Ever since the 7th grade I’ve had high expectations to be somebody because I didn’t want to be nobody. There was one family friend I grew up with who was in perennial trouble. He was three years older than me and someone I looked up to for advice. He was a brilliant guy who got straight A’s in every subject. When I discovered he got kicked out of school for smoking a little too much weed and dropping a tab too much acid, I began to reconsider my own mediocre ways To fail due to a lack of effort is foolish because hard work requires no skill. I’ve never been physically or mentally gifted, but I also knew that plenty of people before me with mediocre talents have gone on to lead comfortable lives. And so I tried and tried and tried to make the best use of what I had. The wins have outpaced the losses so far and here I am wondering what’s next.
I’m not sure if you can tell, but I’m slowly burning out. The great thing about running a website is that our demand curve is unlimited. Basically anybody who reads English and has an internet connection can be our next reader or client. The problem with unlimited demand is that in order to realize our full potential, we need to work an unlimited amount of time!
One of the mantras I’ve told myself ever since learning that grades carry over starting in the 9th grade is, “Do not fail due to a lack of effort. Just try harder.” It is OK to fail for being an idiot as I often was and still am, but it is absolutely not OK to fail because I didn’t study every single night long after tennis or track practice was done. Even for tennis, it was fine to lose to a more talented player. It’s just not OK to lose because of a lack of conditioning.
THE ONLINE WORLD MAKES US SMALL Read More
My freelancer friend who got me all depressed about spending 10+ hours on a post while she churns out short posts for lots of money mentioned her great strategy about faking it. No, we’re not talking about faking it in bed. We’re talking about faking having any idea what you are talking about until you know what you are talking about to gain authority.
Here are some great examples of where she’s faked it:
She writes articles about how to become a millionaire while only having a $350,000 net worth.
She writes articles on retirement without being retired.
She writes online brokerage articles without having ever used any of them.
She writes credit card review articles without ever swiping the cards she’s writing about.
She writes about owning vacation property without even owning her own property.
She writes about when to invest without ever demonstrating a proper track record.
CAN’T ARGUE WITH BIG BUCKS Read More
Since day one, the Yakezie Network has upheld the motto of helping others first. With this motto, we built a positive culture of always looking out for one another. If someone loses a job, we rally around that Member to provide freelance work or drive opportunities their way. If a Member needs some help with a new product s/he has created, certainly we’ll help spread the word! Whenever we have trouble with our sites, all one has to do is search the forums for answers and undoubtedly someone will pitch in to help.
We can’t be perfect. Sometimes, we’re just too tired to help. Other times we forget to show gratitude. We can’t be expected to help everyone all the time. However, what is expected is having the mindset of making someone else better without expectations. With this mindset, sooner or later an act of reciprocation will come.
DON’T TRY AND MAKE YOURSELF LOOK GOOD Read More
A bunch of us just got back from Denver where the second annual Financial Blogger’s Conference was held. The event was a homerun and I encourage everyone to attend in 2013! Phil from PT Money and his team did a wonderful job putting the entire event together. I’ve probably attended around 20 conferences so far in my career, and this one is right up there in terms of fun, learning and professionalism!
There are so many topics to discuss:
* Maximizing the experience
* Relationship building
* How nobody can get along with everybody (upcoming post on Financial Samurai)
* Saving money, given all the travel, accommodation, and festivities
* Working with potential new customers
But for now, I want to focus on the topic of leadership.
LEADERSHIP COMES IN ALL FORMS Read More
Four years ago, the world was coming to an end. Bear Sterns blew up in the Spring of 2008 and on September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. I vividly remember the Dow Jones closing down 500 points or -4.4% on September 15 after the news to around 8,100. But things got much worse as the Dow plummeted to around 6,600 in February, 2009.
Four years later, the Dow Jones has doubled to ~13,000, the unemployment rate has risen to 8.2% from 7.0% (but off the 1/2010 highs of 10%), mortgage rates are at at all time lows, and the world is still spinning. We also have a massive national debt in the US, a European debt crisis, a slowdown in China, and soaring unemployment for those under 30 in South America.
I would think that most people over the age of 27 would objectively say that 2012 is a much better economic time than 2008. If you were still in school in 2008-2009, you missed how dire things were. I had friends getting laid off left and right. Instead of telling people they lost their jobs, proud colleagues would say they were going to graduate school as applications soared by 30% YoY. I was wondering every week when my last day would come. I certainly did not have any control over my employment destiny as I dictated this year.
WE WERE YOUNGER THEN Read More
During high school, I didn’t want to play #1 singles partly because I feared getting pounded every match. All the #1 singles players were ridiculously talented and all went on to play for the best schools in the country. Instead, I played #2 or #3 singles and amassed a 11-1 record my senior year vs. likely a 3-8 record if I was in the top spot. The winning record was nice, but I felt a little guilty.
We strategically stacked the line-up so that it was better for the team – we had to win 5 matches out of 9 (a total of 6 singles and 3 doubles matches played). The line-ups always changed based on our opponents. It was also a toss-up between myself and a talented younger player. In the end, as Team Captain my Junior and Senior years, I decided it was better for the younger player and the future of the team to get him some experience against the best opponents. I also knew didn’t want to get embarrassed my senior year.
I turned down a couple division III school offers to play tennis and attended a division I school with better academics. I was not good enough to play for my college team, nor did I have the passion to play anymore. If I trained really hard my senior year and the summer before college, maybe I would have snuck on as a benchwarmer. There was no money involved as even a third of the starters had no scholarship help except for maybe free books. I was completely burnt out after high school, so I quit tennis to live every young man’s fantasy of having a great time in college.
THE REALIZATION Read More
Nothing good comes easy. You can be the most talented writer, actor, welder, speaker, or negotiator, but if nobody notices, you won’t win or maximize your potential.
The Yakezie Writing Contest is constructed so that it attracts the most dedicated applicants. Some find the contest from scholarship sites such as Fast Web. From there, they’ve got to figure out how the whole thing works, write a relevant essay, and cross their fingers that their work is chosen as a finalist. Others apply because they’ve been following the Yakezie Network for the past several years and understand about our cause to support our reader’s educational endeavors.
Being a finalist is only the first step to winning. The hardest part is seeing who can promote their work the best to achieve the highest number of votes. Remember, the best work doesn’t always win! You will be able to see lots of voters voting on only one finalist, and none of the rest. That is self promotion at work.
Here are four easy points to remember:
1) Make an effort.
2) Produce good work.
3) Promote your good work.
4) Win by producing more good work.