to squeeze it into shape. Think of this step as you would the formation of a diamond. It is not a cutting but a compression of carbon that creates those magnificent, ­crystalline octahedrons. Check and recheck your thoughts and words. Can they be compressed any further? Can they be better chosen? If they cannot, and your The One-Page Job Proposal is still a one and one-half page proposal, the problem lies not in your words but in your ­thinking and organization. Go back and re-read Chapter 3, Organizing Your ­Research/The Parts of The One-Page Job Proposal, to make sure your proposal conforms to the letter and spirit of the “laws.” There is always a way. Is there one particular section that is overweight? Work on it. Make the hard choices. You must do this based on your acceptance of, and commitment to, our overriding principal: the proposal must be one page only. Once you truly believe that the benefits of the one-page format outweigh the ­negatives, you will find a way to make it happen.

Troubleshoot—A technical Edit


Chapter 12

A Great The One-Page Job Proposal Getting a job with Pharaoh Cheops

We can review the principles behind The One-Page Job Proposal until we’ve mastered every theory, but the best way to grasp The One-Page Job Proposal concept is to examine a good example of the form. Here is one. Let’s run through it so that you can watch those principles in action. In this case, the model is highly imaginary—based on speculation about one of the great engineering projects in history—the construction of the great pyramid erected to honor the Pharaoh Cheops almost five thousand years ago, and a guy named Hemon, an architect, who wants a job with the Pharaoh. Following the principles of The One-Page Job Proposal, I’ve created a document that the Pharaoh’s chief architect might have used to pitch his idea and be hired to do it for the great man himself. Let’s see how it might have worked. Imagine you are Hemon, an architect in Egypt at the time of the great Pharaoh Cheops. You have been designing minor structures and ­municipal buildings in Alexandria for years but now you’re looking for the big job—to be hired to do the project of a lifetime, a potential source

of both widespread acclaim and substantial reward. It would be a chance to leave your mark, to extend your skills beyond minor remodeling jobs and create a monument for the ages. And so you conceive a new design for the Pharaoh’s eternal resting place: a pyramid with four sides, rising to an apex 482 feet above the desert floor, an imposing structure that will memorialize the great ruler throughout history. Your goal: to persuade Cheops himself to appoint you Chief of Works and authorize the financing and construction of the pyramid. You are aware that you’ve set yourself a serious challenge. Cheops is a formidable character, with a big ego and a jealous entourage. Though you happen to be his cousin—a status that may win you some favor—you also know that the Pharaoh is surrounded by a battery of master builders, surveyors, rock quarry owners, slave union bosses, and lawyers, each of whom has their own agenda and turf to protect. They do not want the Pharaoh to hire you, because they are jealous. They are going to be reviewing your proposal too. So as you begin to craft your The One-Page Job Proposal, you know you must do so with as much care and forethought as you would a major construction project—like the pyramid itself.

Title and Subtitle The title needs to be memorable, but simple. Five or six words. Your first attempt: “The Pharaoh’s Burial Place.” But that’s not quite right—it’s too pedestrian. You then try “An Edifice for All Time.” That won’t do—it’s creative, but vague. Then you hit on the perfect mix, simple yet d­ramatic: THE GREAT PYRAMID OF CHEOPS

The Pharaoh knows what a pyramid is, but he needs to be intrigued. So you amplify it in your subtitle, which you sketch in just below the title: A powerful monument in tribute to Pharaoh, in an ageless geometric design

It’s a Subtitle designed to pique the Pharaoh’s curiosity and appeal to his sensibilities—in this case, to his ego. The words “powerful” and “­ageless” reflect the Pharaoh’s towering self-regard—and here, in the context of a memorial tribute, the flattery is entirely appropriate. 112 the one-page job proposal

Target Here is where you must consider what the Pharaoh really wants. Given that the ruler is 26 years old, and possesses every luxury imaginable, you must consider what this new monument can offer. A historical tribute to Egypt and himself? A symbol of his greatness and immortality? Your target reinforces the Pharaoh’s own goals: To build a monument honoring the greatness of Egypt and the eternal life of Pharaoh

If you have properly identified the Pharaoh’s desires, your proposal will succeed all the more readily by promising to satisfy them. ­Notice that the language never mentions that I or we wish to prevail upon ­Pharaoh, but simply proposes to build the monument. Self-­promotion might ­offend the Pharaoh or his bureaucratic cronies: keeping the ­language ­impersonal, on the other hand, keeps the focus on the work at hand.

Secondary Targets You have learned through research and experience that Cheops is a major proponent of technological innovation—and that he is always obliged to consider his wife’s opinion. That information translates directly into a pair of secondary targets: To demonstrate Egypt’s cutting-edge technologies. To provide an eternal resting place for the Queen.

Rationale In this particular project, there is only one crucial timing factor, and you lead off your Rationale section by demonstrating your awareness of it: The Great Cheops has decreed his intention to build a monument in his lifetime which reflects his greatness and that of Egypt.

A Great the One-Page Job Proposal Getting a job with Pharaoh Cheops


Now You Set the Stage for Your Pitch by Giving the Background Information Since the Great Unifier, King Narmer, was buried at Abydos in a pit tomb topped by a mound-like superstructure, the Pharaoh of Egypt has been assigned a unique status in the eyes of men and the gods. Yet none of the previous Pharaoh’s tombs has reflected the ultimate relationship between the sun god Ra and the Pharaoh himself. Nor has the architecture of these structures been advanced enough to protect the Pharaoh’s body and his treasures as they travel through to the next life. Already, evidence of grave robbing can be seen at the monument for the Pharaoh’s father, King Snefru. The stage is now set for the central pitch, to hire you. The Pharaoh needs to know you can do the work, and you need to convince him. Be as authoritative as you can: A most innovative architect of Alexandria, Hemon, has developed a novel and superlative design for such a monument, in the shape of a great pyramid. The design is unique in the history of Egypt, and promises great continuity with the design of the Pharaoh’s existing structures and the traditions of our land. Hemon has an outstanding record of handling large projects in Egypt and was a subcontractor for some excellent work in the Pharaoh’s palace. He has an excellent record of achievement. A trusted member of Pharaoh’s family, he is a manager whose competence is unchallenged.

You summarize with five compelling points that emphasize the achievement of the objectives stated in the Target/Secondary Targets (to demonstrate Egypt’s forward-looking technology): Expected benefits from the proposed work include: (i) a magnificent site for the pyramid on the strongest bedrock of the Giza Plain; (ii) the monument’s projected status as the largest structure in the world; (iii) a design that aligns the pyramid with the stars on a north-south axis, perfectly orienting the Pharaoh to the setting and rising sun, and guaranteeing him safe passage into the next world; (iv) engineering to within a maximum deviation tolerance of less than eight inches for the entire structure; and (v) facing with Tura limestone, which has the highest reflective qualities of any stone in the world.

Financial The Pharaoh Cheops is a divine king, and the sole power controlling the wealth of Egypt. Still, even he has financial constraints, and as a savvy guardian of his wealth he is bound to have concerns about a ­project of this scale. Can the task be accomplished within feasible ­financial ­parameters? Will his management team work with you to control 114 the one-page job proposal

e­ xpenses? Can the pyramid be completed comfortably in his lifetime? What about e­ngineering questions: Will this revolutionary design work? Will the ­proposed ­bedrock site support the structure’s weight, and yet still be close enough to the Nile to ensure the steady transportation of stone? Your investigation has convinced you that it can be done, and at what cost. The project will require the marshalling of much of the Pharaoh’s resources; there’s no hiding that. But it is manageable. You write: As the largest monument of its type in the known world, the Great Pyramid will require one fourth of the treasury of Egypt to complete—an increase of only 5% over that spent by Pharaoh’s father when taking into account the growing tax base on the grain harvest from Semna West to the Delta. From preliminary drawings, Pharaoh’s royal palace engineers estimate that the 482-foot pyramid design will require approximately 2.3 million blocks of stone—each weighing 2.6 tons. The cost of construction can be paid out gradually over 23 years, the time it takes to complete. Hemon’s fees will be commensurate with the scale for master architects of the court.

Status Only you know what has been done so far, and where things stand. You let the Pharaoh know how much work you have done already, and what parts of the deal are already sewn up. Hemon has completed the preliminary drawings. Quarries near Giza have pledged to meet the demand for limestone and granite. New ­sources of gold and cedar wood for ramps have been located in Egypt’s new ­territories in Byblos and Lower Nubia. The Department of Civil Service can provide a workforce of 100,000 craftsmen and workers to work d ­ uring the flood seasons, which will ensure completion by 2528.

Action You have known from the beginning what you want Cheops to do, but you don’t assume that he has deduced it from the proposal. So you say it explicitly: The Great Pharaoh Cheops to use his power to appoint Hemon as his Chief of Works, specifically authorizing him to carry out the building of the Great Pyramid. A Great the One-Page Job Proposal Getting a job with Pharaoh Cheops


That is how I imagine Hemon would have done it. As practice, why not try writing One-Page Proposals for other major projects in history— the Panama Canal, the Hoover Dam, the Roman Colosseum, the Great Wall of China. A quick trip to the history books—or the Internet—will give you all the research you need, and serve as a fun way to familiarize ­yourself with The One-Page Job Proposal construction.






The mightiest monument of ageless geometric design on the Giza plain in tribute to Pharaoh

TARGET:  TO BUILD A REVOLUTIONARY NEWLY DESIGNED MONUMENT TO THE GREATNESS OF PHARAOH CHEOPS AND EGYPT THAT ENSURES THE PHARAOH ETERNAL LIFE. •  To demonstrate Egypt’s cutting edge technologies. •  To provide an eternal resting place for the Queen. The Great Pharaoh Cheops has decreed his intention to build a monument that reflects his greatness and that of Egypt. Since the Great Unifier King Narmer was buried at Abydos in a pit tomb topped by a mound-like superstructure, the Pharaoh of Egypt has been assigned a unique status in the eyes of man and the gods. None of the tombs have reflected the ultimate relationship between the sun god Ra and the Pharaoh himself. Nor has the architecture of these structures been innovative in protecting the dead Pharaoh and his treasures through to the next life. Already evidence of grave robbing can be seen at the monument for the Pharaoh’s father, King Snefru. A most innovative architect of the Pharaoh’s royal palace, Hemon, has developed a novel and superlative design for a great pyramid. The proposed design is unique in the history of Egypt. It achieves great continuity with the design of existing projects of Pharaoh. Hemon has an outstanding reputation for handling large projects in Pharaoh’s palace. He has an excellent record of achievement. He is a trusted member of Pharaoh’s family. His competence to manage such a project is unchallenged. Expected advances from the proposed work include: (i) the location of the Pyramid at the strongest bedrock of the Giza Plain; (ii) the pyramid being the largest structure in the world; (iii) the alignment of the pyramid to the stars on a north-south axis that perfectly aligns the Pharaoh Cheops to the setting and rising sun, guaranteeing him safe passage into the next world, (iv) engineering to within a maximum deviation tolerance of less than eight inches for the entire structure; and (v) facing of a new Tura limestone with the highest reflective qualities of any stone in the world. FINANCIAL:  The Great Pyramid will be the largest monument of its type in the known world requiring 1/4 of the treasury of Egypt to complete - an increase of only 5% over that spent by Pharaoh’s father given the growing tax base on the grain harvest from Semna West to the Delta. Based on preliminary drawings, Pharaoh’s royal palace engineers estimate that for the pyramid to reach its apex height of 482 feet high, there will be required approximately 2.3 million blocks of stone - each stone weighing 2.6 tons. The cost to build the Pyramid will be paid out over 23 years - the time it will take to complete.

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STATUS:  Preliminary drawings are complete. Quarries near Giza have pledged to meet the demand for both limestone and granite. New sources of gold and cedar wood for ramps have been located in Egypt’s new territories in Byblos and the Lower Nubia. The Department of Civil Service can provide a workforce of 100,000 craftsmen and workers to work during the flood seasons which will ensure its completion by 2528 BC. ACTION:  The Great Pharaoh Cheops to use his power to appoint Hemon his Chief of Works, specifically authorizing him to carry out the building of the Great Pyramid.


Copyright © 2551 B.C. by Hemon. All rights reserved.

The Max Riley - Dolby Side-by-Side Comparison Test: Resume versus One-Page Job Proposal My son Max Riley is a great specialist in sound for films and digital media. He lives in Los Angeles and recently decided he wants to work with Dolby laboratories. First he created a resume and then additionally he created a One-Page Job Proposal. He submitted the One-Page Job Proposal on a Monday, by the next day the president of Dolby had read it and passed it on through the company for consideration. Check it out. See the difference for yourself.


W .


Los Angeles CA 90019 323 420–3440

EXPERIENCE: May 2008 – Present Riley Sound Principal Start up designed to serve as a consultant and professional audio equipment dealer. Dealer duties include fielding bids of commercial and residential projects needing system design and product. Riley Sound is set up to provide product sales, installation, schematic design and consultation. May 2007 – October 2007 BSUN Media Systems System Designer Hired to organize and bring structure to the development of the company. Responsibilities included the construction of weekly scheduling by implementing a call sheet system for the installers and other employees. Designed Block drawing schematics of client’s systems with the introduction of schematic planning for the company. Also responsible for contributing new marketing ideas for the company.

A Great the One-Page Job Proposal Getting a job with Pharaoh Cheops


Jun. 2004 – Sept. 2005 BBI Engineering System Engineer Under instruction of Mark Roos, built and wired a LARS artificial reverb system for the Bohemian Club Jinx Theatre and the video-conferencing system for the Charles Schwab executive boardroom. Engaged in troubleshooting and technical support for professional audio-visual systems. Involved precision soldering, wire pulling, and system termination skills. May 2000 – Sept. 2001 Dolby Laboratories Summer Internship 2 Worked in the PC Licensing Division; responsible for troubleshooting a broad range of ­consumer-level Dolby digital decoders to isolate an audio problem with the Playstation 2. Assisted in the design of a coding patch for the switch from PCM to AC-3. Full member of AES since 2001 Proficient In: Software: L  ogic Pro 7.2.3 ProTools LE 7.3, Sound Miner, Meta Edit 1.9, Waves Gold ­Plug-ins, NI Hardware: A  pogee Ensemble, Mackie Universal Control, Tascam DA-P1, TC Electronic ­Powercore EDUCATION: University of California Santa Cruz BA: Film & Digital Media; Minor: Electronic Music

MAX RILEY PROPOSAL TO DAVID GRAY TO JOIN HIS WORLDWIDE PRODUCTION SERVICES TEAM Objective: To contribute to Dolby’s success in infusing Dolby’s DNA into the evolving film entertainment industry. Dolby Laboratories’ Production Services (PS) leadership in cinema is a tribute to Dolby’s PS team’s extraordinary ability to align supply and demand in the film entertainment marketplace (the demands of entertainment companies for technical innovation to produce, the screen-owners for strong playback technology devices to offer, and the needs of audiences to experience) for innovative content that audiences “long to see” e.g. Toy Story 3 Dolby, Pixar and Disney. Continued success of 7.1 (now in 500 theaters worldwide and targeting the 65,000 screens worldwide that use Dolby technologies) involves a passionate execution of the existing Worldwide Dolby Production Services strategic plan by a smart team that constantly evolves new ways to align film makers and producers, screen owners and audiences worldwide that results in new revenues and earnings for Dolby. Max Riley, formerly a two-summer intern as a tester at Dolby Labs in San Francisco, is keenly interested in earning a position on David Gray’s Worldwide Production Services team to support the objective (above) and is proposing TO COME ON BOARD AS A PAID INTERN - DOING “GRUNT WORK” FOR THE PS TEAM FOR WHATEVER ASSIGNMENT IS REQUIRED TO MAKE THE TEAM MOST SUCCESSFUL...AND SO PROVE HIMSELF. After completing his studies in Film and Digital Media at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Max spent 7 years selling and building custom audio visual systems (commercial and residential) and doing installation and service, for examples Ivan Reitman, Brian Burke, Norman Lear. Max was introduced and developed a passion for film sound through his involvement with (i) Robert Burke Studios doing commercial and documentaries using Dolby Digital Surround Sound Editing and Mixing techniques for television 5.1 mixing...(ii) as an assistant to Scott Jennings doing film sound editing and (iii) through his experience as studio assistant inside the Wilshire Stages (now Wildfire Post) interacting with Kevin O’Connell and

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Greg Russell, Kami Asgar on the final mix of Apocalypto. These experiences led him to this proposal to David Gray. He is a member of the Audio Engineering Society. Financial: Max will work within the financial parameters for an internship at Dolby. Max would like to revisit the terms of employment within 6 months of hire to explore a permanent position. Max is confident that given past experience combined with a strong internship experience of working with directly the Production Services team, he can evolve into a strong contributor to the PS team’s success in building Dolby’s revenues and earnings. Status: Max is ready to start now at any level indicated by David Gray. For the past years Max has been searching for an opening in the Dolby organization...late at night following his day jobs responding to advertised openings that don’t quite fit his qualifications. Bill Jasper, whose son is a friend of Max and who also interned at Dolby the same time, recently recommended approaching David Gray. Max has a strong idea of the complexity of Production Services and based on his self-assessment, believes given his cursory understanding of the scope of Production Services, that his experience and opportunity to learn and contribute to the PS team would be strongest in the studio, theater, marketing support services, Dolby screening, in that order. Action: For David Gray and Max Riley to meet to discuss the possibilities. © All Rights Reserved Max Riley July 2010 Contact; Max Riley 323 420-3440

A Great the One-Page Job Proposal Getting a job with Pharaoh Cheops


Chapter 13

Specifications & Production Values

Now that you’ve perfected the content of your The One-Page Job Proposal, it’s time to produce the finished item. The One-Page Job Proposal is not just a collection of ideas; it’s also a physical object, and as such it’s a ­demonstration of your own standards of quality. You don’t have to spend a fortune etching it in marble or glass, but a strong physical presence can make a real difference in the success of a The One-Page Job Proposal. Here are a few tips on quality:

The Hard Copy—Use Quality Materials Your The One-Page Job Proposal is a personal emissary from you to the reader. The form of your one-pager influences the impression formed in the mind of the reader. For this reason, every element of your proposal should bespeak quality. Even if you intend at some point to transmit your The One-Page Job Proposal by other means, such as fax or e-mail (which we will cover in the next section), you should always produce a superb hard copy of your one-pager for direct or follow-up presentation by you. Start with a good quality cotton-fiber paper, at least 24 pounds in

weight, of standard size (8 1/2 by 11 inches in the United States). Do not use your personal stationery or a business letterhead. Use a blank sheet of paper. White paper is always good, and certain buff or gray sheets will do just as well. But avoid brightly colored sheets or sheets with exaggerated ­watermarks or ornamentation; they look unprofessional, and will tend to distract attention from the content itself.

Pick A Typeface and Type Size Readability is the most important thing, so pick a standard business ­typeface such as Times Roman or Baskerville. The basic text font size may vary from 10 to 12 points, and headings should appear in the same or similar fonts slightly larger or in boldface. Don’t be tempted to use 8 or 9 point type as a way to squeeze more material onto your page: that’s just too small, and your proposal will likely go into the recycling bin. Fancy decorative typefaces for the title or bold headings are distracting and can look unprofessional. Again, keep it simple. The best approach is to single-space a proposal, with a line space ­between paragraphs and sections, though for shorter proposals 1½ ­spaces can work. Section headings—Target, Financial, etc. should appear in 14-point bold type, and underlining can help set such headings off. The Title should be centered or (a less common alternative) set flush left, and should be set in the largest point size anywhere on the page—anywhere between 16 and 24 points.

General Appearance 1. Always use black ink to print The One-Page Job Proposal. Your ­copier may have color capability, but it’s not a good idea to use red, green, or even blue ink, even for emphasis. Use a good laser printer; dot-matrix printers produce poor letter quality, even on the best setting. If you don’t have a laser printer, bring your print job to Kinko’s or some other service bureau and have them print it for you. A crisp, professional appearance is essential to making the right impression.

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2. Use healthy margins on all sides. Start with one inch top, bottom, left, and right. If you need more room, decrease the dimensions by 1/4 inch until everything fits. Note: the margins should never be less than one-half inch all the way around. 3.  The One-Page Job Proposals are always flush left, ragged right, like a standard business letter. There’s no serious problem with using ­justified text (flush left and right), as long as the technique doesn’t produce odd word spacing or unusual hyphenations. If you prefer the orderly look of justified text but find you’re having these ­problems, try a smaller font size, or adjust the justification settings in your ­word-processing software accordingly. 4. One side effect that can crop up during formatting is the hyphenation of the last word in a line, which can look sloppy. Usually the ­raggedright format eliminates them, but some software will hyphenate a long word that falls at the end of a line of text. You can usually override such hyphenation manually, but if that creates a funny-looking short line, it might be best to reword rather than let the hyphenation stand.

Specifications & Production Values


Chapter 14

Make the Connection— Presenting your one-page proposal to your target employer

In her 1932 film Night After Night, the actress Mae West is approached by an actor who compliments the necklace she’s wearing. “Goodness, what beautiful diamonds,” he says. Her retort: “Goodness had nothing to do with it.” The same goes for your The One-Page Job Proposal—it didn’t just happen; it took some real savvy and hard work.

Putting It Into Play Now that it’s finished and in your hands, what’s the best way to get your The One-Page Job Proposal into the hands of your target reader?

The One-Page Job Proposal is a great and versatile tool for the 21st century. And like any 21st century innovation, it can be delivered through a full range of media choices—from faxes and email to options still on the drawing board at Microsoft and Sony. When Marilyn vos Savant, the writer and columnist listed in the ­Guinness Book of World Records as having the world’s highest IQ, was asked in her column in Parade Magazine: “Which is greater, the ­spoken word or the written word?” she answered: “The written word, by far. It’s of better quality, having benefited from planning, ­organization, and ­revision, it has greater stability, making our memories look ­ephemeral by comparison, and it can reach more people over the course of time, ­including those not even born yet.” The same might be said of the ­advantages of The One-Page Job Proposal over the verbal “pitch” so common in today’s business and professional world. The printed The One-Page Job Proposal ensures that your pitch is delivered with all the forethought, care, ­professionalism, and polish that the process allows. It gives you complete control over the presentation of your argument. All that is true. But this one document can’t quite do it all. The One-Page Job Proposal should not be sent without an introductory ­conversation with your intended reader, either in person or by telephone. If you want the proposal to be read and taken seriously, there’s no substitute for the personal connection of a one-on-one conversation—even if it is only for a few minutes by phone. For absolute best results you should have a conversation with the ­reader first, preferably in person, where you can orally review the ­proposition and leave the hard copy The One-Page Job Proposal for their later perusal. But if that is not possible, discuss the proposition by telephone, and ­follow that conversation with an overnight delivery of your The One-Page Job Proposal to them. I send my The One-Page Job Proposals unfolded, flat, in 9 by 12 mailing envelopes, or in one of the overnight envelopes UPS or FedEx provides. E-mail attachments and faxes are fine, but only as intermediates. They should never be relied on as a full substitute for your The One-Page Job Proposal. If you use one of the intermediates as your initial delivery ­method, always follow up as soon as possible with the hard copy version, even if the intended receiver has not expressed interest.

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Telephone Protocol In paving the way to present your The One-Page Job Proposal, you might find yourself following one of several courses of action: When you contact the person by telephone they might say, “Sure I’d love to meet.” You set up a time and go to the appointment, armed with The One-Page Job Proposal to present during or just following the meeting. Bring several copies, just as you would a resume. The person agrees to a meeting but asks, “What would you like to talk about?” Don’t try to answer that question fully over the phone. Give them your target sentence and say that you have prepared a The One-Page Job Proposal that covers all the key parts, which you will send over in preparation for an in-person meeting. Then send them a copy of your The One-Page Job Proposal with a short note confirming the appointed time, and reaffirming your personal interest in meeting with them. The person says, “I am not sure I can help. Why don’t you send me ­something in writing first? If it looks good we can set a time and get ­together.” You send over a note with your The One-Page Job Proposal attached, reaffirming your respect for their opinion and the value of their time while also indicating that you will call in three days to set up an ­appointment.

You are Prepared for All of These Possibilities Of course, there is a fourth option, which is that the person turns you down over the phone. “No, not interested”. “Thanks, but no thanks.” So what? George Lucas got turned down by almost every major studio in Hollywood when he first pitched Star Wars. If your first-choice reader turns you down, don’t stop. Write him a thank-you note in which you reiterate your respect and regret at his decision—and attach a copy of your The One-Page Job Proposal nevertheless. Express your willingness to meet at another time to discuss the project should it be his desire to do so. Then pick yourself up and redirect your The One-Page Job Proposal

Presenting your one-page proposal to your target employer


to another promising person—an associate, a competitor, etc. Adjust The One-Page Job Proposal to suit the new reader, if necessary, and make a new round of calls. You’re still on track.

Know Your Proposal Inside and Out The great Hollywood pitchman and movie producer Robert Kosberg says there are four basic principles guiding a good in-person pitch: Is your idea pitchable? Know your pitch cold, and rehearse it. Show your passion. Visualize your success in advance. Kosberg’s advice is sound: When you’re going in for that all-­important in-person meeting, it’s crucial that you know your proposal inside and out. Writing The One-Page Job Proposal is an exercise with built-in room for trial and error, but pitching the proposal in person will be a much more unpredictable process. Depending on the circumstances, you might start by talking about the financial aspects. Or you find yourself having to start by responding to a specific question about your project’s status. No matter what, the best advice is to know your proposal well enough that you could pitch it anywhere—at 1 a.m. aboard a yacht, for example, as I did to Adnan Khashoggi that night many years ago in Monaco. Just as Murph Couzins Slattery pitched one of America’s great business ­leaders in a garden while he was running out the door to a baseball game, you should be prepared to deliver a crisp, energetic pitch in person in even the most unusual circumstances. I have ­presented one-pagers in military ­bivouacs, at power lunches in ­Hollywood, around a kitchen table, on walks on the beach, over a shortwave radio, through the Internet, in a bank board room, and in Geisha houses in Japan. I’ve pitched them in jeans, suits, and safari gear—even once in my pajamas! When you know each section of your proposition by heart, you’ll be quick and ready when the time comes, whatever the circumstances. The One-Page Job Proposal is a natural study aid in getting your p ­ resentation down.

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Kosberg has another theory that is probably correct, since it is still in daily use in Hollywood: if you can’t explain it in one sentence, either you don’t have an idea or you don’t know it very well. Hollywood ­producers have always made instant judgments about film ideas based on log lines prepared by their story analysts. Here’s a typical one: “The former lover of a cynical WWII casino owner arrives in Nazioccupied Morocco accompanied by her husband whose heroism forces the hero to choose between his cynicism, his still-strong feeling for his ex-lover, and his latent patriotism.” We all know instantly which movie this describes—Casablanca. You have to know your proposal as well as that—so well that you could explain it in one sentence if you had to. In a way, you’ve done that already—in the Target line of your The One-Page Job Proposal. Keep it in mind when you’re asked, “What’s this proposal all about?”

Take It to the Best and Brightest When you wrote the Action part of your The One-Page Job Proposal, you might have visualized the person to whom you were going to ­present your proposal. He or she surely isn’t the only person for whom your The One-Page Job Proposal might be appropriate. There could be dozens of people out there for whom your proposal is a natural. Don’t limit yourself to people you know, or the same powerful, wealthy people in your town who are constantly approached for investment. There may be powerful allies and business investors who are unknown to you but just around the corner. Try to find them. Robert Noyce, the founder of Intel, once said, “Don’t be encumbered by history; just do something wonderful.” That advice goes to the point here as you prepare to take your ­proposal to market. Aim high. A wide circle of friends helps, but don’t be limited by your current contacts. Think beyond your current horizons. If ­Hemon had been encumbered by his own history as a journeyman ­architect, the Great Pyramid might not have been built. Great men and women are ­always interested in new, well thought out ideas that will make them more successful. There’s an old saying: “Good ­business makes fast friends.” Approach everyone—your excitement will be contagious.

Presenting your one-page proposal to your target employer


Up Your Own Organization: Get Promoted, Become the Real Apprentice We live at a time of terrific innovation, not just in the creation of new companies, but within the walls of our greatest existing companies as well. In the world of the 21st century, new products and services that grow market share are driving companies’ revenues and profits. The success of America’s great companies depends on innovation from within. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said over one hundred years ago, “If a man write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, tho’ he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.” Paraphrased for the 21st century: If you put forward a compelling proposal inside your own company, though you may be in that firm’s lowest echelon, the powers that be should beat a path to your cubicle! Our best companies (big or small) know this, and more and more of them are building their businesses on this principle. On the other hand, sometimes internal innovation can be thwarted by the system itself— ­especially in older, larger, or more conservative companies. But it needn’t be so. If you’re running a company or managing a division, The One-Page Job Proposal is a great tool with which to empower your existing and perspective employees. Set the standard for new hires and promotion. Give the The One-Page Job Proposal to people who want in or people who want to move up and challenge them to provide you a proposal you can’t refuse. It is the ultimate reality show. You as an employee become the ­Apprentice! The Apprentice is a television series which during its first season (January 8–April 15, 2004), was the #1 new show of the ­television season among total viewers and among adults 18–49. An average of 20.7 million people watched each week and 40.1 million watched all or some of the finale. “The Apprentice” is the top-rated new series on any ­network in five years in adults 18–49. It is also NBC’s #1 series of the season and NBC’s #1 new series in five years. It will empower the HR department. Most importantly it will empower a new breed of employees. Getting effective propositions from your subordinates concerning new market opportunities or better, more profitable ways of doing business, 130 the one-page job proposal

can make a substantial difference to your performance as a leader and the company’s performance as a whole. After all, that is why good people are hired and paid well in the first place. And if you’re a salaried employee with a bright idea, The One-Page Job Proposal is a great way to push forward that proposition and make a tremendous difference to your company, your supervisor, and your own career. For any company that thrives on innovation, The One-Page Job Proposal is an efficiency bonanza. Here is the normal efficiency equation: If one assumes it would take one person three to four months to write a 60-page proposal and another two months for the proposition to percolate through the organization perhaps requiring ten people on the chain of command six hours each to digest the proposal, then in such an ­organization the maximum productivity of innovative proposals would be two per year. If, on the other hand, one assumes that people in a company have adopted The One-Page Job Proposal as a standard means of pushing new ideas, and it takes a maximum of one month to write a The One-Page Job Proposal, and as little as five hours for ten people to evaluate it, that increases the productivity of innovative proposals to twelve per year—a 600% increase in productivity, saving tens of thousands of dollars in man hours alone. If you are an employee of a company that has not adopted The OnePage Job Proposal as a standard means of communicating innovation, adopt it for yourself and use it freely within the company. Trust me, your superiors will catch on and you and your ideas will get noticed. If you’re a leader of such a company, consider making The One-Page Job Proposal standard operating procedure. You’ll be amazed at the innovative ideas locked inside your own people—ideas that can drive your profitability in the years ahead.

Put Your Heart Into It You probably will not have to travel 12,000 miles to make your proposal, as I did with Don Hunt and William Holden, but you will have to go the distance—the distance between your idea and the face-toface ­meeting. The great news is that the proposal takes you more than 75 percent there. Presenting your one-page proposal to your target employer


The secret of crafting a successful proposal has as much to do with ­passion as it does with page length. Your idea has to come from your heart. The key to your success with The One-Page Job Proposal, beyond the obvious value of your idea, will be first and foremost the personal commitment you have to your project—commitment that will be r­eflected in both your proposal and your in-person delivery. In his famous book, The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale recounts a story about a famous trapeze artist who was trying to instruct his students on how to perform on the high trapeze bar. One of his best students, faced with the prospect of actually giving it a go, froze. He said, “I can’t do it.” The coach understood. He put his arm around the student’s shoulders and gave him secret advice that would enable him to do it. His advice was simple: “Throw your heart over the bar, and your body will follow.”

What If They Say No? One purpose of presenting The One-Page Job Proposal is to engage with you about a possible project for their company. “No” to your proposal does not mean no to you. Allow the reader to say “no” if they are not inclined to your idea, or for some reason cannot do what you ask. “No” is not necessarily a bad outcome; in fact, it could be good for both you and the reader. If your reader’s “no” reflects the truth as he sees it, and expresses his honest disinclination to do what you ask, that’s fine. Your gentlemanly acceptance of his decision will enable you and the reader to part friends and maintain a good relationship. In preparing the The One-Page Job Proposal you have taken a very serious first step in the industry of your choice. You now know a great deal about more than just that company—but you also know about the market factors that are ­affecting the entire industry. By giving him an opportunity to review your well-thought-out The One-Page Job Proposal, you may even improve your personal ­relationship and keep the door open for future proposals. He might even give you a referral to a colleague who, in his opinion, might have an interest in your deal.

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“No” is not the worst answer you can receive; “maybe” is the worst. With “No” you can move in any new direction. With “maybe” you are left hanging in limbo, not knowing whether the proposal was lacking, the deal itself did not interest him, or he was just having a bad day. Sending your resume out to be read by the HR department is like parking your ambition in a parking lot—waiting for a call—which may never come. You do not know what to do except wait. I can tell you what I do. I treat “maybe” as a “no”. Waiting stalls the process, makes you anxious, and takes the wind out of your sails. I say give him a few days to decide, then call him. If he says no, move on. If he is not available, or won’t take your call, move on. You are looking for a person who wants to take action. A “maybe” person will never get you where you want to be.

My Goals for You Many years ago, under the strangest circumstances, in a very remote ­village in Ethiopia, East Africa, I spent two days with Craig Claiborne, the famed food columnist and author of The New York Times Cookbook. We met at a dirt airfield, both of us having been bumped off a DC-3 that was to take us to Addis Ababa. The next plane would not arrive for two days. There was nothing to do but get to know each other. We had ­nothing in common. He was an expert in great foods and wines; at that time I was a “bring-them-back-alive” animal trapper in nearby Somalia. But over the next few days we began to share stories and experiences from the pleasant veranda of a small hotel. He told of his extraordinary life, starting in Mississippi and leading to the dining tables of royalty. Through his stories he was able to convey the full gamut of his experience with food, from haute cuisine at Chez Denis in Paris to his favorite deli in New York City. His passion for food and life was contagious, enough so that when I finally got back to civilization the next year I bought and devoured his cookbook—the first and only cookbook I have ever read. What struck me about the book was that the instructions were simple and easy to follow, whether they involved preparing everyday meals or elaborate dinner parties. Claiborne assumed a certain amount of confidence in the reader, and the result was a style that was neither arrogant nor condescending.

Presenting your one-page proposal to your target employer


That is the impression I hope this book will have made on you. If you follow the spirit of its recommendations, I have confidence that you’ll be able to use The One-Page Job Proposal to make your dreams come true. Chances are, one of the reasons you bought this book is to make a ­difference in your own life—to go beyond your current circumstances; to get a job that you desire; to convert an idea into a proposition and the proposition into a reality. In effect, you might be trying to break out of one phase of your life and into another. One of the side effects of using The One-Page Job Proposal is that it enables you and the people around you to see your true self. Take the example of Chester Carlson, a young patent lawyer who filed repetitious forms for his employer, until he came up with an idea for a technology that would improve his own life. With an i­ndustrial partner he developed a new “dry-copying” ­duplicating ­machine that would solve the problem of monotonous reproduction of patent ­documents. It took 20 presentations before he interested a ­company in co-developing his invention. The company he founded is Xerox. The One-Page Job Proposal is a communication tool specifically ­designed to get you and your ideas into the mind of another person in a world overwhelmed with words and information. It should provide a fast and effective way to set your ideas in front of others and to help your ideas become realities for you. You have my best wishes for your success.

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Chapter 15

For Help: Tap into The One-Page Job Proposal Network

Get support by having our fully automated “app” do the “work for you” enabling you to create your One-Page Job Proposal(s) faster, better, and get it to the right person sooner. It only costs $11.11. Get details from We have now created a downloadable The One-Page Job Proposal “app” that you can buy on our network ( or at select retailers for only $11.11 and will take you through the process step-bystep. The wizard product is easy to use, and real cool, and only USD $11.11 – The wizard makes it possible for your One-Page Job Proposal to sit on top of your favorite social network service, like Facebook and it is device neutral so you can use it on the new iPad or your computer or your phone.

When I finished the first draft of this book, many readers suggested that future readers of the book might be interested in receiving direct 足coaching in The One-Page Job Proposal writing, or even in submitting their p 足 roposals for critique and/or improvement. Organizations interested in setting up training sessions for their people on site should also contact us at our website

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Acknowledg ments

To my partners-Joanna in business and Maria in life. I wish to thank my parents Francie and Bill for bringing me up with love and providing the opportunities to explore all the possibilities of life. For my mother in particular who taught me specifically about jobs: that what really matters in pursuing a job of any kind is what you want, not what you think others want you to do, or what others are doing. That life is yours to live. That “nobody cares” exactly what you do. That in pursuing a dream if you concern yourself with what others think, you may never find fulfillment and full expression. To my brothers and sisters: Miles, Anne, Billy, Ranny, Tommy and Jimmy who live life with passion and set extraordinary examples of what is possible in the ways of endeavors and enterprise. To my many mentors who have inspired me in my lifetime of work: John Dykstra, Don Hunt, William Holden, Rik Bronson, Jasper Rose, Art Linkletter, Dore Leto di Priolo, Adnan Khashoggi, Skip Cashin, Roger Walther, Steve Ross, Radwan Hajjar, John Krebs, Bruns Grayson, ­Michael Borrus, Misha Petkevich, Judith Regan, Skitch Henderson. To the readers of my first book The One-Page Proposal (which thanks to Harper Collins Publishers was translated into Chinese, ­Japanese, and Korean) who call from all over the world and discuss how they were ­using the one-page proposal to get jobs. Also my thanks go to Lily Binns, Pat Buckley, Felicia Palmer, Ryan Weidenmiller, Kirk Bevington, John Palmer and my two children Joanna and Max—all who

approach their young careers with courage, energy and intelligence. And particularly Joanna, beyond a daughter, beyond just my business partner, an inspiration. Closer to home I owe a lot to the love of my life Maria Palmer, my wife who helped shape this book through all stages. Much more to follow.

How to win friends and inf luence p e o p l e - t o ge t y o u r j o b n o w. A n d w h e n i t c o m e s t o ge t t i n g a j o b i n t h e 21 s t c e n t u r y … i t ’ s the secret of success. Lean, Trim, Clear, Ideas, Smart, Engaging, Compelling, Simply Delivered to any phone, any computer, on jobs becomes increasing more competitive, the individual who can define their idea, their experience and their value-add in a one-page proposal to an enterprise that conveys how by working together with you they can achieve greater success has a greater chance of landing a job. It’s a lesson entrepreneur Patrick Riley learned through experiences that combined personal power, the power of a good idea, plus the power of a one-page proposal to get people jobs all over the world. And now, in The Resume Is Dead introducing The One-Page Job Proposal, he shares his secret strategy – the one that has produced ­extraordinary results for himself and job seekers worldwide. The resume is dead! A new age now begins. Job success in the 21st Century involves new rules of engagement. In spite of the power of the Internet to disseminate thousands of resumes to thousands of employers through Internet job matching companies, no real connections are being made. The Internet is 10 to the power of infinity - accelerating the information about a job seeker AWAY from the human connection with the potential employer to a “place far away.” The multiplier effect of the Internet killed the resume as a marketing tool. It dehumanizes the process – ­effectively marginalizing the personal attributes of passion, will, courage and creative thinking. The resume is like one hand clapping. It is all about the job seeker, not about the job initiative. It is not engaging. And because electronic resumes are flooding employers and because one person of no distinction can send out a resume to 5000 companies tying up substantial resources, the companies are using computers to sort the resumes! The resume process as it stands today has made the process of getting a job impersonal, and more importantly it has hijacked the “can do” spirit of the New Frontier for


top of any preferred social network or - the human way - by hand to them personally. As competition for real

the individual seeking to make a contribution through his or her work. Meanwhile employers are very much follow your instincts, to be self-reliant, to become what you can, to own your life, to pioneer your own opportunities, to own your own job search, to adopt a positive attitude, to contribute good ideas that can make those enterprises of interest to you more successful and most importantly shows you step-by-step exactly how to get your job right now.

Patrick G. Riley is the principal of Geniisis Agents with business interests worldwide. He is a Chairman of The ­One-Page Company run by his daughter and CEO Joanna Riley Weidenmiller. Both are natives of San Franscisco.

Author photograph by James Whitcomb Riley

The One-Page Job Proposal® A Branded imprint of The One-Page Company Ideas Simply Delivered™


looking for the best people to work in their companies. This book shows you the Way. It encourages you to


The Resume is Dead! Introducing






• figuring out where you want to work • organizing your ideas • finding just the right words • getting it all on 1-page • standing out among the competition delivering your proposal to the right person • receiving a rapid and POSITIVE r ­esponse By the author of


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The one page Job Proposal  

How to get your job now Author: Patrick G. Riley

The one page Job Proposal  

How to get your job now Author: Patrick G. Riley

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