Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dreams are the means...

What is a dream? In psychological terms, a dream is defined as thoughts, images, and feelings that occur in your mind when you dream. If you think about it, that definition is not so far off from our concept of a dream or an aspiration.

Have you ever wanted something really badly? Have you ever closed your eyes and imagined something that you wanted? Have you ever had a vision that you wanted to create?

These are all forms of dreams. In many cases they can be while you are asleep. In many other cases they can also be in waking moments. The common theme between sleeping and waking dreams is that they give life to thoughts, pictures, and/or feelings. It is these thoughts, pictures, and/or feelings that give life to these dreams.

Likewise, when it comes to the life goal/aspiration type of dreams, these visuals/sensations are what makes dreams so powerful. It is what makes them seem REAL. It is what makes them seem ATTAINABLE. It is what brings them closer to you. The book Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill talks about goals and how visualization is a crucial part of manifesting your dreams. After all, if you can't see it, feel it, and believe you can reach it, how can you ever attain it?

I can't say it better than my man Kanye West, "I always had a passion for flashin' before I had it I close my eyes and imagine, the good life."

That's it right there. Dreams are the means for us to express our desires. They are the means for us to see them and feel them. They are the means to make us want them more. Most importantly, they are also the means for us to believe that the very thing we are dreaming (and maybe imagining) can be real for us.

Keep DREAMING. Keep STRIVING. Keep BELIEVING! These dreams are the basis for the things that can materialize in your life. I say can materialize, because it comes down to one question. How bad do you want them? Is your desire strong enough to carry you on through all opposition?

Once you have those dreams in mind, believe that you can have them and then there is NO SUPPLEMENT for HARD WORK. There are three simple steps to achieve your dreams.
  1. Dream
  2. Believe
I didn't say it's easy...I said it's simple. I'm on my journey to achieve my dreams. First I had to dream it. Second I had to believe that I can. And third, I continue to work my hardest. Do you?

Another important element is DESIRE. The intensity of your desire (once you believe) will determine how hard you are willing to work for your dreams! Remember, keep dreaming!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Persist On Regardless of Your Opposition!

Yesterday I met a gentleman that forever changed my life.

Without getting into details, this man had necessary brain surgery to save his life.  The result was brain damage and paralyzation of the right side of his body.  He was a high level mathematician and after the surgery, he said he couldn't even do times tables.

Through speaking with him, I learned the true power of positivity and belief.  His doctors told him that he shouldn't try to rehabilitate his right side because the feeling would never come back.  He was not convinced.  He went against the doctors recommendation and worked at it -worked hard at it.

Feeling has slowly been returning to his right side and mobility of his right arm is looking hopeful.  He is now able to articulate his thoughts and he even relearned math up to Calculus.  His advice - "Don't listen to the doctors."  

Translating this into the implications it has on life, it means that you should not let people stop you from doing what you believe.  Take their recommendation more-so as an opinion and a lesson for you to learn from, not an obstacle or a blockade.

Speaking with him and meeting with him made me realize several things.  I decided to make a list of the top 5 lessons I learned from him:

Top 5 Lessons I Learned:

#5:  Just because it hasn't happened already, doesn't mean it won't happen
#4:  If you want it bad enough, keep working at it
#3:  Believing in yourself is SOO important
#2:  Be positive - NOTHING is impossible!
The #1 Lesson I Learned:  Enjoy every minute of everyday - do what you love!

I want to hear your thoughts, comments and questions!  Blog with me!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Resume Cover Letters

Since I am 21 years of age, fresh out of college, with businesses that I can run from anywhere, anytime, this is just about the only time in my life when I will have the ability and flexibility to move out to a mountain resort and work.  A friend of mine and I were talking about this when she told me about this amazing College Program that Vail Resorts has to offer.  I checked it out and found it to be so enticing that I couldn’t afford to pass up the opportunity to apply for the potential to gain experience working at a world-class ski resort like Vail.

Clearly being interested in their College Program, I applied. Knowing there are probably tons of people that apply to this program, I didn’t want my application to be generic. It also helps that I am the type of person that always strives to stand out, and to me, a cover letter is a great way to do so.

Now that we have established why we are talking about cover letters, lets briefly define what a resume cover letter is for all intents and purposes.  A resume cover letter is a pretty self-explanatory thing, so to spare you the misery, we’ll say it is simply a one page attachment to your resume.  In a nutshell, this document serves the purpose of expressing your interest in the position and introduces you and your qualifications to your potential employer.

The reason I like cover letters is because they allow you to manage your potential employer’s first impression of you as a job candidate and act as yet another way for you to distinguish yourself.  This is the reason why resume cover letters are so important. Especially with the current state of the job market, the need to for you to distinguish yourself to potential employers is more paramount then ever.  Besides, if you don’t use one, people like me will…so be mindful of that!

Since your resume cover letter is invariably the first thing that potential employers will look at, here are some questions you should ask yourself when crafting yours:

  • What do you want them to know about you at first glance?
  • What would you like to highlight about yourself? 
  • Do you possess any specific qualities or skills that the job you are applying for demands?  *Be sure to read the job qualifications and have them handy as you design yours
  • What makes you different then most?

Obviously, a resume cover letter is called a cover letter for a reason.  Here are some things you can include in the letter:

·     State which position you are applying for

·     Show why you are a strong candidate for the position

·     Explain how your skills and education relate to the job

·     Highlight some accomplishments

·     Thank the person for considering your resume

As promised, GREAT resources on resume cover letters:

Cover letters: types and samples

Click here for a great, FREE resource on Resume Cover Letter Tips.

Great article on the importance of resume cover letters from the Chronicle of Higher Education called What You Don't Know About Cover Letters

My intention is to motivate you to create a resume cover letter of your own and help you along the process.  What you find here and on around are guidelines and “best tips” that you should learn and customize to your style.  I tend to “Jeff-a-size” things a little more than most.  You will find a copy of my resume cover letter I made for Vail below to see what I mean.

It is also ok to be bold.  Some people feel more comfortable being bolder than others.  I have always liked to be different and so I add in the logo of the company that I am applying to in the cover letter.  For the resume cover letter I wrote for Vail, I was bolder than most writing, “I’m just the guy you’re looking for.”  It suits my personality though, as I like to have fun with everything I do.

Remember; use a resume cover page to distinguish yourself and highlight why you are a good fit for the position! And also remember to follow up!  Tune into to Success Advice Podcast # 1 on follow up for some great follow up tips and also check out tips for Successful Interviewing.  Good luck with your application process and job hunt!

Tune into Success Advice Podcast # 6 on Resume Cover Letters for an extra tip!

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

P.S. - I start at Vail Resorts next Monday, November 2nd if you were wondering!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Successful Interviewing Tips

Congratulations, you have made it to the interview phase of the job hunt!  Your potential employer has found your resume and application impressive enough to schedule a time to meet with you.  This is your chance to close the deal!

The most important thing to realize when applying and interviewing for jobs is that you are selling yourself, your skills, your abilities, and your experience, both academic and professional.

Let’s break down what having an interview means.  It means you have passed stage one.  Your potential employer has reviewed your application and resume and found that you meet or exceed the job qualifications and SEEM to be a good fit on PAPER.  Good work!  You have effectively sold yourself on paper.  Tune into Success Advice Podcast # 6 - Resume Cover Letters to learn why they are so important to use and how to use them.

Now you are on stage two.  Here you are being tested on your ability to represent everything you put on paper and sell yourself in person through effective communication skills.  It is one thing to put things on your resume, and an entirely different one to be able to talk about yourself confidently and express why you are the best fit for a job.

You will be put on the spot to display why you are the best candidate through sharing your strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, qualities, and experiences so be prepared to talk yourself up and sell yourself.  Interviewers can ask a variety of questions and you can never be too prepared.  It is best to have stories of times when you exhibited qualities that the position/company demands. 

I did some research to find interviewing questions and Monster.com proves to be a great resource.  Click here for a list of 100 possible interviewing questions at Monster.com.

It is good to practice what you might respond to any given question but try to avoid sounding rehearsed!

Remember, your job is to make a good first impression whether in person or over the phone.  If in the interview is face-to-face, make sure you dress to impress, and as a rule of thumb always dress at least one step higher than the position you are applying for.  For Professional Image advice, check out the first Performance & Success Advice Blog Post.  If the interview is over the phone, make sure that you introduce yourself, get the person’s name who is interviewing you, speak slowly and clearly, and be sure not to interrupt the interviewer!


*TIP 1* - Prior to the interview, do some research on the company, the position you are applying for, and if you know who the interviewer is, on them as well.  They will almost always ask you what you know about the company and the position you are applying for.  Do this to show the interviewer you are prepared and interested in both the position and the company.

*TIP 2* - Also prior to the interview, prepare a list of questions you have about the job.  Remember, not only is the potential employer interviewing you, but you are also interviewing them to see if the company, culture, and job are a fit for you!  Do this to show the interviewer that you are resourceful and that you know what you want.

*TIP 3* - Make sure that you have either the business card of the interviewer or their contact information.  This will come in handy after you leave the interview to Follow Up.  Do this to show the interviewer that you really want the job and are willing to take time to show them that you care.  The more creative the follow up, the better you will look.  At the least, I recommend writing a personalized, hand-written thank you note.  Tune into the Success Advice Podcast # 1 – Follow Up to learn why it is so important and how to follow up!

*BIG TIP* - You were asked to come for the interview because you sold yourself on paper.  You interviewed and were able to effectively sell yourself in person.  Now what?  ASK FOR THE CLOSE!  Do this to show the interviewer you want it and that you know how to get what you want. 

Here are a few ways to do this:

  • A Safe Close, ask “What are the next steps from here?”
  • A Safe Close, ask “When should I expect a decision to be made?”
  • A Safe Close, ask “When should I follow-up with you about the decision?”
  • A Blunt Close, ask “Does it seem like I am a fit for this position and the company?”
  • A Bold Close, (the assumptive close) ask “When do I start?”


Here is the BIG TAKE AWAY to interviewing success:

1.           Pre-interview prep (practicing questions you may be asked, preparing questions to ask, and conducting research)

2.           Dress to impress

3.           Communicate effectively and sell yourself! (speak slowly and clearly)

4.           Ask questions to engage the interviewer and show you are prepared

5.           ASK FOR THE CLOSE

6.           Follow Up

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 22 - Change is constant

Today is Wednesday, October 14th, 2009.  This evening I was supposed to leave on a month long business trip to Florida to speak on college campuses and stop at my Alma mater for the UCF v. Miami game.

Earlier last week, I made the executive decision to cancel the trip for several reasons.  Initially, this decision brought me unease as I was really excited to go.  As I tried to sleep on it, and couldn't sleep, I ended up thinking and eventually writing a poem to help me get through the situation.

I know that in life one of the only things that is constant is change.  Thinking about this made it clear to me that although the outcome changed, it was not necessarily a bad thing.  Conversely, that the change was in fact a good thing.

Here if the poem I wrote:

The Roller-coaster of Life
Life is full of twists and turns,
Keep your head up for the lessons learned,
As at first you might not agree,
Have patience, everything is meant to be,
So embrace the change that we've come to know,
It's life's way to show us where to go.
Accept the change and ride the wave,
Good is to come so just be brave!

In life, nothing lasts forever.  This means that we must focus on being happy now and making the best with what we have.

Instead of going to Florida on the business trip, I am staying in Colorado and going on the business trip here.  Instead of going to UCF for the game with all my friends, I am going to the CU Boulder game here with my new friends.

Change will always be happening around us.  It is inevitable.  The advice I wish to communicate with that poem is not to focus on what your losing, but to focus on what you have to gain!  Embrace the change and I have full faith that you will make good things happen out of it.

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 21 - Networking

If you listened to the Success Advice Podcast # 4 “Invest in Yourself,” you would know one of the main reasons that networking is such an important way for you to invest in yourself.  In this podcast, I mention that around 80% of all the jobs you will ever have are found through your network

Is that a reason to start networking or what?

Let’s analyze the definition of a network before we go any further.  The definition of a network that we want to use is:

  • A group or system of interconnected people (or things). 
  • Under this definition, the dictionary on my MacBook reads “a group of people who exchange information, contacts, and experience for professional and social purposes.”

With this being said, the word networking is the act of building your network of personal connections. 

I don’t know about you, but I take pride in my network.  I also take pride in building my network.  This is probably because I am outgoing and I love meeting people.  One thing that I do that I recommend is writing your new contacts an e-mail after you get home.  It is a simple gesture that shows you value them enough to take a few minutes of your time to write them a note.  

*TIP* - Take a few minutes out of our your day to write a follow-up e-mail to any new contacts you meet. 

Networking does not have to wait to be done until networking events.  Networking is done every day, every time you meet someone.  You never know who you are going to meet, where you are going to meet them and when.  This also means that you also should be cognizant of your image whenever you leave your house! 

Do you have business cards?  If not, get them!  What are you waiting for?  So what if you are a student…it leaves a lasting impression on someone, an impression that they can take home and add to their Rolodex!  If you don’t have a business card, go to http://CollegiatePerformanceMagazine.com and click on the link for free business cards on the right side OR click here to get some FREE business cards!!  If you don’t know what to write on yours, comment on this post or e-mail me at JeffGreenstein@ymail.com and I will help you!

Here are some tips for Networking that you can implement TODAY:

  • ALWAYS carry business cards on you!
  • Be conscious of your image all the time but especially when you plan to be in the presence of other professionals
  • When you meet someone, ask them if they have a business card on them and exchange cards!
  • Place yourself in settings where you are exposed to successful people, and go meet them!
  • Join clubs, groups, and associations to surround yourself with people and an environment conducive of what you want to do with your career!
  • Form professional contacts in your field of interest and go out to lunch or coffee with them to get to know them and their profession better!
  • Organize your network in a safe place so you can stay in touch with your contacts! 
    • Facebook and LinkedIn are simple ways to do this
    • Creating a personal rolodex and database are ideal
  • ALWAYS follow-up with an e-mail after meeting someone.  Trust me, it is a great habit to get into!
  • *TIP* - Follow-up with a personalized, hand-written thank you note after meeting someone of stature, that you look up to, would like to get to know better, that gave you their time, took you out to lunch, etc.!  It makes a huge statement about who you and where your priorities are!  It shows that you are willing to take a few minutes of our your day to write them a personal note and mail it to show your appreciation, that they made an impact on you, and that you are polished, responsible, and serious enough to show it.

Build your network starting today!  Here are some strategic tips to help you grow your network TODAY:

  • It may be a step outside of your comfort zone, but take that step!
  • Don’t be afraid to take initiative and go introduce yourself to successful people! 
  • Go ask for their business card and advice! 
  • Ask for permission to stay in touch with them! 
  • Remember that it is ok to utilize your network and ask for advice from your contacts!
  • Be aware of the first impression you leave on people…this will likely be the way that they perceive you!
  • If you know you are going to meet with a specific professional, research them and prepare some questions to ask!

Get out there and make lots of connections!  You never know, who you meet may either help you get a job or hire you in the future!

Scott Ginsberg, a.k.a. the Nametag Guy, is a great guy to learn from about Approachability, Networking and more.  Read his article about Marketing YOU in the Q2 & Q3 issues of the Collegiate Performance Magazine.

Good luck and let me know how it goes!

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 20 - The Value of YOUR Personal Mission Statement

A mission statement is defined as a clear and concise written statement defining the purpose of an organization, what it is, and what it stands for.  It is a powerful statement that guides all of the operational decisions, goals, objectives and strategies that an organization partakes in.

The reason a mission statement is so powerful is because it acts as the guideline to constantly remind employees and executives within an organization what its purpose is and what they stand for to ensure that their everyday actions, behaviors, and decisions are consistent with its purpose (and mission statement).

Likewise, a Personal Mission Statement is a clear and concise written statement that defines YOUR individual purpose, who you are, and what you stand for.  This is a powerful statement that should guide all of the decisions you make, the goals and objectives you set, and the strategies you put in place.

Having a written Personal Mission Statement helps to ensure that your daily actions, behaviors, and decisions are consistent with YOUR individual purpose, who you are, and what you stand for.

Writing one is not enough, however, you MUST believe every word of it.  If you do commit to writing one, here are some steps to help establish a powerful Personal Mission Statement:
  • Find a quiet time to brainstorm about YOUR individual purpose, who you are, and what you stand for (keep in mind this can be about today and your future!)
  • Reflect on who you are/who you want to be in all areas of your life - personal, business, relationship, family, etc.
  • Identify your values
  • Start stringing them all together into a short Personal Mission Statement that is clear and concise 
  • *The key* Make sure that you believe every word you write!!! 
  • After you are finished writing it, read through it and if you feel confident about it, sign and date the bottom as a seal of your personal approval (feel free to update it as needed)
Now you have YOUR very own Personal Mission Statement!  Remember, this document will govern the daily decisions you make, the goals you set, and your behaviors and action.  The true test to its accuracy is to see how tightly you can stick to it...if you don't deviate from it - that means it truly defines you!

You now are armed with YOUR Personal Mission Statement to guide you on your mission to achieving your ultimate dreams, goals, and aspirations!  Be proud of it!  After all, it is who you are and what you stand for!

The reason I took the time to write about this is because recently, I took the time to empower myself with my very own Personal Mission Statement!  Have a look at mine:

Jeff Greenstein's Personal Mission Statement
My time, energy and resources will be invested daily to reach my goals.  I will continue exercising, keep and refine my healthy diet, and become both toned and fit.  I will be the best, self-disciplined salesperson I can be.  I will be a great friend, boyfriend, fiancee, husband and father.  I will provide for myself and my family.  Nothing will stop or slow me down.  Failure is not an option.  I will learn from my mistakes and from the lessons of others.  I am open to opportunity and help, and will help where I am capable.  I will leave a positive impact on others and the world.

Jeff Greenstein 
Written 6/21/09
Updated 8/23/09

I hope mine will help motivate you to write yours!!  Good luck!

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!