Strike while the iron is hot

Success is complicated. Failure can be easier to unpack (and accept); a boot stomping out a potential future. Success, however, leads into a winding, mystifying unknown. This is scary to many people and for good reason.

When things start to go right, how do you respond? Do you take credit or attribute some outside force — the right place at the right time, a lucky draw, someone else’s connections,…

More...

11 reasons to work for free

“Why do you work for free?”

I hear this question often, especially after having volunteered for five years in Nepal. Most creatives, freelancers, and entrepreneurs will face this very same question at some point in their careers.

Should I work for free? Should I participate in this unpaid project? Should I volunteer my time?

Working for free can come with many benefits. Here are my top nine:

  1. Connections
  2. Personal satisfaction
  3. Appreciation
  4. Experience
  5. More...

When you think you can’t

1. Breathe
2. Do a bit more research
3. Call a supportive friend
4. Remind yourself of what you’ve already done and how much you are capable of
5. Do something else you know you can, then come back to it
6. Tell yourself you can
7. Try

More...

What do you want more than anything?

Grit. Determination. Focus. Passion. Stubbornness. Courage. Diligence. Patience.

Your biggest dreams will require all of these and more. You will wonder whether your sacrifices are “worth it.” You will question your decisions and make mistakes. You will disappoint others. You will disappoint yourself. Your resolve will be tested, over and over again.

But if you really, truly want something? Nothing will stop you.

Check…

More...

How to build confidence

Confidence can be a deal breaker. Take two individuals, one with above-average talent and little confidence and the other with little talent and above-average confidence, and the confident person will most likely come out ahead. The difference between the two is that the confident person has practiced.

Very few people are born confident; confidence stems from an individual’s ability to place themselves in new and uncomfortable experiences while simultaneously managing anxiety…

More...

5 tips necessary to sell any product or service

The ability to sell is a skill necessary in most organizations. From healthcare to advertising, the ability to communicate your worth or the value of your services is essential to close any deal. But there is more to good salespeople than the ability to spin words.

  1. Don’t take rejection personally.

You will hear “no.” Keep going anyway. Selling takes time. Act professional throughout the process; when you’re on…

More...

Collaboration over competition

A scarcity mentality sees just enough, a limited pile of resources from which to draw. This kind of thinking breeds competition: “If she is earning that much money, there’s less for me.”

Collaboration, on the other hand, is rooted in abundance. With plenty of supplies and stock for all, there is no need to edge out another in order to gain. In fact, those who come out on top are the…

More...

Above, beyond, and the unexpected

Anyone can construct a building and call it a hotel. Some will care about cleanliness and service. A few more will add personal touches, unique decorations, or interesting artifacts. Fewer still will care about the unexpected, delighting guests in the process: Hats and gloves and a warm jacket folded for winter months, hot bottles of water placed between sheets to warm beds, organized happy hours where guests are invited…

More...

52 ways to connect

  1. Make a phone call.
  2. Send flowers.
  3. Write a note.
  4. Return an email.
  5. Volunteer with a local organization.
  6. Donate books.
  7. Host a garage sale.
  8. Share a hug.
  9. Cook dinner for friends.
  10. Surprise an older relative.
  11. Join a club.
  12. Listen to a motivational podcast.
  13. Take a walk in nature.
  14. Smile to a stranger.
  15. Use first names in meetings.
  16. Start a book club.
  17. Enroll in…
    More...

In defense of certificates

Certificates, medals, awards, recognition dinners. Necessary? Perhaps not. Here in Nepal, I can get a certificate for donating blood, for giving money, for simply showing up at an event.

A piece of paper is not always meaningful. I could argue that the rate in which certificates are doled out lessens their value. But public appreciation makes everyone feel good. And when people feel good, they do their…

More...