Build An Eye Catching Resume And Get More Interviews

I’m currently offering resume review services but thought I would share some insights on what has helped me land interviews and land jobs for myself and my friends/family.

This post is for people who have sent out resumes and:

1. not gotten even a single response back,

2. Have not updated their resume recently,

3. Don’t know how to improve their resumes, and/or

4. Want a job and don’t know where to start.

Ideally you’ll be well connected and able to to find a job through a friend or family who can recommend you for a position you really want, and therefore increasing your chances of landing it. But if you’re like 90% of the rest of us, you are not well connected and have no clue how to get you first or next opportunity.  So you’ll do cold applying for job postings in your area. You’ll draft up a resume and send it out in a quick email.

Here are some ways to increase your chances of an interview.

A) Tailor Your Resume:

You might be applying for any job or a very niche job in your field. The biggest mistake I see is people not tailoring their resumes. They just slap all their experience together like, “Look how much I’ve done with my life. Hire me!” Nope, does not work like that. A recruiter or hiring manager might get hundreds of applications and spend 10-30 seconds reviewing applications for a specific job. The less specific your resume is to the position, the longer it will take a hiring manager to discern if your experience fits the role, making it more likely that they will cast your resume to the side.

You should be editing your resume for every single job you apply for. Yes, this is annoying and probably a very time consuming part of the search, but it works.

Ex: You previously had experience in retail, ringing up customers and meeting sales goals, keeping an area clean, and answering questions. Now you want to bar-tend and you just took a course in bar-tending. Your resume is tailored to retail, since that’s your previous experience. It would be a mistake to send it out to restaurants as is, because at first glance the hiring managers is going to be like, “this persons experience has nothing to do with the job.” They’re going to think about all the training they’ll need to invest in you, something they DON’T want to do. Rather, you should tailor your resume to show you graduated bar-tending school recently, education should be at the very top as most relevant and the work experience will be specific on what is transferable to bar tending. You’ll focus tailoring your retail experience to show you have customer service skills and sale skills to upsell drinks.

A resume for that purpose might look like this:

Resume 1

B) Keep It Simple

You want to keep your resume as digestible as possible. So that anyone scanning for specific information can find it. Resumes should be no longer than 1 page. You can adjust margins, text size and spacing but 1 page is enough to show your skills.

If you have limited work experience, add in any volunteer work that may be relevant

If you have a lot of experience in a specific area, you’ll want your experience to include ONLY what is both recent and relevant. You’ll want to include maybe 3-4 jobs you’ve had but be very detailed in the responsibilities you’ve had and tailor that to the job you are applying to.

Resumes don’t need to include ALL experience, just relevant experience.

If you’ve only worked at 1 company for a majority of your career you might want to break up your resume first by the company you worked for and then by the different roles you may have had in the company.

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C) Write A Cover Letter In The Email Of The Job Post Response

This is essential. Too many people skip this step. They send out a generic “Hello, I’m interested in position X and am available X days. Please contact me via email or phone to schedule a visit.”

A message like that pretty much says you put zero to no thought into a message and are just hoping to land a job through mass mailing.

The body of the email is your opportunity! It’s the first thing a recruiter is going to read. It’s a great way to discuss your passion for the work you do or explain a gap in work. It can captivate, inspire and get that recruiter to open up the attachment. Then your perfectly tailored resume is going to tell the story of why you should be hired.

FYI- Never paste your resume in the body of the email. I’ve seen this before and it done to get recruiters to look at the resume right away. However it looks ugly, disorganized and is hard to share with other people if there are other decision makers. Don’t do it.

Hopefully you find this post useful in your job search.  Let me know your feedback and feel free to like, share and follow!

On Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade: The Face Of The Suicide Epidemic

When I heard about Anthony Bourdain, I felt my heart sink. My husband and I would “No Reservations” and now “Parts Unknown”. He really found a part of himself in Anthony Bourdain. He loved how he would go to these remote places, get to know the locals and focus on the meaning that the food had on the community. I think that’s what made Anthony so special and why he was so loved by the public, his way of connecting people from around the world.

Kate Spade was a surprise too. I didn’t really follow her celebrity but I’m very aware of her brand. It’s hard to go anywhere in the city without seeing one of her bags or her jewelry. She has a very clean cut and innocent vibe to her brand, so when I heard about her suicide I was just as surprised.

The news of the two suicides came less than 24 hours of eachother and it felt Iike a pop culture loss.

It had me thinking a lot about happiness and what that means for us as humans. I mean Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were the epitome of success. I think there are very few people who can top their success in their industry. They had strangers that looked up to them and they inspired so much in others. Yet…in a moment they could not find the will to live nor happiness to be found. Which brings the question, what hope is there for the rest of us?

One thing we can be sure of is that happiness is not found at the bottom of a well funded bank account. Money is not the formula for happiness and yet so many of us chase it as way to get us to the next place. “If only I got a better job..” “if only we could get ahead of these bills” “if only we could get our debt down,” but what happens after you meet those kind of goals? What happens after we reach for the next step and the next step, only to realize there no prize for reaching the top?

I read an article about people’s different responses, a lot of people were surprised and disappointed. Neither family could suspect this as a possibility for their loved ones. Val Kilmer, gave his perspective that he thought it was selfish decision to leave family behind. I can respect that point of view from him given he had battled throat cancer and literally had to fight off death. My parents always told me that suicide was a selfish, cowardly choice to make, that only caused pain and stigma onto loved ones.

But still it’s hard for me to say that people who commit suicide are terrible people who are throwing their lives away. We can never truly know someone’s suffering.

The CDC says it’s an epidemic now for mental health since overall suicide deaths are up 30% in the country. And that depression and anxiety are not necessarily an underlying cause for the increase. Many people who attempted or committed suicide have not been diagnosed for any mental illnesses nor were they suspected of any issues from their family. This statistic might be caused by the stigma surrounding mental illness and the fact that many people still don’t get the help they need from therapists and psychologists, but it something to consider. Rather, CDC says that majority suicide attempts are correlated to a sudden negative change in life, like a family death, end of a relationship, or financial hardship. They also say that guns are the most frequent and most successful means to commit suicide and suggest that some gun control would make it harder for people to make life ending decisions in a moment of desperation or sadness.

I wish I knew all the answers to what is a complicated and complex issue. My only advice do those battling suicidal thoughts is to focus on being happy with the life you have now and tell somebody about your struggles and get help.

My husband had a cousin that came out of the closet, he told his friend and then his friend told everyone else at school and said to this cousin that he wouldn’t have been his friend if he knew he was gay. This kid battled depression and suicidal thought but then he told someone. And then that someone got him help.

[If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of additional resources.]

Playing The Game Of Life And Winning: 5 Approaches To Success

One of the largest life lessons I’ve ever learned is that there’s no rhyme or reason for success. Sure, success takes hard work and dedication but there are plenty of times in life where I’ve put in the effort and reaped nothing. There have also been times I could have cared less and I was rewarded by life. Why is that? Why should we even bother when there are people who will never reap meaningful rewards; when there are people who are handed opportunity without trying; when happy accidents fall on people who try less?

Because it’s all a numbers game and we don’t know when our number will be called and opportunity and success is at our door. It doesn’t just show up and say, “Here I am! Come and get it!” Success is stealthy and hidden. It needs to be carved out of stone with no clue as to what the finished product will be. It’s kind of like the lottery, but the only people who are sure to be losers are the ones that don’t play and opt out.

These are my rules to success and what it takes. From starting my own businesses and to making it to the top of my industry, this is what it’s going to take if you want to increase your chances for success.

Perseverance

This is one of my favorite memes:

Three-feet-from-gold

It reminds me not to quit because you never know how close you are to victory. Imagine walking away from your business idea, talent or what have you and watching someone else succeed at the very same thing a year later… imagine the regret and sadness.  The think is that you never know.  Just thinking about that outcome is enough to keep me going.

There Is Only One You:

One of the things that has held me back in life is the idea of competition. That there will always be someone more talented, beautiful, intelligent, or privileged than me. This kept me from trying anything because it was like a self fulfilling prophesy. “Why would anyone want to do business with me? There is already so many people already doing what I’m doing…” The truth is that there is only one you, you have a unique perspective on the world, and you have unique talents, qualities and gifts. This is true for every single person on this earth. And there will always be people out there that can connect with you and would be interested in building a business with you, but it’s your responsibility to find them.

Just Do It:

“I just don’t know how…”. This one phrase, whenever I hear it, makes me roll my eyes. None of us are born with an innate knowledge on how to do anything. Hearing that phrase is equivalent to hearing, “I don’t want to learn.” And to me not wanting to learn is basically just giving up and shifting blame away from yourself on why you can’t accomplish what you want. I personally like to roll up my sleeves and at least try. The first try I’ll usually get something wrong but learn. The second try I’ll still miss some details but it will be much better. By the third or fourth try I’ll have it down pat. Not knowing how to start a business or grow successfully is pretty much expected. Using the lack of knowledge as a reason to be complacent is a cop-out. The reason you’re not where you want to be is because you remained willfully ignorant, not because you weren’t given the right knowledge.

Fail Successfully:

I was 22 when I started my first business. It was a online Amazon business selling wholesale cosmetics. I started a blog about it too and connect my products to my blog. (This when I first realized the value in blogging) I worked with my best friend on this business and we did well for the first 6 months but we weren’t growing because we kept enjoying the profits too soon. We also had one major supplier and we weren’t able to keep him happy so he dropped us. Without this supplier, our business has little value. I tried shifting to blogging, but the blogging wasn’t making enough money at the time, though I was getting a following. So I ended up dropping it because it was too expensive for me to maintain. This was my brainchild so it was very painful for me to watch, something that was such a great idea, fall and die because of my bad business decisions. Still, I learned so much from it. I learned how to bookkeep, how maintain client/supplier relations, the complexities of having a business partner, and the structure of starting a business and closing one. I’ve taken these lessons with me for every new business and employment that I’ve had moving forward. I truly believe with each failure, you can get closer to success so long as you learn from your mistakes and take that with you.

Know when To Cut Your Losses

Not all business or endeavors are meant to succeed. It might be no fault of your own other. Maybe the market shifted, maybe you underestimated costs, maybe it’s just not financially feasible to continue the business, maybe you decided that whatever you were trying to accomplish is not for you. It’s OK to quit sometimes. I think being honest and realistic about your needs and whether you’re able to continue takes a lot of strength. I’m a law school drop out. This is a story for another day but I went to law school for 1 year and decided it wasn’t for me. A lot of my family felt I was making a mistake but I knew in my heart that it wasn’t what I wanted nor was it a great fit for me. So I quit. I had gotten in a substantial debt for that 1 year, I’m still paying those loans but I saved myself further debt by quitting early not putting myself in further debt for years 2 & 3 of law school. It was really hard, there was so much pressure to keep going. The Assistant Dean actually called me and tried to get me to stay. But I trusted my gut and didn’t go back. And at the end of the day, it was the right decision because now I’m making close to an attorney’s income but without the law school debt. Sometimes the right choice is to quit while you’re ahead. Quitting something that’s proving to not be profitable or in your best interest allows you to stay open to opportunities that you’re better suited for.

Feel free to subscribe, follow, like and share if you like this post! Many Thanks!

Dating in Your 30s vs Dating In Your 20s

I still have single friends and after a night out together and sharing our latest stories/happenings I realized that the dating game absolutely changes as you get older.

A few my friends who were definitely carefree and wild in their 20s are now seeing that dating in their 30s is more of a purposeful search for a life partner.

And though I’m no longer part of the dating scene I’ve learned a few things second hand from both girlfriends and guyfriends on what’s changed.

In Your 20s:

It’s More Superficial: I remember going to get ready for clubbing on a night out and analyzing ever single thing about my outfit, my hair and my makeup. Clubs are actually really gross and sweaty places and by the end of the night I looked like a train wreck but that didn’t really matter because I needed to look perfect. I mean, you never know who you’ll meet on a night out. (I met no one worth mentioning BTW). I found that a lot of relationships during this time in life are built on what the other person brings to the table. How good someone looks, what career they are studying for or just starting. These are great things to consider but in your 30s you realize that a persons character holds a lot more weight.

It’s Aimless But Full Of Learning Experiences:

I think a lot of people view their 20s as a time to explore and find out their preferences. Very few people feel ready to make a long term, marriage type relationship. It’s a period where where you date assh*les and b*tches, then learn that dating assh*oles and b*tches are a waste of time. You also learn your sexual preferences and desires and realize that these things are non negotiable and an essential part of any loving and meaningful relationship.

More Insecure:

Most 20 year olds are insecure. Often about different things, your looks, your career, where you fit in the scheme of things. It’s such a strange time in your life. You literally just finished being a child from 10-20 years old and now you’re expected to have it all figured out when your 20-30 with what career you have and who you’re dating and how you fit into the world. In my 20s, I felt like I was playing a role, a role of who I thought a 20yr old version would be. All my relationship problems circled around my partner helping me feel more secure and validating me and fitting into the role I thought he should be playing. Or me trying to fit into someone else’s role. It wasn’t really healthy.

You’re At The Peak Of Your Youth: I remember being 25, looking at myself in the mirror and thinking “It’s going downhill from here.” I was at the peak of my beauty/youth and no matter how I try to chase it, I’m only getting older. I was so used to rolling out of bed and just throwing on some lipgloss and eyeliner and being ready to go. At 29, I feel more confident in my looks but can’t help but notice the circles under my eyes that don’t go away or the way my eyes crinkle when I smile. Not to say that only 20-25 year olds can be considered attractive, older women and men can still be attractive but there’s something about being that age that just gave me more energy and life. I guess it was also about attitude. When your whole life is in front of you, there’s so much optimism. As a 29 year old, I have a better idea of how the world works and am not misguided about ideals on how the world should work.

In Your 30s

It’s Meaningful: after one too many meaningless hookups or going nowhere relationships, you realize that the superficial doesn’t really make you happy. You want a connection, someone to come home to at the end of the day, someone who shares the same interest and, hopefully, someone to build a family with. You want someone with character who treats everyone respectfully and stands up for the people around them.

It’s Purposeful: I think women really start looking for a life partner closer to 25-30 while men start looking around 30-35. As we get older we realize that life is too short to spend with people who are short lived in your life. I realized happiness was with the people around me not with how many people I had around me. This became an important life lesson that relationships and friendships needed a purpose for being there and you need to be able to give value to their lives too. In essence, relationships are a two way street and a one way relationship, either on your part and on the other persons part, is going to be a waste of time.

You Know What You Want:

After all the mishaps and mistakes, you finally know what you’re looking for. Each breakup, each unrequited love, each disappointment has brought you closer to the truth of what you need in your life. What a relief it is to finally know that your previous relationships weren’t in vain but were more of a stepping stone for where you need to be. You’re less likely to settle or jump into a relationship just because you can. You’re more likely to pursue compatibility and look towards the long term future of your partners.

You’re Independent:

I’m so independent now. I’m settled into my career, don’t need any help financially, my debt is nearly settled and I have a 401k. I’m able to eat a meal in public by myself without feeling weird and am able to stay home on a Friday Night without feeling bad about it. I can get to where I need to go without asking for a ride and feel much more in control of my life. I think 30s is when you start REALLY feeling like an adult capable of holding your own and it feels amazing being able to confidently manage my own life. I really stopped relying on other people to make me happy and started focusing on making happiness a choice and owning that choice. This helps you bring more to a relationship where you’re not looking for someone else to fill the void either financially or spiritually. It makes you more of a catch when you’ve let go of your baggage and hangups. I like to think of it like two wholes coming together.

Let me know how you’ve changed between 20s and 30s in your relationship. Feel free to like, follow, share or comment if you felt this post was useful. 🙂

Be Charismatic By Mastering Small Talk

“I wish I could talk to anyone about anything. I’m awkward and just can’t find a rhythm with people, I can’t seem to break the ice.”

This was me like 5 years ago. I’ve mentioned it a few times that I used to suffer from social anxiety and was awkward and shy. I used to be a person that really hated small talk. What I really wanted to do was get to the heart of the matter and talk about your dreams, disappointments and hopes. But that’s a little too deep for some people, to the point where that kind of talk can be seen as rude and nosy. So being in the business of Real Estate I had to learn how to small talk and kind of enjoy it as a way to get to know people on a basic level.

Some of my favorite ice breakers have been:

1)Weather: Ah yes, weather is the most safest thing to talk about. It’s literally the most cliche small talking point but you can never offend with weather. The weather is constantly changing so it’s definitely something to talk about. If it’s too cold and it’s suddenly a nice day, you can comment what a pleasant surprise the weather has been. If it’s unusually windy, you can joke about being blown away. You can expand and talk about how you love this weather or hate this weather and what you like to do during this time of year. Weather is by far the safest, easiest thing to talk about.

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2. Holidays: In the US there are several major holidays including Christmas, New Years, 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving. There are also more obscure holidays like Presidents Day, MLK day, Halloween, Mother’s and Fathers Day. Pretty much every month there’s some sort of holiday. You can always ask, “Any plans for ____ holiday?” This is an easy icebreaker for people that want to keep the conversation going at an even pace. “Are you going away, we’re planning to go to _____” “That sounds nice, I had a friend who went there last year and really enjoyed it as a vacation spot!”

3. Compliments- I used to have the assumption that you should only compliment someone if you really mean it. Like really, really liked what someone was wearing or found something interesting. But that’s not really the case. Compliments can be a way of forming bonds and sharing an interest. The keys is to find something that you think is interesting about a person, a piece of jewelry, an article of clothing, a physical quality (like eyes or makeup or hair), or a non physical quality that you think stands out. I found that there is always something you can compliment someone on. Some of my go to compliments that I found to be most genuine: “Oh wow, I love that piece of jewelry. Where did you get it?” I’m always looking for a piece of fashion that stands out like a nice purse or shoes and I’ll usually compliment or ask where they got it. As a woman, I think it’s more socially acceptable for me to make these kind of compliments so I’ll do it to break the ice and strike conversation. For men, I try to accept whatever compliments they offer because it’s nice and a genuine effort to make conversation which can be hard for some of them. The type of compliments men should stick with, especially when complimenting the opposite gender, should be a non physical quality or an article of clothing. “That’s a unique pair of shoes, they look comfortable” or “I heard from so and so that you’re really interested in ______, that sounds interesting, how did you get into that?” Giving physical compliments from a man to a woman or even man to man can seem off color or even inappropriate.

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4. General Non Political News- You can get creative with this and just talk about the happenings in your town, something you saw on Facebook that you thought was relevant or friendly gossip about what’s going on with family and friends. “Oh I heard so and so got married, I’m so happy for her! It’s been so long since we’ve got to chat!” Or “I heard that there was going to be so and so happening at that restaurant I love, it’s always such a great event!” Or “This reminds me of an article I saw on FB…”

I just want to make a side note since I get a lot of foreign readers from other parts of the world. They might be reading this right now and be like WTF? What’s the point of making pointless conversation? Why do Americans do this?

Well, to be honest, it’s more of a cultural thing. We generally like to bask in positive emotion rather then negative. When speaking with someone you have a very casual relation with we try to keep the conversation light and easy so to avoid negative emotion. Imagine an acquaintance asks you, “How’s everything going John?” And you start telling them about your leaky roof and how you can’t find the finances to cover these costs. Well John, you just took the conversation deep left and made the other person uncomfortable because they are going to realize you’re going through hardship and there is little they can do to help you through it. Negative emotion is easy to catch from other people and it doesn’t feel good.

Some of the most successful people I’ve met are masters of small talk and are able to converse in a way that puts other at ease, feels safe and positive, while at the same time expresses interest in the other person.

I spent so many years not really understanding the rules and use of small talk that I was keeping others from getting close to me in a way they felt comfortable and I was making other people uncomfortable by digging in too much too soon.

I hope this article was a useful introduction to building charismas and strengthening your small talk skills. Feel free to like, share and follow, I follow back!

What Does Your Body Language Say About You?

Before I got into real estate, I was super awkward. Like didn’t know my left from my right. Didn’t know how to present myself to people, wore my heart on my sleeve (still do), and basically did not exude confidence.

Very few people on this world are born with charisma and confidence, often it’s something that’s developed over time from socialization and life lessons. One of the biggest things that I learned is that body language is tied into your charisma heavily. There’s a really popular statistic- 93% of what you are expressing to people is nonverbal. 55% of that is body language another 33% is tone of voice.

Of course I had not been coming across as confident! I was ignoring the 55% of body language that conveys everything about me.

Body language is not to be confused as personal style, which is a totally different way of communicating who you are, but that I’ll save for another post.

So how do you use body language to convey confidence, friendliness and competence?

1. Eye Contact

This seems so obvious but so many people avoid eye contact when greeting or addressing someone. I used to hate it too. I felt like eye contact was too personal. And it’s true, a lot of expressions are portrayed through our eyes. But eye contact will tell the other person that you are truly listening and that you care about what the other person is saying. Just imagine shaking someone’s hands and not making eye contact, muttering, “nice to meet you,” and then walking away. You might of been nervous, meeting someone new, but you just portrayed yourself as someone who was not open or friendly. Versus making eye contact as soon as you are within visual line of someone, smiling and greeting someone and shaking their hand.

And I’m not talking psycho don’t blink, eyes open eye contact. We’re talking friendly and open but not intense eyes that people are drawn too and not weirded out by. Which brings me to my other point:

2. Smiling and Overall Demeanor

We’ve all heard about resting b*tch face, the blank face we usually keep when in thought or in a calm state. Smiling or keeping a pleasant upturned mouth can definitely help you maintain an open and pleasant demeanor. My last receptionist was always frowning. Whether she felt upset or just OK, she was always frowning. She would only smile when someone was being extra nice to her or if she felt it was absolutely required like taking to a supervisor’s superior. This gave the impression she was unfriendly and unpleasant when she was actually really helpful and pretty good at her job. At first changing your demeanor and resting b*tch face might feel inauthentic. Like “That’s just who I am, why do I need to change my face for?” But are you a mean, nasty and unfriendly person? Perception is reality and if your body language is not in line with what you are trying to portray then you might be giving people the wrong message.

3. “But What Do I Do With My Hands?”

I never know what to do with my hands. I’m always fidgeting with them, maybe I’ll hold something with my hand and start picking on it. I’m working on quitting on this habit and keeping my hands steady rather than nervous and fidgety. One thing I noticed is that when I’m in conversation, keeping my hands out and palms open makes me look more genuine and authentic. I also noticed when my receptionist crossed her arms she came across as very combative and negative. Crossing your arms might be a default position for you but I would recommend quitting this habit. Every single person I’ve ever met who regularly crosses their arms in conversation comes across as negative. I would recommend an open stance with hands out and shoulders relaxed. Or if you’d like to come off as conservative, with hands held behind your back.

4. Posture

I have the worst posture, so probably should take this advice myself. I know it can be so hard especially when you are sitting at a desk all day at work and looking at a computer but sitting up straight will strengthen your back and help you maintain good posture while standing and walking. There are even exercises to help with posture. It seems like such an unimportant aspect of body language but slumping can give the impression that you are not confident. I would say slumping while walking or standing is the worst offender for showing low confidence.

5. Tone of voice

So before you even opened your mouth, the person you’re talking to has already made assumptions about you based on your body language. But what about when you’re trying to cold call over the phone? Tone of voice is the body language of phone introductions. <break>. I was having a conversation with a client over the phone. Things were getting really heated. I needed her to fix some of the paperwork she’s provided and she just wasn’t understanding why. She started yelling and eventually I started yelling. I think I said something in a tone that came across as condescending. I said, “Have I made myself clear?” Like I was talking to a child. She corrected me and said firmly, “please don’t talk to me that way.” I paused for a second and realized that my tone of voice was getting away from me. I was letting my frustrations show and it was being misconstrued as disrespect and rudeness. I let my voice soften and explained that I didn’t mean to be rude but I was feeling frustrated. The client and I were able to compromise and work on building respect as soon as I became aware of how my tone of voice was affecting the conversation. It wasn’t what I was saying but I how I said it.

Now let’s do an exercise. Close your eyes. I want you to envision meeting someone new. The person you’re meeting is walking towards you with their eyes looking past you and their shoulders hunched over. Their hands are in their pockets and as they reach out to greet you they are looking down, with a plain demeanor and mumbling, “My name is _____”

The person I just described sounds like the epitome of low confidence and is not someone I would consider magnetic or interesting.

Now let’s think of that same person and you are about to meet them for the first time. They are smiling and walking straight with eyes focused on you. As soon as they are within earshot they say loudly and clearly “my name is _____, nice to meet you.”

Now let’s take a moment to reflect, which person are you? They say first impressions are made within the first 30 seconds of meeting someone. Make the best impression without even saying a word with your body language.

Feel free to like follow and share if you found this post interesting!

Check out my other post in the Confidence, Magnetism and Charisma series

Hello World :) May Statistics

So I’ve been blogging very seriously for 1 Month!

May seem very promising and I want to thank you all for investing the time for reading my blog.  This is my second attempt at blogging and I intend to take it as far as I can go!

I’m working full time and only have time to commit to 2 blog posts a week.  I’d like to commit to more but just can’t get to finding more time without seriously slacking at work or at home.  So each month I’ll only be posting about 8-10 posts.

That’s obviously not enough to garner interest or a following very fast so I’ve decided this month to invest in some (Gasp) advertising.   It’s a little pricey but I realized that I’m not going to be able to drive enough traffic unless I’m posting more and also using social media like it’s my life blood. I don’t really have time for all that so I decided an initial investment was worth testing out.

This month I also realized that I probably signed up with the wrong Host.  WordPress Business services is a little slow of a server so my website has been redirecting and takes a little longer to load than it should.   At this time it’s not a huge issue since my traffic isn’t large enough and maybe once I get better traffic I can negotiate with them to get faster load time.  Otherwise I’ll go with a competitor with better results.  (I’ve used WordPress before and would prefer to keep it all in-house).   Just a thought at this time.

So this month I’m at nearly 400 views!!

May

Woop Woop! I’m very pleased.  This is mainly driven by advertising traffic but this is a start!  There have been some revisits and I’m retaining at about 10% so I guess that means my content is solid.

Countries

I’m US based so that’s my audience but I’m excited that I’m reaching a global audience as well.  Hello India, United Kingdom, Philippines, Pakistan, South Africa, Ireland, Cameroon, Uganda and Ghana!

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My most popular post was tied between  Overcome Your Anxiety and Top 6 Ways to Maintain a Work Life Balance

I also have a few curious readers that wanted to know more about me and my services!  Pretty cool!

Referrals

My traffic has been driven mainly by my Ads, WordPress Reader and organic leads through search engines.   I love my WordPress Readers, I know you’re looking at this so please follow!  I follow back!

Right now I have 23 followers and 17 new likes!!! This is amazing! But seriously I want more friends!

This month I’ve also created a Facebook Page, Find me on Facebook,and a Pinterest page.

I’ve also made an effort to SEO the sh*t out of this blog, but I’m still new to that; hoping for results soon.

So, Hello World :), join my discussion!

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Overcome Your Anxiety. 5 Ways I Worked To Overcome Mine

My job has gotten incredibly stressful between my Director firing everyone under the sun and us getting into the busiest season for my industry as an understaffed and under-trained team.  It’s just been too much pressure.

I’m sure everyone feels like this at work sometimes and we all have our triggers. So I spent last Thursday and Friday off trying to unwind and not let my work take over my life. Then on Thursday, I felt so negative and restless. I was thinking about all these work problems. Like OMG I’m going to have to train all these new people, I’m not getting recognition, and this sucks. I started kinda feeling sweaty, upset with a pit in my stomach that just wouldn’t go away. It was physically uncomfortable and I didn’t know why I was feeling like this. I wanted to feel like my normal calm self. I thought, I shouldn’t feel this way on my day off. But the discomfort and negative feeling wasn’t going away.

I was having an anxiety attack.

What causes anxiety?

Anxiety is basically when you worry, feel negative or feel stress to the point where you are inducing your fight or flight instincts. This causes a negative physical reactions like increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, restlessness, sense of impending doom, stomach or chest pains etc.  These anxiety symptoms are no joke.

I tend to also get moody during these intense attacks. I was texting my husband just trying to get over it. And thankfully I did, years of anxiety have helped me manage it much better so at least so I’m not taking it out on someone else.

Here’s what’s helped me:

1. Recognize Your Anxiety

It seems so obvious but a lot times I didn’t realize I was going through an anxiety attack until it was over. My negative thoughts seemed so real to me. They aren’t even logical or rational half the time, but in the moment they are very real. So recognizing what is happening during an attack can be hard and confusing. What helps me to realize I am having anxiety is just to say what I am feeling out loud. “I feel upset” or “I feel anxious.” Just saying that helps me feel in control of what is happening. Ill usually follow with “Why?”

2. Figuring out your triggers:

Not understanding what causes anxiety is like being on a boat without a paddle. You’ll never understand why it’s happening and you’ll just feel helpless and anxious for the next attack. If you get anxiety attacks frequently, keep a diary of what you were doing and what you were thinking prior to the attack. Keep a log of the thoughts you had during the attack and how long the attack lasted. (Do this after the attack is over). I used to watch a lot of reality TV in college and was glued to my social media. I started having attacks and lashing out towards my (now) husband. Over time I realized that I was lashing out because the reality TV shows were making me feel bad about myself and I was always comparing my life to this and that on TV and thinking how boring and uneventful my life was; these thought were causing my anxiety. Right now I’m having anxiety from work so I can’t change my situation…

3. Confront VS Avoid

Is it better to confront or avoid you triggers? It depends. In the situation where I was getting anxiety from social media and reality TV, it made sense to avoid. I don’t NEED to have that in my life. On the other I NEED to work so I can’t just avoid going to work. In the situation with work I’m going to have to learn how to deal and confront that anxiety head on. My advice for confronting your anxiety you can’t avoid is just to immerse yourself in it.

I used to also get a lot of social anxiety where I would feel nervous if I had to socialize in a large group. I would nitpick conversations in my head and beat myself up if a conversation didn’t go my way. To overcome this, I became a real estate agent so I can meet many different people without feeling to much pressure to be perfect. And it worked! I’ve met hundreds of new people and now striking up conversation is not unusual or difficult.  Over time I became a smooth socializer, and am no longer anxious about what other people are thinking about me or if I said something wrong. In certain situations, confronting what is making you feel anxious, especially like an every day occurrence like socializing, can absolutely help you cope and overcome that worry.

4. Take A Different Perspective:

I was still feeling really anxious that day and just wasn’t feeling good in my own skin. Dealing with my anxiety isn’t always easy.  I knew I was being anxious and irrational so I just sat down and began writing my own thoughts out. I made a list of what I was thankful for, what I wanted to change in my life and brainstormed how I could make those changes. As soon as I was done I felt better. Like I had control over my life. Switching your frame of thought can absolutely help you overcome anxiety attacks. It takes practice because your problems in the moment feel so real and insurmountable. But all problems come with solutions, even if it takes a long time to see results. Thinking about all the great things in my life helped me minimize my worries and realize my problems weren’t as large as I thought.

5. See A Therapist:

if you have persistent negative thoughts, worries and anxiety I would recommend seeing a therapist. I haven’t been to a therapist but I think we should all evaluate where our self depreciating thoughts and anxious worries are coming from and a therapist can do just that. They can help with a lot of difficult mental issues like major depression, bipolar disorder, and severe anxiety. There no shame in it and you can always test out different therapists if you feel like one isn’t the right fit for you.

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5 Amazing Ways to Alternative Living. Live Outside the Box.

I chose to be a corporate cog. I have a husband and daughter and we need insurance and a steady paycheck….for now. But I still try to find ways to make money on the side and earn extra income.

One thing we can all accept is that we all have to make a living but some of us choose to make money on our terms and determine how we want to spend our time. They say time is money so let’s discuss the different options out there to build an alternative career that’s both fulfilling and great for time management.

1)Blogging:

I’m a natural writer. But blogging is a long term game like any other business you start. You have to keep at it and write amazing content, work your SEO keywords, market through social media and (Gasp) even pay marketing/business costs. I think for the people who’ve made blogging a livable career, they’ve made a commitment to make it work and done whatever it takes to get there. The best part about it is that there are unlimited possibilities about what you can write about.  It’s pretty much the easiest way to make money from home, all you need is a computer and internet. It’s a great way to connect with people who have similar interests and motivations. If you’re serious about blogging, I would give it 2-3 years before you’re able to see livable-wage worthy income. It’s definitely something that can be a side hustle before you’re ready to make it your only income. Still, it 100% depends on you and how much time, money and effort you can invest.  It’s a real online job to be a blogger

2)Freelance And Gigs

The gig economy is bigger than ever. People are stepping away from corporate life and enjoying being a free agent, representing themselves and their interests in the job market. Websites like UpWork and Fiverr have made it easier for people looking for work alternatives to build their own brand and client base. Of course, most businesses like this won’t come easy but people have stuck through it and have built incredible business models. I just saw an Ad on Facebook for a Harvard Grad on Fiverr that acts like a professional guidance counselor.  He offers writing, revising and editing your resume or LinkedIN account. Based on the comments and his ratings and reviews on Fiverr it seemed like he was making A LOT of money from there and was building a unique business. Some people were questioning, “Oh, if he’s a Harvard Grad, why is he freelancing?” Well, Mrs Debbie Downer, maybe it’s because freelancing can be awesome if you’re making a lot of money from it and have a great work/life balance.

3)Temp Work- I have my qualms about temp agencies but it can be a great way to just fill in the gaps in income. Depending on the agency and your specialty you can work project to project or day to day. The company I work for uses temp agencies exclusively for our receptionist and admin positions. Even though the business relationship is, well, “temporary” that’s something that can go both ways. You don’t have to stay or even give notice if you have a better opportunity come your way.

4. Trade work or apprenticeship- there are sooooo many great jobs out there. And they are not all white collar jobs. I once knew a guy who worked for as an HVAC Technician. He worked with his hands on refrigerators and air conditioner systems. You know, fixing them and installing them for businesses. He had his truck and would work only like 40 hours a week. He was protected through a union and made $35 dollars an hour plus overtime! I’ve also seen electricians make $100k a year. And guess what, these blue collar jobs are in high demand mainly because a majority of our population decided they wanted to go to college and pursue white collar jobs. So now he can move from company to company looking for a new job, negotiate his earnings or work conditions because he’s a hot commodity worker!

5)Creative/Social media work-Social media has created such an incredible industry. Thousands of people are making money online with social media. What used to be a way to just connect with people is now a major business model as “Influencers” and “Bloggers” make their money selling their social media posts to sponsors as advertisements. Now having 10K or 50K worth of friends or followers can mean some major dollars. It doesn’t even have to be from an aesthetic standpoint of being an instagram model or twitter/YouTube celebrity. There are artists, scientists, dancers DIYers, etc. sharing their passions and building sponsorships and making great income.

For these alternative career paths, the key is to start early and just stick with it. Like any individual trying to build their own business, consistency is KING! I wouldn’t expect blogging or social media work to pay out initially but long term, the sky is literally the limit. There are bloggers and Influencers making $100k a month! And you don’t have to jump feet first, you can make any of these options a side hustle or part time work until you’re comfortable going all in.

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Motivational Book Club: The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck By Mark Manson

Motivational Book Club: The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck By Mark Manson.

I forget where I heard of this book before. Maybe it was last year but it was a recommended book about thinking outside the box. I’m always perusing through the self help section on Amazon so I decided to pick this one up. This is a book recommendation for those who are feeling stuck or unmotivated. This became a best book to read in 2016/2017 when it became a NY Times Best Seller.

Some background on the author, Mark Manson is a guy who made a living during the recession blogging, mainly about relationships, life and everything in between. He amassed a huge following and wrote a book that became a best seller. My life goal in a nutshell.

I read it front to back and would over the course of 3-4 days and it’s definitely a great book to read for anyone that needs a different perspective on things.

Mark describes himself as unreflective, unaware and an asshole but, through the his blog and life experience, has become successful from just not caring. I initially thought this would be an introduction on how to be a person who gets what they want from doing what they want without regards to others but, thankfully, it’s much deeper than that.

He takes you on a journey, through his own and other well researched stories, about how we tend to create values and box ourselves in with those values. “Not Giving A F*ck” is basically about questioning those values and the importance they should have in your life. He implores us to ask how we obtained those values and whether they are values we should hold ourselves accountable for. There are “shitty values” that most people have and “healthy values” that help us in life to be better people.

I loved how he encouraged us to find meaning in our lives and think introspectively  and become conscious of our self awareness.

This is not a book on how to be more successful or how to get more out of life. It’s about thinking about the life you already have and questioning your values and meaning. I thought it was great for people like me that tend to overthink things. There was a section that discussed the benefits of just being content with what’s in front of you. So many people are constantly reaching, not able to enjoy what’s right here and right now. The most insightful part was about “Not Being Special,” and that is was OK to not be special. Constantly needing outside affirmation that you’re special is a recipe for discontent and unhappiness. Manson seems to find the solution to letting go and how to be happy.

My favorite quotes were:

“Improvement at anything is based on thousands of tiny failures, and the magnitude of your success is based on how many times you’ve failed at something”

This was part of the Failure/Success Paradox chapter that basically reaffirmed that you can never be successful unless you fail a significant amount at something. With each failure you learn, and that brings you to success.

“Life is about not knowing and then doing something anyway. All of life is like this. It never changes.”

This was part of the Do Something Principle. Sometimes we’re just so afraid of failing, we do nothing. Well, doing something is better than nothing.  Or we start something, get discouraged, and do nothing before we reach success.  I can definitely relate to that.

This book suggestion is perfect for people who either think too much, are not introspective  or lack control in their lives.

If you’ve read this book and like this motivational book review, feel free to add to the discussion in the comments.

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