Friday, February 25, 2011

Quotes- Girls Are Trouble

When women love us, they forgive us everything, even our crimes; when they do not love us, they give us credit for nothing, not even our virtues.
-Honore de Balzac

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quotes- Be Real

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
—William Arthur Ward

Don't be a complainer. Complainers change little and instead spend their time nagging the status quo. Waiting for someone else to make a change. And don't be overly optimistic to the point that you sit and know that things will be better in the end. Waiting for the universe to change itself.

Instead, be real. Identify where you want the change to occur and start changing. It's simply amazing how little effort it takes to change your circumstance. 365 days is a long time. A minor change a day turns into a major change real fast. Adjust your sails and head for your goal.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Quotes- You Have to Work

The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.
-Juma Ikangaa

I had the opportunity this week to speak with several high net worth individuals. Guys who buy and sell companies for a living. The secret to true wealth? There is no secret. It's grinding it out step by step until you hit then going after it again. It's the accumulation of due diligence and effort. Shortcuts don't bring success. I used to naively think that if I found the right project then I could work a little to get a lot. It's not true, at the end of the day you get compensated for what you do. And if you aren't doing much, well you aren't making much either. Your life is worth your effort.

Friday, February 18, 2011

200 Posts in the Bank

Well I've now written 200 posts on this blog. The first post occurred in 2009. When I go back and look through old posts, I've changed a lot. This blog has changed a lot. My writing has gotten better (hopefully in your opinion too). I'm doing now as a career what I hoped to be doing then. I've grown up, at least a little.

This blog was created to help me with my writing, and I feel like that goal has been accomplished. I write better, but I have a long way to go. I'm far from decent, but I've realized that growth comes from persistence and application. I started out with a lot of thoughts and have become more of a man of action. Action is the only way we get a long in this life.

So with that said, thank you for reading. I hope at least a few of you have benefited from my little project. I know I've benefited greatly from writing it. And yes we need a quote:

To Infinity and Beyond!

Ps. Everyone have a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Asking for a Raise/Negotiating

The power or negotiating is important. In fact, in all my studies on financial independence it's the signal number one way to save more money. If you make more money you have more to save. Surprisingly most people do not negotiate salaries.

If I took my first job offer without negotiating I would be getting paid 18% less than I do now before bonus. Factor in my bonus and it is closer to 20%. All I did was counteroffer, not once, but THREE TIMES.

When I announced my departure at my previous job, I met with the partner in charge of retention. He asked me what I was making and I told him after a little prodding. He looked at me and told me to leave because I was making more than any of my departed peers, and I would find out I was earning more than people with three to four years of additional experience. I was an average employee who did exceptional research in regards to negotiating my salary, and it paid off.

At the end of the day I read a book on negotiating and a couple blog posts. So for approximately 3 hours of research I got a 50% increase in salary with bonus. Worth the time if you ask me. What you make now determines what you will make in the future, in fact I have never had a job interview or held an interview where the candidate's current salary wasn't discussed. There are ways to tactfully dodge this question. You will rarely ever see a huge jump in pay because your hiring employer incorrectly assumes you are getting paid slightly less than you are worth.

Once you find a job you like it's important to periodically review your salary structure. Winning the wage game is the result of incremental raises over time. If you are in your current job here are some reasons you should be getting a raise:

-You are assigned new responsibilities
-You take on someone else's workload because they left/got fired and you feel like you can do the additional work long term
-You don't have an annual review with a raise or your raises aren't structured
-You get moved to a different office or location
-You believe you are outperforming your peers

The bottom line is that no one is going to do this for you. Companies rarely throw extra money at employees if they don't have to. If you are adding value and are worth keeping around then you should be compensated for that. If you aren't adding value, then you should be working somewhere else.

If you want a raise here are a couple of tips:
-Make a list of how you have contributed (tasks, value, etc.)
-Know how long it has been since your last raise
-Know what people in your position at other places are making (google "find salaries", check job postings)
-Don't accept the first offer unless it was what you were expecting. A negotiation is a two way street.

If you want more information here are some posts that go more in depth. Additionally, if you have job specific questions feel free to contact me.:

-Managing your career
-How to negotiate better than 99% of people
-Don't reveal exactly how much you make
-Negotiating Your Salary

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Quotes- Plan

Maturity includes the recognition that no one is going to see anything in us that we don't see in ourselves. Stop waiting for a producer. Produce yourself.
-Marianne Williamson

A lot of us spend our lives waiting. Waiting for the right moment, the right person, the right job, the right circumstances to happen. Do you know where you want to be in five years? What if you do what you are doing now for the next five years, are you content? I know where I am and where I want to be. I’ve developed a plan to get to my end goal. Most folks bob on the open sea and amble through life. Be better than average. To put it another way:

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.
-Jim Rohn

This is why the mental aspect (plan) of change is the hardest part. We have to convince ourselves first that it’s something we are capable of and can complete. Then we have to design a strategy we will use when plowing through the adversity. Anytime we change something about ourselves it’s not easy. Yet this step most people skip. You can’t lean on a whim when you start to struggle. You have to have a well planned thought; a vision of a finished product. So what’s your plan?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Quotes- Persistence

1) Figure out what you want, and the price you’ll have to pay to get it.
2) Resolve to pay that price.
-Keys to Success Bunker Hunt

The urge to quit is strongest right before you make it.
-Bob Parsons, founder of GoDaddy

An interesting article in the Wall Street Journal indicated that the most successful artists were those who believed they were destined to be famous. Is God really concerned with the popularity of starlets? No, obviously not, but a funny thing happens when you believe in destiny. You can't take no for an answer. Your heart won't let you. You stand in the face of all accusers, all road blocks, and grit your teeth and persist. Because you know something they don't. That it's your destiny.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Quotes- Dream

It's Valentine's Day, I know... I just wrote about love so if you want to read it then click this text.

Everyday I see my dream.

We are capable of living the life we want to live, our only obstacle is ourself. You see limitations are most often perceived rather than realities. Walls exist to stop the people who aren't willing to sacrifice enough. For most anything you want to accomplish there is someone who did something similar with less. The human will when maximized is a powerful tool. You can create your dreams. If you wake up too many days in a row realizing that the life you live isn't your dream; well, only you can change it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Quotes- Choosing Tomorrow

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don’t much care where--" said Alice.
"Then it doesn’t matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"--so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you’re sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
-Alice in Wonderland

Know where you want to go. What you do today has an effect on your tomorrow. No one can decide your destiny for you. If you leave it to chance, then don't be disappointed when you've arrived. You didn't care which way you went, and well... now you're there.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Quotes- Enthusiasm

Nothing great ever happens without enthusiasm.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Extraordinary results take extraordinary enthusiasm. You see the success is not the person who had the grand idea. It's the person who waded through the mud and the crap to reach the carrot on the other side. You have to want it bad enough, because if it was easy or simple than it would already be done.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Quotes- Value

Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.
-Albert Einstein

How will you use your blessings? Success is something personal, and value is something offered. We all come into this world with nothing and we all leave with nothing. The only remains we truly have are the lives we have touched. Make a footprint of joy wherever you go. Help others achieve their dreams. It's the best legacy you can leave.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Quotes- Start

You only get results from the physical actions you take, never for the ideas you have.
-Steve Pavlina

I have a habit of collecting thoughts. Quotes (no surprise there), books, ideas, etc. When starting a workout/diet program I'll read a ton on the subject and try to tweak the tiniest thing to get optimal results. You have to be careful. Sometimes that leads to inaction. You spend all your time on tweaking and fixing that you fail to do anything. A bad workout/diet program works better than a great idea of the best one. If you aren't sure the best approach just start. You'll achieve more than if you sit another day and think about it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Quotes- Today

I am from the future. I am here to tell you that, today, you have the opportunity to change everything. Your whole live hinges on today’s actions. If you do not act today, if you do not grab control of your fate today, your life will take a completely different trajectory. One path leads to greatness, and the other path leads to a life where you will look back on today as the day where you could have spoken up, today is the day where you could have reached out. You will look back realizing that today was the one chance you had to change everything. Do not let this moment pass you by.
-Zen Habits Blog

What have you done over the past week? What if you do this for the next five years? Will you be who you want to be? I'll read this quote and realize that I have developed a stagnation in my daily habits and need to change my course. The things I am doing with my time have little positive effect on the future. You don't change the you five years from now five years from now. You have to change today.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Quotes- It's All Relative

Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.
-Albert Einstein

It's the weekend. I hope you have a great one. Do something fun and make someone smile.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Quotes- Be You

Be yourself because everyone else is already taken.
-Oscar Wilde

People respond to openness and vulnerability because genuineness is inspiring and addicting. Why is that? It's something everyone can do. Because it is so rare. It takes risk to be just who you are instead we conform to social dogma, our environment, or try and emulate someone else. Don't, if you want to change something about yourself then do it, but now you are unique, today you are beautiful. The world is spoiled with wannabes, but there is only one . And we all love something new.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Quotes- Brick Walls

A little drained from yesterday...

Brick walls are there to show you how badly you want something.
-Randy Pausch, the last lecture

If it was easy everyone would have it. If it was simple it would not taste as sweet. If it was a whim it would not be worth the effort. It is hard, difficult, and tough. Go Get It, IT IS YOURS.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Quotes- Love

Be very careful if you make a woman cry, because God counts her tears. The woman came out of a man's rib. Not from his feet to be walked on. Not from his head to be superior, but from the side to be equal; under the arm to be protected, and next to the heart to be loved.
-Hebrew Talmud

In any relationship there comes a moment when you must make a choice. You must decide to put someone else and their interest before your own. Often this choice, when made in the other person's interest, will cause you pain. And yet regardless of the outcome of that particular relationship these choices define who you are and what your final relationship will be. Love can't be about you because love is not selfish. True love must be about someone else.

Resolve how you will treat the one you will be with forever and treat those you date accordingly. Everyone deserves your best, if you don't give your best perhaps "the one" will move on; because at one point in his life he resolved to give his best in every relationship. And to be with someone who does not give her best would mean that he settled for something less than what he deserves. He knows for him not to give his best would be a disservice to the one he would eventually love forever.