Category Archives: Career & Entrepreneurship

Seek and Find Out

Nadal after winning his first grand slam

“Seek and you shall find.” Wow! What a big guarantee. If I seek, I shall find? Honestly, that sounds like a cheesy, empty promise that I can find in a fortune cookie in a second-rate Chinese restaurant where they yell at you when taking your order at the counter.

A lot of people are job seekers but they aren’t finding. Some people send out daily applications, visit recruiting agencies, and have created personal branding website things. Often times it leads to the business venture. So many fail in their first year because stuff just couldn’t work out.

Being fit is important to a lot of people. They invest in the athletic wear, get the right supplements, buy a gym membership or home equipment. But it’s hard when you have a big family or a demanding job.

As a country we want change. Our political leadership is failing us, we seem more and more divided, and we just can’t take it anymore. What can we do?

There are people who get jobs, start businesses, are fit with jobs and families, and people who bring about change, however. Are those people different or have some special set of talents? The more I learn from people I admire, it seems not.

Gary Vaynerchuk is one of those online guys who has a big following, started some great businesses, and became a best-selling author. His simple response when asked about what made him so bad ass was “I out worked you. Straight up, I out worked you.”

As a nation, it’s hard to say we’re seeking political change when the average American spends over an hour per day watching TV and being active voting for Project Runway contestants on Twitter, but not one hour per week researching candidates or economic policies.

As a person trying to get fit, it’s hard to say you want a six-pack when you don’t work out because “you don’t feel like it.” Saying you want to start a business but you don’t have time because you have to check out Perez Hilton.

You get where I’m going with this. The first step is honesty. Trusting that what you’re doing right now is exactly what you want to be doing, that you’re lying to yourself when you say you want to be fit as you shove a Twinkie into your face. Every second you’re making a decision. Every second you spend watching TV is a decision to watch TV and not to learn to play the harpsichord or whatever you (say you) want to do. The first step is that honesty…”so this is what is important to me.” How does that sit with you? Does this provide fire under your behind to make you want change? (Related post on embracing dissatisfaction, opens in new window – No Shame In Dissatisfaction)

Some people might respond “well, I’m not willing to give up my side things or distractions. I guess I don’t really want x y or z if it comes at the expense of my relaxation time when I get home from work.” Okay–that is good and dandy. There is nothing wrong with that.

But I want to make you think. I want to impregnate your mind with something that could drive you crazy, crazy enough that over even months of thinking about it, you reach the point you can’t sit. Did you ever wonder: What can you say that you actually tried your best at…and failed?

What have you done where you have sacrificed your TV time, where you have done something when you didn’t feel like it, where you could say you did everything in your power to accomplish, and failed? Could you be rich? Could you change the world? What can you say that you cannot do even if you gave 100% of yourself to? What if you closed off your cell phone and spend all day working on it? Is there something even worth giving this 100% to? It certainly would be a beautiful passion. Something that you’d stop watching TV for, stop doing things that you can admit are not necessary. Can you call yourself a seeker until you have tried?

Aren’t you curious about the extent of your abilities? What would it be like to die and say “I never tested myself?”

Here’s a good video for those who have not seen it. Good motivational tool. “The Secret to Success” by Eric Thomas

By the way, curiosity is a great form of motivation. I wrote about it a little in the post Why You Should Have Curiosity .

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Charlie of Charlie’s Brownies

This post is a part of a series based on entrepreneurs who have gotten started or are starting using incremental steps that enable them to progress steadily and mitigate risk. To see the main post, click here: Starting a Business: Baby Steps to Beat Inertia. The previous entrepreneur featured in this series is Mona-Lisa of BlackMasterPiece.Com.
 
 
Chef Charlie Fyffe

Chef Charlie Fyffe of Charlie's Brownies

Charlie Fyffe

CEO & Founder of Charlie’s Brownies, The Official Brownie Experience

Charlie, 23, is a native of Los Angeles, CA and charismatic entrepreneur. He’s also a Jackie Robinson Scholar, a party promoter, and a community benevolent as he actively reaches out and tries to help urban youth achieve their entrepreneurial goals through TheCashFlow.com. In high school, he made some brownies that people loved. They loved them so much that he began to sell them even as he went to college. He literally took baby steps from there to bring his concept to a point where he’s ready for a second round of investment. He has a keen entrepreneurial sense that enables him to keep his overhead low while securing key items like a really nice logo (see below), a beautiful website (www.charliesbrownies.com), and some good photos of his operation.

I really love entrepreneurs, and Charlie is no exception. Anything is possible, everything is an opportunity, and nothing is a dead end. I met Charlie when he did a semester at NYU and I was inspired by the way he handled his projects. It was the first time I really saw business/school/everything occurring to someone like a video game: it’s always fun for him, he can (and does) do it all day long, and if he runs into a problem here, he just keeps on plugging away until he gets what he wants. So I asked him to share what he is up to in hopes of inspiring other people. He’s also a pretty well-connected guy and I know he’s open to talking about new possibilities and opportunities so I would leave his contact information below. Continue reading

Persistence and Perseverance Are Not…

There could be a better way if you're willing to admit it.

Persistence and perseverance are not about sticking to your method. They are about sticking to your goal.

To stick to a method that fails you is like banging your head on a wall and waiting for the wall to say “I give up .” It’s a cruddy feeling to “give up” in the heat of the moment, so it seems like a good idea to devise a plan in advance for putting the plan on the chopping block.

Far goes the person who loves to find out that they were wrong.

How to Strengthen your Visualization Muscle

This past week, I fooled around with some arts and crafts. I hadn’t thought about it before, but I now see that doing art (like drawing, painting, sculpture, etc.) can actually be an amazing way to work a very, very important part of your brain: the part that enables you to visualize and adapt. I wrote about visualization before (Visualizing Success), but I’d like to go over it again AND share how art is a great way to work those critical parts of your brain.

First, why should anyone care about visualization? Continue reading

Why Blogs are Universally Beneficial

Ever since I made the choice to create a blog, I have been learning more and more about the opportunities created by blogging. I’ve come to believe that almost any person, business, or organization can use a blog as a tool to reach their goal whether it is more knowledge, more money, or more influence. It’s interesting to note that all of these goals are often interrelated.

The value model of a blog promotes openness, curiosity (Why You Should  Have Curiosity), progress, collaboration, and most of the time, ethical practice. Because blogs are often monetized through means other than direct sales, the content of the blog has less reason to stray from its stated purpose. The global reach of the internet makes generating worthwhile revenue from ads feasible (I don’t think any other medium can reach as many viewers for less cash). A blog about computers can consistently deliver unbiased computer news and tips and not worry about having to sell a reader on buying their own product or a product of an affiliate. While this incentive will always exist, it will be their unbiased information that drives readers to their site, and targeted Google ads (google will do the targeting work for the blogger) and sponsorship that create revenue.

But is ad revenue all that a blog will provide to its creator?  What exactly is the value model? What does a blogger give and what does a blogger get? What does the blog provide to its readers and what do the readers provide for the blog? It’s here that I believe the most flexibility exists and the biggest change from classic models comes in. Let’s start from the beginning: Continue reading

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Mona-Lisa of BlackMasterPiece.com

This post is a part of a series based on entrepreneurs who have gotten started or are starting using incremental steps that enable them to progress steadily and mitigate risk. To see the main post, click here: Starting a Business: Baby Steps to Beat Inertia.
Mona Lisa, Founder of BlackMasterPiece.com

Mona Lisa, Founder of BlackMasterPiece.com

MONA-LISA

Founder of BlackMasterPiece.com, The Natural Hair Community
 
Mona-Lisa, 23, lives in NYC and is both a licensed real estate agent and student. She has a passion for learning about natural hair care and trying out new styles. About three years ago, she began a blog to document and share what she learned and to display new styles with which she experimented. Since then, the blog has grown to a point where she could fill up her appointment book with clients and now has the option to consider opening a salon/beauty store. Perhaps the best part of this situation is that Mona-Lisa need not feel rushed or pressured as she loves to learn about and experiment with natural hair care. 
 

I have the pleasure of knowing Mona-Lisa personally. She is incredibly open-minded and ambitious. The best part of being around her is that she is judgement free and has a shockingly positive and inquisitive attitude towards life.

Below, she speaks about the process thus far:  Continue reading

Starting a Business: Baby Steps to Beat Inertia

In planning a fast food business, I stumbled upon an interesting idea. The specific idea is simple and cannot be original.

This is for those planning a business that sells products that you can either make at home or without any extra production facility for a reasonable cost–food products, crafts, various services, or simple inventions. It is also for those who are experiencing lack of capital, lack of “drive,” or are simply facing the fear of opening up your own business. Continue reading

Perspective Shifting: Time vs. Money

It seems like a common and unconsciously devised plan to work until you have enough money and then quit and do what you want. I have noticed that an unfortunate consequence of this mind set is to see money as the primary resource. Continue reading

Stop Dreading Mondays: The Million Dollar Illusion

Sunday is the day before Monday. An awful lot of people dread this fact. In school we had weekends two or three breaks until the three-month summer oasis. Later on it became just the weekends and  two weeks of paid vacation. I would like to refer to the concept behind Monday dreading as the work-play dualism:

You consider what you do from 9AM-5PM Monday through Friday “work,” and then everything else is then considered “play.” It is easy to fall into a good-bad way of seeing these two parts of your day: the part you have to wake up for and then the part you can’t wait to get to (and there never seems to be enough of).

You can get an idea of how much this dualism has permeated your thinking by paying attention to how greatly you think having USD $100 million in your bank will enable you to be content in life. Continue reading

Perspective Change is Necessarily Good

I find that change in perspective is always going to be a good thing. And I say “good” in the context that might be the only context I subscribe to: obtaining knowledge. So, change in perspective is always good assuming that what is best is to keep learning more and more and doing away with ignorance.

Let me provide an example: Continue reading