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 proves to be a great resource.  Click here for a list of 100 possible interviewing questions at

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 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 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!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 19 - The Value of a Name

Tonight's post is going to be short and sweet.  It's actually quite funny that I chose this topic last night as I was laying in bed and I'll tell you why.  

Today I had a conference call with an awesome young man named Eric Papp, a Generation Y Speaking Professional.  Near the end of the call, he was telling me about this one article he wrote about the The Value of a Name...and I couldn't help but laugh from the irony.

The point is, I am not the only one that realizes The Value of a Name, and Eric isn't either. Dale Carnegie actually dedicates an entire section in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, to this type of thinking.  On a side note, this is an AWESOME book and I would highly recommend anyone who hasn't read it to read it!

Anyways, the point is simple:
  • A name uniquely identifies that specific person
  • People take pride in their name!
  • People don't hear their name enough!
  • People typically only hear their name when they do something wrong...I know I can recall many times when I did something bad and I knew it when I heard "JEFFREYYYYYY!!!!" I bet you can too!
  • When you say a person's name it shows that you are recognizing them, and only them
  • It makes people feel significant!  What would you rather hear..."hey you..." or your name?
  • If it is someone who you have met before, it shows that they they are significant to you
  • AND the list goes on and on...
Here are some tips to capture The Value of a Name:
  • Strive to remember the names of people you meet!
  • Call your customer service representative by their name (waiter/waitress, flight attendant, bellman, front desk attendant, etc.)
  • Make an effort to not only call your customers by name every time you see them, speak to them, and interact with them but also to remember it!
  • If you don't know how to pronounce someone's name, either ask them, or practice pronouncing it correctly!  It is likely that their name is mispronounced frequently, so use that to your advantage.  (Read How to Win Friends and Influence People for an awesome story about how pronouncing a buyer's name correctly caused a huge sale to be closed)
Using someone's name, and remember it is one sure way to be remembered and is a great way of making new friends!  Don't believe me?

Hear it from the mouth of Dale Carnegie himself: 

"If you want to win friends, make it a point to remember them. If you remember my name, you pay me a subtle compliment; you indicate that I have made an impression on you. Remember my name and you add to my feeling of importance." AND

"Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language."

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 18 - Disciplined Time Management

To make better and more productive use of my time, I recently implemented a new system of Disciplined Time Management.  

This time management system empowers you to: 
  • Use planning to map out your daily and weekly courses of action
  • Prioritize the most important tasks to get them done
  • Use active procrastination to delegate and put off lower value tasks
  • Track how productive you actually were vs. how productive you wanted to be
  • Have the self-discipline to hold yourself accountable to your desired results by pre-planning your days and evaluating your results
I didn't invent this system, I implemented it thanks to Michael Janke's book, Take Control, and tweaked his system to work in my life.  This is not the only system out there, but use it as a guideline if you want to see huge results and leaps in productivity.

Here is how it works:
  1. You must first commit to having a Disciplined Time Management system.
  2. You then buy a notebook as your planner *Michael recommends that you personalize it* I wrote out my best contacts, my mission statement, my goals, and how I will achieve them to personalize mine.
  3. Every Sunday you plan your week.  At the top of the weekly page, you write "Week of..." for example mine for this week says "Week of August 23rd-29th."  You now make one big box and divide it into four areas.  *Michael suggests - Work, Home, Personal, Life-goals* (personalize these 4 as needed).  Mine are Work, Magazine, Personal, & Life-goals.  Under each of these, you write out the tasks that you need to/would like to accomplish throughout the week.  As the week goes on, you fill them into the day you wish to complete them and cross them off as you complete them.
  4. Every night, you plan for the next day. Write the date of the next day at the top of the page and on each line, you draw a box and write out the task that you need to/would like to accomplish.  After you have written everything out, you want to create a course of action for each task. For example, yesterday my first task was "Interview Dave Mirra for the Collegiate Performance Magazine."  My course of action was "wake up at 7:00 am, brush your teeth, put on your suit, eat a healthy breakfast, do some pre-call planning, and call Dave at 8:00 am."
  5. Prioritize your daily activities.  I use the letter system Michael suggests in Take Control and Brian Tracy recommends in Eat That Frog: A=Top priority, B=Important, but not an A, C=Would be nice, but not crucial, D=Delegate or delay, E=Eliminate.  After prioritizing, complete your activities and cross off the boxes as they are done, starting with the A's and working your way down (make sure to cross them off the weekly planner as well).  After you complete each day, fold the corner of the page (don't fold the weekly planner) to mark your place.
  6. Evaluate your productivity each evening and at the end of each week.  This will help you to learn to focus on the highest priority activities and help to better prioritize in the future to bridge the gap between how productive you want to be and how productive you are.
  7. Have the self-discipline to keep up the habit every night!  If you can do this, you will find that this system will yield higher levels or productivity and huge results.  Remember though, it is only as good as you make it!
This is one of the tools that I have armed myself with.  This system of Disciplined Time Management works for me because I made the commitment to becoming more productive so I can achieve more DAILY to accomplish my life-goals.

In order for this system to work for you, you need to follow up with it and do a little every day.  There is a reason I have blogged about all of these things...success is a combination of many things and when used in synergy will yield MASSIVE RESULTS.

I use this Disciplined Time Management System to increase my productivity and improve my focus on the most important daily activities so I can achieve my goals in life.  How do you ensure you achieve your goals?

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 17 - Patience IS a Virtue!

As you may have already noticed, most of my blog posts are inspired by real life events and this one is no different.

Every evening I go to the gym and last night, I happened to go the gym here in Tulsa, OK when they were filming the TV show "The Biggest Loser."

I am not sure if I mentioned this on the blog yet, but I am writing a TV show that I am going to be pitching to several networks in Hollywood, CA in the near future.  The reason I tell you this (or reiterate this) is because I found out that NBC flew out from Hollywood, CA to film this show on this particular night.

Me being the outgoing guy I am, I walked up to one of the network employees, introduced myself to the gentleman named Marcus, and started talking with him.  I mentioned that I am writing a TV show that I plan to pitch out in CA and that NBC was one of the networks I was particularly interested in speaking with.  He pointed out the producer to me, who was busy filming the show, and I told Marcus I'd like an introduction to him, which he said could be done.  I also asked him for one of his business cards, but he pointed to a bag where they were shooting, saying that is where they are.

I finished my workout and waited around for about ten minutes to try and speak with the producer but they continued to film the show.  I asked Marcus how long they would be and he said maybe fifteen minutes or so.  Since I had about fifteen minutes, or so I thought, I went into the locker room to shower and change.

When I walked out of the locker room with determination to meet the producer of the show and exchange business cards, I noticed to my dismay that they had already finished filming, packed up, and left.

The moral of this story is that Patience IS a Virtue!

From now on, whenever there is something I want, or someone I want to meet, I will wait patiently in plain site until it is the opportune moment!  I let this one opportunity slip through the cracks, and I sure won't let it happen again.

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 16 - Follow-up!

This blog post comes with good reason, as you will soon see.

Before I get into the reason, let’s dive into the book definition of follow-up.

  1. A continuation or repetition of something that has already been started or done
  2. A piece of work that builds on or exploits the success of earlier work

Combining the two definitions, we get what I would describe to be the business definition of follow-up.  Continuing something that has already been started to exploit its success. 

Now let’s analyze this definition in the context of a business opportunity being presented to you.  By initially expressing interest, the potential for you to capitalize on this opportunity begins.  Notice how I underlined the word potential to emphasize that it has the capacity to develop into something, but you need to exploit it!  In order for you to actually take advantage of the opportunity, you need to follow-up on it by:

  • Continuing to express interest
  • Showing how bad you want it AND
  • Being willing to take the steps necessary to make it happen 

I bet you are probably burning to know what my inspiration is for this blog post, so I won’t keep you waiting.  To fully understand what I am about to tell you I have to preface this by telling you the following two things.  First, my goal in life is to help people become successful.  Second, I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I am really well connected in the business community. 

When you put the two together, it makes sense that I always offer up my connections to anyone that stands to benefit from them.  Why am I telling you this?  There is a keyword in that statement – I always offer my connections.  Every time I find out someone would benefit from a connection of mine, I hand him or her a business card of mine and say, “send me an e-mail and I will call that person and connect the two of you.”  The shocking part is, as much interest as people have when I tell them I can help them, those who actually follow-up and e-mail me are slim to none. 

The moral of this story is quite simple.  It is one thing to be interested in an opportunity.  It is a whole different story to follow-up on it.  The thing that separates successful people from other people is the act of the follow-up

My business partner, Dr. Jeff Magee, is an International Speaker, the publisher of over 20 business books, 4 of which are best selling novels, a consultant to 36 out of the Fortune100 firms, a business coach, and the publisher of the Performance Magazine – the bottom line is, he is very successful.  The other night, I told him about all the people that I offered to connect with professionals in their field of interest who never followed up with me.  We both got a good laugh at the fact that out of all the people that express interest in contacting us for opportunities, those who actually follow-up are few and far between.  He said something like out of the thousands of people he speaks to who express interest in contacting him, maybe one or two actually follow-up.  What does this tell you? 

I cannot stress this enough…FOLLOW-UP!!  

Follow-up when…

  • You meet someone new
  • Someone tells you about an opportunity
  • After you go on an interview
  • Someone does something nice for you
  • You want to show someone you care
  • Just to get in the habit of Following-up! 

*TIP*  I’ll let you in on a little secret that not enough people do.  Follow-up with a hand written thank you card!  It’s simple, it’s easy, and it makes a statement about who you are.  It doesn’t take much time at all to write out a note, throw a stamp on it, and drop it in the mail and the impression it leaves is priceless.

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 15 - Achieve YOUR Full Potential!

It is certainly funny how life works.  Just the other night while I was in New Orleans, I made friends with Lloyd, the night manager at the hotel I stayed in.  We ended up talking about our goals in life, leading me to tell him about my blog and the Collegiate Performance Magazine.

I told him that my goal is to become a professional speaker, a business coach and consultant, to publish the book I am writing, and to film the reality TV show I am writing.  Likewise, he told me about his goals.  Lloyd was my first inspiration for writing this blog post since we spoke about what was keeping him from reaching his goals or Achieving HIS Full Potential

Life works in miraculous ways.  The second motivation of why it was imperative for me to create this post was revealed to me while driving from New Orleans to Tulsa yesterday as I was listening to podcasts by people I like.  This one in particular by Scott Smith of the Daily Boost called “How to Achieve Your Full Potential,” ironically was exactly about what Lloyd and I had talked about – our own Human Potential.

We all have goals, dreams and aspirations.  In this podcast, Scott speaks on why some are successful in achieving theirs and why others are not.  Those that are not yet successful all have one thing in common – constraints, or things that hold them back.  

To successfully achieve your ultimate goals, dreams and aspirations one must:

  1. Recognize what your constraints are
  2. Remove your constraints so you can move forward
  3. Move forwards to Achieve YOUR Full Potential!

You can achieve anything and everything you set your mind to.  Don’t take it from me; go listen to Scott’s podcast to hear it first hand!  He ends the podcast powerfully by saying - “You have all the potential in the world.  You have some hope that believes you can get there.  You have the faith that it’s within you right?  You have that.  You have the frustration that says you have all this potential. If you can only remove the constraints, your on your way!” 

My constraint was the full-time commitment that my college education demanded of me, which diverted my focus, time, and effort away from growing my business.  On August 8th, I graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Marketing and a concentration in Sales eliminating my constraint. 

I am now moving forwards to Achieving MY Full Potential.  There is nothing holding me back.  I have embarked on my journey with my compass pointing me daily towards Achieving MY Full Potential

What is holding you back?

Listen to Scott’s podcast on iTunes called “How to Achieve Your Full Potential!”  Invest in yourself!  Don’t let anything stop you and Achieve YOUR Full Potential!

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 14 - The Time is NOW

This past Saturday my whole life changed when I graduated with my Bachelor's of Science in Marketing and a concentration in Sales.  

Being a full-time student for four straight years, that full-time "job" is now over.  The time is NOW for my entrepreneurial career to take over that slot.  I can now devote my full focus to the growth and success of my future.

After graduation, my plan is to move out West to pursue several different ventures.  Naturally, this means that I have to pack up everything.  As I was packing, I found this little notebook I wrote in after my first Tony Robbins seminar, "Unleash the Power Within" (UPW) when I was 14.

I'll share what is inside the notebook, which inspired me again when I read it, after I share my simple intention for this blog post.

The time is NOW!  The phrase itself says a lot.  If there is ever something in your life you want to do, do it.  If there is ever something in your life you want to achieve, achieve it.  Fix your mind on the goals that drive you, commit to them unreservedly, and you will see results!

Here is a personal example of why the time is NOW:

I was 14 when I went to my first UPW.  There I started networking and learning things that adults 30, 40, and 50 plus years old who saw me there were compelled to run up to me and exclaim, "you don't know how lucky you are to be learning this at your age...I wish I learned this when I was younger."

Being there and being open to learning and trying something new worked out well for me.  I was invited to pioneer the very first Discovery Camp UPW for teens from all around the world. Here I stayed and worked at the University of California, San Diego for 6 days with a group of about 10 kids as the Assistant Trainer to the Anthony Robbins Foundation's Trainer.  Not only did I enjoy working with my group of kids, helping them derive the same meaning out of the seminar as I had, but I was also invited to be one of few assistant trainers at the next Discovery Camp in Orlando.

The power is yours.  Carpe Diem! - "Sieze the Day!"  The reason that the time is NOW is because if not now, when?  Ask yourself what do you want and start working towards it TODAY!

I blog about this because I am passionate about it and I want you to be too.  Join me on my journey towards success!

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

As promised, here are some notes from my notebook:

Communication is 7% the words you choose, 38% your tone of voice, & 55% your physiology.

On focus and belief:
  1. What you focus on you find
  2. What you focus on seems real
  3. What you focus on grows
  4. What you focus on you become
  • "A winner never never quits and a quitter never wins"
  • "With great power comes great responsibility"
  • "Forgiveness is letting go of the hope for a better past"
  • "The only thing that's keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling"
  • "Life will pay whatever price you ask of it"

Notes on Incantations:
Incantation - A phrase said repeatedly to reach a result
Ex. The Little Engine That Could - "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..."

Notes on Asking/Receiving:
  • Give before you receive (to reach their needs)
  • Ask someone who can give
  • Ask specifically
  • Ask until you get it by changing your approach
  • Ask with certainty

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 13 - Success is Paid in Advance

One of my mentors, Dr. Jeff Magee, gave me some wise advice not long ago. He said, "Success is Paid in Advance."

As I make the transition this Saturday from college student to full time business professional, this piece of advice has never resonated more strongly...allow me to share with you why.

I am an ambitious young professional with many goals in sight. My goal is to help others become successful through business coaching, consulting, writing, speaking and more. You may be wondering, "how is a 21 year old recent college graduate going to achieve these grandiose goals?"

It is this very question that inspired me to write this blog post entitled "Success is Paid in Advance."

The answer to that question in my mind is simple. I do not plan on becoming any one of these things overnight. I am aware that success is paid in advance, thus I am prepared for the long journey and hard work ahead of me.

Success is a journey of self-discovery. It is crucial to realize this to prepare yourself to work harder then you ever have before, longer hours then you ever have before, and to pay your dues for the sake of learning and experience.

As we near graduation and eventually graduate, we all experience the same streams of thoughts flowing through our minds. Most of these thoughts surround the question, "what am I going to do now?" This is the moment we have been working towards our entire lives! Many expect to graduate and get a job paying a nice salary...but largely, this is not the case. Don't be discouraged if you are not one of those few! Remember that determination, commitment, consistency, passion, a desire to succeed, positivity and hard work are what breeds success.

The take away from this lesson is this:

On our journey for success, we all need to...
  1. Decide what it is that you want to do/become
  2. Write down the goals and steps you must achieve to get there
  3. Commit yourself unreservedly to attaining these goals
  4. Prepare for the journey ahead of you...remember "Success is Paid in Advance!"
  5. Be willing to work hard and give it your all
  6. Stay Positive and HAVE FUN!!!
One of the best ways to stay on top of your goals is to lock onto your target. Once you write down the goals you must achieve to get there, create a daily action plan of actions and do a little every day! Please view my blog post entitled "The Power of Doing A Little Everyday" to see why this works so well!

Questions? Comments? Please blog with me!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 12 - Get "It" Done!

As I type this blog post, this topic is one that is painfully relevant.  Since my last post, I have been jotting down ideas for my future posts. There was, however, one missing element.  I never took the time to actually sit down and Get "It" Done.

When I look at the phrase "Get "It" Done," I see two distinct definitions:

Get "It" Done-
  1. Taking the necessary action (and time) to see "it" through
  2. Doing everything within your power to ensure you accomplish whatever "it" is you need
We all practice definition #1 in our lives as we accomplish our goals and objectives.  It is definition #2 that I strive to achieve in my daily life.  

For this definition to hold true, you must recognize where your individual locus of control falls.  We are all accountable for our own actions.  Likewise, we all have the potential to do everything we dream of.  In order to achieve our dreams and goals, you need to be willing to take your life into your own hands, taking accountability for the things that you really want.

locus of control- One's belief about what causes the good and bad results in their life
  • External - The degree to which you associate your fate, fortune, failures (and successes) to external factors as opposed to internal factors.  [Ex. Blaming tardiness on bad traffic (traffic being the external factor)]
  • Internal - The degree to which you associate your fate, fortune, failure (and successes) to internal factors as opposed to external factors [Ex. Taking accountability for the poor grade you received on an exam for not studying harder (you not putting forth enough effort to study being the internal factor)]
*TIP* - Develop a winning attitude and an internal locus of control!  Together, this will allow you to hold yourself accountable for your results (positive or negative), ultimately achieving greater levels of success.

Here is a real life example that I find amusing of how to take control of your life and Get "It" Done!  As of a couple weeks ago, I had only a few weeks left of one Marketing Strategies class until I graduate with a Bachelor's of Science in Marketing and a concentration in Sales.  All that I needed to do was pass the class with a C or higher.  This week in particular, I had an extra case of "Senior-itis."  Instead of studying or reading the Harvard Case for the exam, I only skimmed through it once.  When I got my grade, the result, of a 68% on the exam, I knew precisely what internal factor caused this.  I realized that in just a few short weeks if I didn't get a C or better in the class I would not graduate.  I knew what I had to do...take control and Get "It" Done!  What did I do?  I prepared extensively for the next test by reading the Harvard Case several times, highlighting the important information, and talking about the case until I was confident I knew the material.  The result - I was the only person in the entire class to get a perfect score on the test, so the professor gave me 107%.  Today, I have a 98% average in the class and will graduate with the Dean's List Honors.

The moral of the story is simple.  I was not happy with my result - the 68%.  The "it" that needed to get done - graduate!  My locus of control - Internal, since I knew my lack of preparation was the cause.  What I did - own up to my mistake, laugh about it, and buckle down to do everything in my power to ensure that I graduate.

This is no secret.  Like Nike says..."Just do it."  Take control, do what you've gotta do, and Get "It" Done!

Do you procrastinate?  We all do...learn how to use active procrastination to get done what you need to, and put off the things that are not so important in Eat That Frog!

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 11 - Invest in Yourself!

The inspiration behind this post is the Young Investors meeting I attended tonight at UCF thanks to my friend Doug Markovitz.

Here are some of the investment topics Doug moderated tonight:
  • Hedging Against Inflation
  • World Currency Trading (and how to use
  • Investing in Healthcare (and Obama's Healthcare reform plan)
  • Emerging Growth Companies
Doug read my Performance & Success Advice Blog, and asked if I would mind speaking about a few things in the meeting.

After going through the agenda of the meeting, Doug gave me the floor to say a few words.  The overall message I wanted to send was the need to harness the power we all have as individuals.

I found one of Mark Victor Hansen's tweets the other day to be very profound, so I brought the quote in to share with the group.  "Your state of mind creates your state of results."

My interpretation of that quote is that your attitude, your mental clarity, and how sharp your mind is will determine your success.

I shared another quote with the group that I found to be motivational by Howard Thurman: "Don't ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive and go do it.  Because the world needs people who have come alive."

I summed everything up by explaining the need to invest in the most viable investment out there - YOU!  Invest the time in yourself to find the things that make you come alive.  Discover your passion.  And once you do, invest in yourself more to sharpen your attitude and your mind!

I ended with one final quote by Dr. Wayne Dyer:  "Act as if everything you desire is already here...treat yourself as if you already are who you'd like to become."

By Investing in Yourself, you will arm yourself with the tools and resources, (image, attitude, a sharp mind, etc.) that will foster success in all areas of your life.

The most successful people in the world invest in themselves.  Do you?

Invest in Yourself by signing up for the Collegiate Performance Magazine and blogging with me here on my Performance & Success Advice Blog!  

The Collegiate Performance Magazine is a publication where the youngest, most successful individuals in the world contribute their "How-to" knowledge in easily digestible, 500 word or less articles.  

Sign-Up TODAY using the promo code College and you will receive a FREE month and the lifetime benefit of a 50% discount!

*TIP* - Some ways I invest in myself are:

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 10 - "I Admire and Model Rich and Successful People"

This statement, "I admire and model rich and successful people," is one of my business philosophies.  The reason I decided to blog about this today though, is because today (and last night) I was re-inspired about this passion of mine.

As the publisher of the Collegiate Performance Magazine, it is my duty, pleasure, and passion to seek out the youngest, most successful people in the world to first learn from them and then share their knowledge and success stories with the world. 

One successful entrepreneur I have connected with recently is Louis Lautman, the Founder of the Young Entrepreneur Society and the Executive Producer of the The YES Movie.

I mentioned that today (and last night) I was re-inspired and here is why:

I had lunch with Louis today who is a successful author, speaker, entrepreneur and producer.  He has already accomplished much of what I am working to become.  While sitting at lunch, I asked him about how he became a speaker and something beautiful happened.  He told me how!

There is something so powerful about learning what people have done.  If it has worked for them, they must have done something right!  

Bringing it back to our lunch today, he was telling me about how there are so many existing strategies that people are already using to become successful. While telling me his story of becoming a speaker, there is one thing I want to make special mention of.  At his first full time job after graduation in professional sales at 20, he worked in New York for a telecommunications firm.  In the office, a board hung with each salesman's results and their corresponding rank.  Louis noticed that there was a large gap between the top performing salesmen and those coming close after (the Pareto Principle at work).

Instead of only taking the advice that the lower ranked salesmen offered him, he made a conscious effort to seek out those top performing salesmen.  He asked them for their advice, shadowed them on sales calls, and modeled their selling style.  What do you think happened next?  Louis followed in their footsteps, becoming one of the top selling salesmen.

Coincidence?  I think not...

*TIP* - The key is to find out a strategy that worked for someone that has done something similar to what you are doing, and model it!

Last night, while watching The YES Movie, I was also re-inspired.  In this movie, Louis travels around the world and interviews many incredibly successful people.  For that hour and a half last night, I learned from many well-known successful people, I learned about (and from) many successful people I have not heard of, and I was re-motivated to continue my quest for knowledge.

I leave you today with two question that will hopefully inspire you to take action:
I told you about some of the successful people I have been learning from.  Who have you learned from lately?

I left lunch today with several names of successful people to research and several books to buy and read.  The next book on my list is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  What's next on your list?

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 9 - The Importance of Reading

I haven't always been a reader.  Since becoming an entrepreneur and a salesman, reading has become a mandatory part of my life, as it should be in yours.

Here is an example of how it plays out for me. As a 21 year old entrepreneur, my goal is to learn from highly successful people as a means to improve and grow on my skills.  With only 2 years of hands-on business experience, the most time and cost-effective way for me to learn is to study what other successful people have learned from their years of experience.

The bottom line is this - by reading from successful people, it allows you to learn from their experience thus shortening the learning curve for you!

One of my role models, Brian Tracy, sums it up really well in his Performance Magazine article entitled "The Discipline of Reading."  He says, "Remember, it may take an author ten to twenty years to learn his subject and years to write a book on it.  You probably are getting the results of twenty-five years of effort by one of the smartest people in your field."

*TIP* Many other successful professionals have advised me personally to take on speed reading and Brian Tracy even suggests this in the above article.  Many of them, including Brian Tracy, have recommended the Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics program (found below).

We are all familiar with Sir Francis Bacon's famous quote "Knowledge is power."  If knowledge is the fuel for our mind, reading is what fuels our mind with knowledge!

What have you read lately?

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 8 - Health & Fitness

Health and fitness are unquestionably a part of achieving high levels of performance and success.  Start today...we all want a healthy mind, body, and soul!

Having good health and fitness habits will:
  • Ensure good cardiovascular (heart) health
  • Allow yourself to like the way you look
  • Strengthen your Self-Discipline
  • Enable you to practice setting and achieving goals
  • Give you the confidence to take on anything
The most important part about eating healthy and being fit is that you feel good about yourself.  

I recently took on a healthy diet and became a student of fitness and nutrition.  Here is my weekly routine:
  • I lift weights everyday for muscle tone (different muscles of course)
  • I go spinning for cardiovascular exercise every other day

*TIP* - Pushing yourself in the gym and seeing improvement will give you the confidence to take on the world.

Onto health and nutrition.  When consulting some trainers about my goal of getting a six-pack, aside from consistent exercise, the most important factor they all listed was a healthy diet.  

Here is my current diet:
  • Only 100% Whole Wheat Breads
  • No fastfoods or junkfoods
  • HIGH protein, LOW fat foods
  • Lots of fruit!
  • Daily vitamins
  • Oatmeal with a glass of milk for breakfast
  • Bora Bora bars as snacks
  • LOTS of water
I am no fitness or health expert, but I am planning on reading more and becoming a spin instructor (I highly recommend you trying a spin class!).  Below you can find some books you can get to learn more!

Questions? Comments? Blog with me!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 7 - Self-Discipline

As a graduating senior with 6 weeks left of school, critical change is imminent in my life. As an entrepreneur, it is my duty and job to create wealth and abundance from scratch. With this realization, I decided to take it upon my self to live a life of Self-Discipline.

One definition of Self-Discipline is the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it. Taking a look at this definition in depth, there are three distinctive parts to Self-Discipline.
1. Identify something you want strong enough (Ex. I recently decided it's time I have six-pack abs)
2. Make a commitment to doing the things that will get you what you want (To get six-pack abs, I will work out everyday & take on a healthy diet)
3. Be unwilling to compromise on what you want (I stick to my healthy diet and work out everyday at all costs!)

Self-Discipline is the bridge between wanting something and attaining something you want. It is what gets me out of bed in the morning, gets me into the gym everyday, gives me the ability to stay on my healthy diet, allows me to work long hours, etc. The reason it works for me is because the goals that I have set for myself (what I want) are a motivation for me to dictate a strategy (a commitment to doing what will get me there) and since I have such a strong commitment to my goals, I am unwilling to compromise them.

Word of Caution: In order for successful implementation of your goals using Self-Discipline, it is crucial to adhere to the Law of Congruence. The Law of Congruence enables people to identify goals that are congruent with their true desires with the understanding that in doing so, the individual is making a commitment to taking all of the necessary actions to reach that goal. The bottom line is be true to yourself, your internal drivers, and your personal intentions when setting goals and deciding where you need more Self-Discipline.

*TIP* - By matching good practice of Self-Discipline with well defined, congruent goals you will find Self-Discipline will allow you to form positive daily habits to reach your goals.

Currently, I am reading a book by Michael Janke, a former Navy SEAL, called "Take Control: Master the art of Self-Discipline and Change Your LIfe Forever." As I mentioned at the beginning, I am also a student of Self-Discipline so I have been reading up on the subject to integrate it into my life. This book is one great source to jump start Self-Discipline in your life that I know of. There is a wealth of others out there too!

Questions? Comments? Blog with me!