How To Make A Change in Your Life

Hand flip wooden cube with word "change" to "chance", Personal development and career growth or change yourself concept

I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately. There’s a lot of change I want to bring into my life.

I know so many other people who want to make changes in their life but can’t. I know people who are afraid of change and avoid it at all costs.

But why not just embrace change? I’ve realized that change is inevitable and something we can’t always control. Sometimes I’m sitting in my room thinking about the day my parents get too old to visit me or if me and K ever get sickly and one of us have to stay home full-time. I think about our retirement and whether we’ll have enough. I think about my daughter and that in 13 years she’ll be off to college.

Some of these are good changes and some of them are bad, but the reality is that some or ALL of these changes will happen at some point.

Right now I’m not so happy with how things are going. I have enough money now but not enough TIME. I’m always clawing for more time, with my husband, my daughter, our family, and for myself. I’m working or doing chores at home. Working a 40hr week plus commuting 12-15 hours a week plus a child plus a husband is a LOT. I’m trying to move away from that and maybe use this blog as an outlet to make that happen.

I’m ready to make a CHANGE.

I could be unhappy and take it out on the people around me. Kind of play the blame game. So many people do that when they feel helpless in their situation but that’s not the type of change you really want to make in your life. See, blaming others for changes that are or aren’t happening in your life makes you lose your sense of responsibility over yourself. It puts you in the hands of someone else to fix your problems. Almost all problems can be fixed by taking ownership of your problems, making a long-term plan to fix the problem, and then following through with action.

“If you always do what you did, you’ll always get what you’ve got.”

I heard this quote somewhere and it struck a cord with me.

Sometimes you have to do something different to get the result you want.

I have a handful of friend that are still doing to same things they used to do in their early 20s but are bemoaning that they can’t find a good guy. I’m sorry, if you sleep with a guy on the 1st or 2nd date and that hasn’t really worked for you in 5 years, shouldn’t it be time to, I don’t know, change things up? Maybe you can go with a different persona than fun, carefree and sexy girl, since that’s not getting the strong, serious and responsible guy you’re looking for.

Or the friend that complains that they don’t have the career they deserve yet, and no opportunities. Meanwhile, they spent their younger years high as hell, partying and having fun.

We all reap what we sow. We shouldn’t rely on chance or luck to get us what we want in life. The life we want can only come through conscious change.

My sister S loves to live in the past. She’s all about growth and finding herself so she looks to the past to understand herself and see what could be in her future. She said her biggest issues stem from her childhood, she doesn’t feel she got the right support from our parents.

I was like, “how does that help you change your life, by knowing that?”

She replied, it helps her to make good choices now and when she acts out, she can understand where it’s coming from.

I don’t know…it didn’t seem like she could really make a change in her life with that way of thinking. Yes, she understood what was holding her back but she wasn’t able to move past it.

Looking at the past is only half the story. You also have to look to the future too to make real change in your life.

People hate thinking about the future, it gives them so many bad thoughts about failure, shortcomings, mortality. But the future is HOPE, a part of your life that has not been written. It’s a part of your life that you can still alter and make right. So to make a real change in your life you need to look at the future too.

You need to envision the future you want and then stitch together how that’s going to happen.

Example: P wants to be able to move out of her parents house, they don’t have money to assist her, and she doesn’t have enough savings yet to make the move. P does have a job, summer is around the corner and she’s about to get more hours at the restaurant she waits at. P wants to move closer to the city so she can start a new career in fashion and meet the love of her life.

Scenario 1) P spends her whole summer hanging out with friends, going to the beach and enjoying herself. She could have picked up a few more shifts but decided she’d rather just take it easy this summer and have fun. She’s been talking to her parents about helping her move but together they still don’t have enough to make it happen.

Scenario 2) P sits down and thinks it over. She thinks about what she needs to do to make what she wants to happen.  First she’ll need money.  She’ll need to go out less and maybe take on a few extra shifts at work.  She also needs to find a roommate.  Sharing housing costs will make it easier to financially afford the move..  She thinks about all her friends who would need a roommate.  So she puts up a post on FB and finds an old friend that lives in the area that she wants to live in.  There’s going to be a spare room opening up in 2 months.  The deadline is tight but this gives P a goal.  After 2 months of grinding and saving, she’s able to put 95% of what she needs away.  Her parents, seeing her work so hard to meet her goal, decide to help her make the 5% difference so she can move.

Planning ahead and putting together steps to make positive change takes discipline.  And there will always be that voice in your head that says, “What if I can’t do this?”  A small seed of doubt.  My advice is to trust your gut on what steps you’ll need in your future.  You’ll never be able to predict the outcome of your choices or the changes you’ll make, but an educated guess is better than no change or action at all.

There are people who wait in life for luck to happen to them and there are those who take a stab in the dark, make things happen, and make their own luck.  It’s through change we’re able to do that.  Which person are you?

Feel free to like, comment, share and follow if you thought this post was useful.

Check Out My Other Posts:

The Power Of Change

The Power Of Positivity

On Gratitude…

Be Charismatic By Mastering Small Talk

 

 

Just Touching Base: Polls & Patrons

I wanted to get a little bit of feedback on what I’ve been writing. Here’ a quick poll for you guys to give your feedback on what you like to read.  Please take a moment to vote!  Thanks!

 

Patreon

Hi Everyone,

5\ months in and it’s been a crazy journey.  I just wanted to say thank you for following me and reading my content.  This blog has been such a blessing for me and an amazing way for me to get my message across.

Though not mandatory whatsoever, I’d like to ask my readers to be a Patron through Patreon to support my writing and support my message. You can donate as little as $1 and help keep this blog alive and running.

I’ve written 53 posts and have made some personal investments to my blog including stock photos, hosting and operational costs.

Thank you for reading this!

Alex

Become a Patron

Women at Work: I’m Sorry, We Haven’t Come That Far.

Business people discussing document in office

When I started working and building my career in real estate, hell, even when I was in college, there was always this talk about women pushing their careers and fighting for equality in the workplace. There were women’s groups and women’s networking events to help us get our foot in the door.

I envisioned myself being seen as a capable, smart and reliable professional.  I would be able to prove myself and be respected in the field of my choice.

Now, nearly 10 years later, it’s time to talk about the reality.

Statistics about women at work

  • More women are graduating college than ever. Now more women than men.
  • 47% of the US workforce are women.
  • Women are not well represented at the executive level of business.

On one hand, I think women dominate in roles that fit the qualities of a “stereotypical woman,” such as caretaker, support staff, beauty and talent positions. This is why women are seen in roles such as: secretary, teachers, beauty bloggers, nurses, paralegal, and fashion assistants in an overwhelmingly disproportionate amount to men.

But does that result in equality? When we are given a majority of supporting roles? We’re still not the decision makers or shot callers in a majority of these industries.

But, what about jobs that are equally men/women or dominantly men?

From my own experience, we’re not faring so well.  I work in real estate and it’s a mans world out here.

Yet, when I was told at my job that a man would take the position of manager, a position I was never even considered for, I was relieved.  Let it not be a woman, I thought.

My previous manager was a woman and if you haven’t had a chance to read all the horrible things she did to me and put me through, you can do so through my post, I Survived A Toxic Manager.

I felt that way because, throughout my whole career in Real Estate, I’ve rarely had another women help me.  I’ve also never felt like I was in a position to help other women, though I still tried.  I don’t know why but there was always this underlying level of competition with other women.  A type of, “If I’m not on top, then she’ll be” mentality.

And that’s kind of how we differ from men. Men are capable of building camaraderie upon meeting each other.  They help eachother out.  They see other men in the workplace and see opportunity rather than competition.

My she-devil manager used to make all types of requests to Upper Management. “Let’s get an extra pair of keys,” “Let’s get an intern for summer season,” “Let’s get a shred-box so client information will be better protected.”  Nope. Never happened under her.  But as soon as my male manager made the same requests to our male directors, it was like “why didn’t we think of this sooner, done.”  It was like night and day, how the two managers worked.

She would come up with detailed, fact based reports for her suggestions, Upper Management would usually critique the work or diminish it with other reports they had access to.  My male manager slaps together a report with half the effort, no one says a word.

In some ways I understood why my previous manager was so horrible. She had to develop a really callous attitude in order to get as far as she did.

But how much farther would women get if we supported each-other? When she left I asked her to recommend me for one of the opening positions. She replied, “I’ve just never seen you in that type of role.”  Not even a NO, just some type of passive comment to absolve her of why she couldn’t recommend me.

C’mon, as women we can do better.

Don’t believe me? The same story played out in public between two female Rappers. Rap and hip hop in general is a male dominated genre.

The brawl that recently happened between Nicki Minaj and Cardi B occurred over perceived slights from Nicki trying to keep Cardi out of opportunities. I know, I know, the whole story is absolutely ridiculous.  But think about it…if women at the top of a male dominated industry are pushing each other down in public, what are women doing to each other in private, behind closed doors?

We really need to do better.

Men are generally automatically assumed to be capable. Women need to prove it.

When we hired our Intern, A, our receptionist, B, had just gotten her real estate license. All she needed was to be sponsored by a brokerage and she could start showing apartments.

I mentioned the possibility of our company sponsoring B to my Asst. Director, she brought it up to her male superiors, who passed.  There just wasn’t a position available. (A position would eventually open up later, but it was quickly filled by another male “admin” who could show apartments).

In the meantime, our new male manager F was allowing our male intern A to tour his clients unlicensed.

I wish I could do more for B, it’s essentially just as much of a dead-end job for her as it is for me, but we need our receptionist. F could really care less if she grows professionally, he needs her in her current role.

It’s messed up because I’m not in a place to make a difference in her career, though I’d like to, and the person who is doesn’t care.

I watched the match where Serena Williams was yelling at the umpire. It’s crazy that the match ended over that and she lost for confronting what she thought was an unfair call. Men in tennis have admitted they have done worst in matches with no reprimand. Shit like that gets me. Like if Serena Williams, an all time great of tennis, can’t get equal treatment on the courts, how can any of us ordinary folk even stand a chance? Apparently bad behavior from male tennis players isn’t as serious as female tennis players.

There’s no doubt that women are still falling behind in treatment in the workplace. But I wish we could change:

1. The fact that women are against each other in environments where we need to stick together and lift each other up.

2. That women aren’t being treated as capable or assumed as capable as men.

3. Women are being penalized for infractions at work or in sports that men aren’t penalized for. (Ex, Joe can take 3 cigarettes breaks while Mary gets scolded if she’s more than 10 minutes late.)

We’d like to think that women have gone farther than this or even that $.90 for every $1.00 is worth more than it is. But it’s not. I encourage everyone reading to think about their own assumptions at the workplace. Enough people making preferences about their gender or opposite gender can create an environment of sexism at work. It’s never just one person.  So I my recommendation is start with change of mind and change of thought to keep sexist assumptions and behavior out of the workplace.

Feel free to like share and comment below if you like this post.

Office Politics: Win At The Workplace

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Stand Up For Yourself, Even When You Have Everything To Lose

Motivational Book Club: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

1-IMG_4199.jpg

It’s been a while since I’ve written a motivational book review post. But this is a meaty book with lots of knowledge and information. I initially thought it would be another “how to be successful” type book but surprisingly it wasn’t. It’s more like how to be successful in all aspects of your life.

Stephen Covey is a motivational business man, life coach, relationship coach and a lot of other things. His book focuses not on his own successes but on carefully curated stories about others that tie into 7 Habits.

I will admit, it’s a very meaty book that requires your full attention. It’s highly conceptual so bear with me.

He has 7 habits that will help you take your life from mediocre and without vision or direction, to a life that has purpose, intention and success.

Habit 1: Be Proactive

This is mainly about how to build your character and also make choices in your life. It’s pretty solid advice considering most people are living their lives in autopilot. He basically says build your character so you know what you stand for and what your strengths are, then get ahead of yourself and make choices in your life that matter.

Here he tells us to question our Paradigms: our assumptions about how the world works.

Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind

This was a bit confusing for me. All the stories and examples he gives can really make you lose focus on the message but I think I got the gist.

Covey suggests to create a personal mission statement and think hard and long about who we are and what we stand for. Through this we’ll be able to act through our principles, that we chose for ourselves, and make sound decisions. Most people make decisions based on motivations from friends, family, financial, selfish, professions and other influences. Having a set of principles that you carved for yourself and built will allow you to be consistent and make better decisions long-term.

There is also an exercise called “visualization and affirmation” that helps you to really dig into yourself, visualize the behavior in yourself you want to change, then create an affirmation you can use to remind yourself to follow the vision.

Habit 3: Put First things First

Covey makes it clear you must master Habit 1 & 2 before you can get to 3.

It’s mainly about time management. Truly efficient people know how to time manage. He recommends focusing your time on things that are important but not urgent towards your growth/business. This is the area that’s most ignored by pressing but not urgent matters. And this is the area that’s going to result in the biggest impact.

Also learning how to say no is a must. Because we all have the same hours in a day and limited time, saying no to one thing means saying yes to something else.

Covey recommends planning to do lists on a weekly basis. It forces you to prioritize and focus on your long-term vision.

He also touches on the power of delegation. True delegation, giving fundamental instructions but not micromanaging.

Part 4: Public Victory

Covey Starts off talking about dealing with people. Essentially you want to act towards others with integrity and honesty. Because with every moment that you prove your character, it’s more likely to pay off when you really need it.

He reminds you that building relationships take time. Never go for the quick fix, that doesn’t work.

The things that will help you build your relationship:

1. Understanding people

2. Small acts of kindness

3. Keeping Commitments

4. Clarifying Expectations

5. Showing Personal Integrity

Covey discusses the importance of interdependence, the idea that you can be independent but also that you need other people and they need you. A type of Win/win scenario

Habit 5: Seek to Understand, Then Seek to be Understood.

Empathy is an absolute must. You need to put yourself in the shoes of others. Often we want to be understood first, rather than take the effort to understand others.

Empathy is actually a personal strength of mine, so I found this chapter to be very obvious but I definitely would recommend this section for people who struggle with connecting or understanding people so to be persuasive.

“If you really seek to understand, without hypocrisy and without guile, there will be times when you will be literally stunned with the pure knowledge and understanding that will flow to you from another human being.”

Then Covey discusses “how” to be understood. You have to explain your point of view though other people’s perceptions. And you can only do that once you understand other people.

What??

It’s actually quite brilliant and efficient. So the empathy portion is vital to being persuasive and getting your point across..

Another way to build open communication is to really invest time in the people in your circle of influence, like your family, friends and coworkers. If you’re nice to them, they’ll be nice to you.

Habit 6: Synergize

This is a shorter chapter but he goes over making using habits 1-5 all together and watching the success that follows.

Covey follows the idea that using all the habits together is more powerful than the sum of each part. Is damn incredible! He says.

Using habits 1-5 require you to be courageous, authentic, and true. Which can be uncomfortable but growth never came from comfort.

Synergize isn’t about just compromising.  Compromising means that both people get part of what they want but not all.  Synergize is about coming up with solutions that please everyone, so that no one feels like they are getting the short end of the stick.

Habit 7: Sharpen The Saw

Covey starts this chapter about a man sawing down the tree.  The conversation reveals that, he had been going at the tree for 5 hours.  It’s suggested he should take a break and sharpen the saw, a sharper saw will make him more efficient.  The man replies that he doesn’t have enough time!

This chapter is about taking a break sometimes.  We all like to be efficient and productive but not giving ourselves rest is a recipe for disaster.

But specifically we need to rest so we can achieve a balanced life in the areas of spiritual, mental, social, and physical activities.

 

This is quite a hefty book, though I’m glad I read it.  It kind of confirmed a lot of things I thought about life and made it easy to understand why character and integrity, though not obviously important, are essential for any successful person.

This book is a must read for those who are still figuring their way out of life.  It kind of puts things into perspective and allows you to dig deep inside of yourself to find the answers that will change YOUR life.

If you’ve read this book, feel free to tell me more about what you think!

Check out my other motivational book posts here:

Motivational Book Club: The Defining Decade: Why Your 20s Matter, by Meg Jay

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

Motivational Book Club: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

I’ve included a few places for links above to purchase the book if you’re interested.

 

What is Love?

Kissing couple in love

It’s the question I’ve been trying to answer since I can remember. I’m kinda drawn to these kind thoughts, to explore a concept as complex as love and understand it at its core.

Merriam-Webster defines love as: strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.

But love, especially true romantic love is hard to grasp or even conceptualize. Is it like Jesus, a belief that comes from faith? How do we know love is real? How can we show our loved ones that we really DO love them?

I’m not just talking about romantic love, love can be experienced in a multitude of relationships including friendship and family relations.

So to help me understand this “emotion” and feeling, I’ve grouped love into 3 distinct categories that I’ve noticed in my life and in the lives of friends and family of how we experience the idea of “Love.”

False love

I had a friend that had a boyfriend every three months. Her relationships tended to be intense, full of hand holding, kissing, snuggling, and gifts.  I admit, younger me was very jealous. If only someone can love me like that.

But the thing was, that the love never lasted. Eventually there would be some irreconcilable flaw that caused her to break up with her boyfriends. Infatuation tends to look like this, that’s why it’s a false love. You’re kind of chasing an ideal. The person you’re dating initially seems to fit the ideal, they seem to fit what your ego says is a good partner. But people rarely are so two-dimensional. Eventually a persons flaws and shortcomings come together and cause the infatuation to end. And that’s when this type tends to “fall out of love.”

Then there are the people who are missing something desperately in their lives. Sometimes, they just didn’t get the kind of love they wanted from their parents or went through a breakup that broke them. There’s a lot of self-love that’s still needed for these people. As a result, their relationships are kind of on autopilot, without much thought.

We all know that one person that dates people to fill up their time. One date leads to another, then another. Suddenly, they are boyfriend and girlfriend. Months pass, even years but this couple has fallen into a routine of just filling each-others voids without really knowing or loving each other. Brunch on Sundays, Friday dinner dates with their phones, and silence in between.  Love is almost assumed and expected to be part of these relationships but whether love is truly felt is a different story.

You’d be surprised at how long these types of relationships can last. Relationships that are, in essence, toxic and mediocre. Comfort can be a strong substitute for love.

Conditional love, flawed love, broken love

Sometimes two people really love each other. It’s not just infatuation. They get to know each other and appreciate each other. They sacrifice and give for each other and appreciate the time they spend together. This is love! But how is this not perfect pure love?

The issue is, despite all that, there are strings attached to that love, there are roadblocks and obstacles, and there are indiscretions.

So it can’t be perfect.

A LOT of relationships fall in this category. Over time, life tends to bang us up, we get hurt and we start to put up walls that keep us from truly loving our partners.

I would describe my marriage as one of those conditional relationships. I absolutely adore K, for everything that he does for us and for his strengths. But would I still love him the same if for whatever reason, he couldn’t provide for our family? If he wasn’t able to be the person he’s always been?

If I had to be honest with myself, probably not. It would be a challenge.

At least I recognize this in myself and I’m working on trying to be more understanding, giving and flexible.

Sometimes two people get together and they are SO different from each other. It’s amazing at first but it also causes misunderstandings and difficulties. Maybe they love spending time together and love each other for who they are and their background but its hard to communicate. The constant fighting in between due to differences can take its toll. This love is flawed because the communication isn’t there. These types of relationships need constant work.

Imagine two people. Aaron and Kim. Aaron’s love language is physical touch. He likes to cuddle, kiss and all that. That’s how he expresses his love and how he expects love in return. Kim, likes acts of love. She thinks it’s amazing when Aaron gets her soup when she’s sick, or when he helps her around the house when she’s overwhelmed. They might love each other but if they can’t express that love in a way that works for the other partner, there will always be discord and difficulty in the relationship.

Your relationship can be perfect. You can be happy and truly appreciate your partner and what they bring to the table. You can communicate perfectly and understand each other. Life is good. But then someone makes a mistake. They cheat either emotionally or physically. Skeletons might reveal themselves from the closets. Financial indiscretions. What do you do? You love this person, their perfect for you and you can’t imagine life without them. But these problems are breaking the love you have for them and it’s becoming clear that these hurdles and trust issues will ALWAYS need to be worked on.

Broken love is the hardest, because it really requires you to look beyond the obstacle and forgive/accept your partner.  Not everyone can do that.  Not everyone can forgive their partner if they cheat or reveal they have a shopping addiction they’ve hid for 3 years that’s causing debt.  It’s hard.

All of these types of relationships aren’t 100% bad but they’re not 100% good either. I do believe that these problems can be fixed with time, honesty, and commitment towards a better relationship.

It takes so much personal growth to be able to accomplish a relationship based on pure true love. So in a way, these relationships are good since they can help us grow in that direction by forcing us to overcome difficulty.

True pure love

Is the hardest to attain and maintain. The best way to describe it is Love without boundaries. Like the paternal or maternal love for a child. You accept the person 100% for who they are and care for them without expectation.

Very few relationships, be it friendships, partners or even family, can reach this level of love.

It requires that you put your ego aside, at times get less than you give, and be selfless, honest and genuine.

I think it’s the type of love I feel for my daughter, and my parents for me. Unconditional, unwavering and free.

The truth is, not all relationships can maintain this type of love nor should they.

We should aspire for it though, as hard as it is to attain, because this kind of love makes us better.

I wish I had more to say about true pure love other than it’s special and work pursuing.  Unfortunately, the world doesn’t make that easy for anyone to pursue or achieve.  I’ve seen false love ad broken love break people’s trust so that their no longer open to a REAL relationship.

I wish you all the best in love.  In love we want to win but only when we’re willing to lose can we truly attain the type of love we desire.

Other Posts:

Why Dating Culture Doesn’t Work Towards Marriage

My Favorite Dating Book: Why Men Love Bitches

Dating in Your 30s vs Dating In Your 20s

Hello World :) August Stats

I’ve been blogging for 4 months!!! Wowzers.

August had to be my most successful month in terms of visitors and views.  Again, I want to thank all my visitors and readers for returning this month.  You guys keep me motivated and keep me wanting to write more.

There has been more engaging with my posts which I encourage! I want to know what you think and have you guys send me your thoughts.  I’ve also had some negative comments which I don’t mind either, it actually helps stir the pot and add some flavor to the conversation.  Why I took the risk and quit law school is on Medium and someone told me I was being ridiculous with my post and that I didn’t deserve what I have now and that my life was just plain luck.  I didn’t know what I’m talking about.

We’ll, trolls will be trolls but I made sure to leave a sharp but true reply back that HE didn’t know what he was talking about.  It ended up getting more support from other people on Medium so I guess bad publicity is good publicity?

But overall August was a good month!

And September will be better!

This upcoming month I plan on making some changes including adding a page that has the table of contents for the EVERY SINGLE POST I’ve done so far.  And that’s about 50 posts!

This month I’ve increased to 46 new WordPress followers, 169 Medium followers, 11 email subscribers, 25 likes on my Facebook Page, and 17 Quora Followers.

It’s been incredible!

So where am I?

August

I’ve more than tripled my views since I’ve started in May.  1314 views and 1089 visitors!  I’ve also broke this most views in a day record!  On August 2nd I hit 75 views.  That’s insane!  I couldn’t be happier with the response I’ve been getting for my posts.  Your readership means everything to me.

I did change my marketing strategy.  I moved some money and resources around to promote my blog.  I’m not spending more, just spending smarter.  When you realize a marketing source isn’t working for you anymore, the best thing to do is change it up.  My change in investment really made a difference the month and was overall a better ROI than what I was doing previously.

The Top Five Articles For This Month Were:

  1. Blood Is Thicker Than Water: The Power Of Family
  2. Work Smarter, Not Harder
  3. My Best Friend Ghosted Me
  4. Motivational Book Club: The Defining Decade: Why Your 20s Matter, by Meg Jay
  5. How Did That B*tch Get Rich?

This month there was incredible growth on WordPress with 27 likes and 8 new followers.  I want to encourage everyone to follow and like!  I follow and like back.

August was a hard month in terms of motivation.   I actually went away on vacation for a week, I went to Disney World with my daughter and family.  I had to squeeze 2 posts in while I was away, but I did it.  I also had a moment of negativity.  Despite having the best month ever, I was feeling down because I’m still so far from making my dream a reality: which is to write full time.

I’ve put so many hours into this blog and it’s still not 100% where I feel it should be in terms of quality posts and aesthetics.  But I can only do so much while I’m also working a 40 hour work week and taking care of my family.  Which is a silly type of thought to have because I’ve ONLY been writing for 4 months.  How successful do I expect it to be?

But the fact is that my readership already says that this blog is on the right track, as long as you guys keep reading and sharing my work, there’s opportunity for me to take this full time and make this better.

So I’m asking you, all you readers if you enjoy this blog, please become a Patron through Patreon.  You can donate as little as $1.  But it would mean so much for me and help me support this blog and keep it going!

Today I also wanted to share my viewership stats:

August countries

My traffic is mainly US, which is where I’m from so that makes sense.  But it’s nice to know that other people from other countries still find my writing relate-able. Hello Canada, India, United Kingdom, and Poland!  Thanks for viewing!

Feel free to reach out to me here or comment below!

I’m interested to hear from you.

Read the rest of the series and see how far I’ve come!

Hello World 🙂 May Statistics

Hello World 🙂 June ’18 Statistics

Hello World 🙂 July Statistics!

 

 

Office Politics: Win At The Workplace

Business people with hidden motives, hypocrisy concept

When I started my new position, I really didn’t know what I was in for. Really! I had been working independently as a real estate agent and basically could make my own rules about my business. I was so excited to start my new opportunity, it was more money, more benefits and a better schedule. Previously I would be working evenings or even going days between clients.

But the thing about working independently is that there is very little office politics! Almost none! It was glorious. I didn’t have to ask for too much permission and as long as I worked within the brokerage’s rules and made money, no one bothered me.

So moving to an organization that had 500+ employees and too many departments, I quickly realized that I was in over my head when it came to office politics. So much red tape, so much bureaucracy.  I couldn’t make a decision without the person ahead of me giving the go ahead. I didn’t know who could get me the things I needed for my role and I certainly didn’t know how to use politics to get ahead. At the time I felt like I knew so much about my industry and my job. I could do this job and shine like any role I had.

Nope. I was not prepared for the level of politics that the position required.  I didn’t know how to create boundaries between me and my superiors when I felt like my toes were being stepped on.  I didn’t know how to make sure I would get credit for the work I was doing.  I didn’t now how to be my own advocate.

And it cost me. When the time came for promotions to be considered, I wasn’t even up on the table. It wasn’t until after the role had been hired was my value as an employee recognized.

Maybe it’s me.  Maybe I don’t care enough about the office politics, but in ways it cost me.

If you’re going to do extra work to be noticed, the politics game is a must.  Otherwise why go above and beyond and not get the right credit?

Here are some lessons I learned to get you recognized and make sure you are known, respected and valued.

Makes sure to understand everyone’s role and scope of work.

The workplace is treacherous and one of the first lessons you learn is how not to step on people’s toes. When you make assumptions or take on someone else’s role, even unwittingly, you can make people upset. Don’t be like my colleague John who assumes we can just give away free rent, when it’s only billing that can apply those kind of charges. Now John has to smooth things over with billing to get them to offer something he wasn’t supposed to offer.

I like to make a chart to remember what everybody does. There’s Lisa in Billing that handles all the funds from clients. There’s Nicole in Renewals that returns the security deposit.  I should reach out to Eric in Treasury when we receive wires. All of these people work with issues related to money and funds. But imagine how annoyed these people would be if I referred client’s to them for the wrong issues or if I gave out wrong information related to their roles, and they needed to clean the mess?

We have numerous departments and roles in my company.  You have to reach out to person X if you need help with Y or person B if you need help with A.

Knowing people’s roles and functions can help you build relationships in the workplace and become a more efficient employee.

When you take part in a project make sure you are named as a collaborator

The only person looking out for you is you.

Rule #1. Just because you’re chummy with your coworker doesn’t mean they will give you the recognition you deserve. Unless you can see every email they send and attend every meeting they go to, then you can’t know.

The only way you can be sure to be getting the credit for the work you do is to make it VERY clear you were included.

That’s by making sending emails and making a statement. It can be as simple as:

“Hi Dom, I just wanted to let you know that person X allowed me to be part of this project and I did A, B, and C.  I really enjoyed taking part in this exercise.  Let me know if there are any more projects like this, I’d love to take part!”

It’s just about putting your foot in the door and letting the people who are decision-makers know what you’re capable of doing and that you are open to more.

Make nice and be a team player

This one is the easiest.  Don’t try to play politics by throwing other people under the bus.  First, it’s not nice, and second, you never know when it’ll backfire.

My new manager N had sent an email crudely critiquing one of the marketing strategies.  He had sent it to our Director who didn’t really even bother reading it so forwarded it to the Marketing Director.  Well, N got a scathing email back from the Marketing Director basically telling him he has no idea what he’s talking about.  Apparently N didn’t expect his email to get around.

You never know when you’ll need another person’s help in an organization.  So why burn bridges?  What you need to do is build connections so that when you need a favor, it’s there for you.

N has already burned bridges with our Assistant Director, Marketing Director and Renewals Manager.

Being nice doesn’t have to mean you’re a doormat, it just helps keep you from being on other peoples shit-list.

Attend the company events

Everyone goest to the summer outing and the holiday party.  They’re a great time to unwind, relax and kind of commiserate with your colleagues.

It’s also an opportunity to bump shoulders with your higher ups and pick their brains.  We have different offices in the company, so it’s also a way for me to actually meet people I’ve never seen but have emailed with a billion times over for projects.

Overall, it’s a great way to show face and make sure the right people can put the correct face to your name when talking about accomplishments and performance.

Work the numbers

Every job has it’s own metrics in terms of measuring an employee’s level of performance.

This was the hardest for me to learn.  I figured if I just did my work the numbers would reflect my efforts.  I really didn’t even take time to learn EXACTLY how my performance was being measured.

The result?   My performance was not being completely represented by the numbers.

Upper Management doesn’t care about getting to know each and every individual employee.  Or working on their strengths and weaknesses.  They SAY they want to do that.  Upper Management is made up of people, who, at the end of the day, want to just get the job done and done quickly.  In order to consider individual performance, at my company, metrics are KING.

Whether the numbers and metrics are right 100% depends on you and making sure you’re getting the credit for the work you do and being recognized.

Some people go as far as working the numbers in such a way that it starts to be very little work to look high performance.  Those people know how to PLAY THE GAME.

Get other people to say good things about you

My Asst. Director is good at this.  Almost shameless about it too.  She MUST get credit for her contribution at work.  She kind of needs it since she struggles to grasp the entire scope of her work.

She will straight up ask people to mention her contributions in meetings, while mentioning all the times she talked you up to the higher ups and stoking your ego.  She’s asked me! I don’t mind saying good things about other people because that just means you’re in alliance and they’re more likely to say good things about you.

You also want your work to be so good that other departments will know you and mention that you do “good work” or that you’re “very knowledgeable.”

It’s through the mouths of other people that you build a reputation, whether it be good or bad.

Brag and get credit for your accomplishments

This is kind of like getting other people to say good things about you except it’s just you saying good things about yourself.

I used to think that talking yourself up and bragging was in bad taste in the workplace but over time it’s become more normal for me.

Work is just too busy!  Who’s going to really remember who did what, who set what record, what your most recent accomplishment was, other than you?  It’s your job to make it known and to advocate for yourself.   No one’s going to do it for you.

Even more, if you stay quiet about your accomplishments and people notice, it might be mistaken for a lack of confidence rather than humbleness.

I hope this article helps you find the confidence to make sure your contributions to your company are noticed.  These were hard lessons for me but I hope they help you along your way to success.

Feel free to read my other posts:

Top 6 Ways To Maintain A Work Life Balance When Your Job Is Stressing You Out

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Organize Your Mind: How To Be More Productive With Your Day

Why Dating Culture Doesn’t Work Towards Marriage

Double exposure of a young couple enjoying sunset on beach

I’m going to share my unpopular opinion. The opinion that’s going to leave some of you shaking your head saying, “she really had to go there.” I just can’t stay quiet about it anymore. Today’s dating world just doesn’t work towards marriage and all the dating advice that’s being thrown out there is just plain WRONG. It’s written by other single women who really just don’t know what men want or how to get what they want: marriage.

I’m not writing to the women who genuinely want to remain single and are happiest when alone. I’m writing this article for the women who have settled for the single life after years of dating but have always desired marriage.

Here are the reasons why engaging in today’s dating culture is not going to get you a ring.

1. Online dating is very limiting and takes a lot of time.

Let’s face it: good quality men are hard to find. We’re talking about family oriented, working men who are reasonably attractive. If there were an equal number of quality men to women, more women would be married. Right now there are millions of online profiles, these are nothing short of personal ads promoting oneself. Beautiful pictures and perfect profile blurbs. “Mr Right needs to know exactly what he must bring to the table vs what I bring along as Mrs Right.” The truth is that it’s very time consuming to look through all the profiles and respond to everyone or even go on all the dates with men who you find reasonable. Because of this and all the likes and attention online dating provides women, women are overestimating their value in the dating pool.  We think there are more eligible bachelors truly interested than there really are.  Not all men online are marriage minded or even looking for a relationship.  Many women are investing their time with wrong short term minded men, incompatible men or men who are not looking at women as a long term partner.  What we need to realize is that there will be many window shoppers but only one buyer.   If you set the expectation too high many will be curious as to what makes you a great value but won’t buy.  Set the bar too low and you’re overwhelmed with low quality options, while the best and highest quality match is searching elsewhere.  It’s about hitting that sweet spot.   I recommend dating people within your social circle or while you are at school.  Anywhere that will let you get a better read on someone’s reputation.

There’s also the issue of being catfished online, misled, and lied to.  Profiles are limiting and short with people putting only their best foot forward.  How do you get to the real person without investing a significant amount of time meeting people?  You can’t.

2. Hookup culture has gotten out of control.

I’m sorry, in 100 years we’ve gone from a culture that severely frowned upon premarital sex to a culture where sex is on the table before a 4th date. Where “we’re talking” has replaced “going steady,” and “Netflix and chill” is code for hang out and sex. It’s all good and fun in your 20s, but suddenly in your 30s you hear your dad in your head saying, “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.” At least my dad would tell me that.  And why should men want to invest their lives into women? They can just open Tinder, send out 50 messages and pick up a girl before the end of the day without ever getting out their seat. We’ve made it too easy and too cheap. Apparently we haven’t realized that too much of a good thing is bad, even sex. The truth is women have so much more to offer than just sex. We are kind, compassionate, warm, intelligent and much more. Yet women are selling themselves short with just sex, why?

3. We’ve stopped asking men what they want.

To me this is the saddest part of today’s culture. Men don’t matter. Many good men are silently backing out of the dating scene because they just aren’t being included in the conversation. They’d rather be alone. Yes, men are allowed to have preferences. They are allowed to have wants and needs. They are just as much willing participators in any relationship they choose to take part in.  But women don’t want to hear it, we assume we are the complete package as is, that there is no room for improvement. That’s wrong. Men want women who can be team players and not just put the brunt of the work on the man. If he is a high earner, he might want a wife who can care for him and his future children, keep a home, (gasp) cook a meal, and maintain their looks or at least try and age gracefully. He might want this because he works 100+ hours a week and needs someone to be his other half.  Of course there are compromises everyone must make in a relationship.  But how many compromises will any one person make?  You might find this to be anti feminist, backwards and even misogynistic, but why should women have preferences while men can’t? The status quo required by women are that men at least work and hold a job. Women would prefer men to be handsome and maybe tall. We’d like them to hold doors and be a gentleman. We gossip that we want men that are good lovers and masculine. So why shouldn’t men be allowed preferences? Aside from the men having a field day on Tinder, a lot of quality men are just not finding the kind of women they want, are tired of looking and are opting out. For them, it is better to be alone than to be unhappily married to women who don’t get it.

4. Women are waiting too long.

We’re told 30 is the new 20. That we can extent this dating phase past our teens and 20s and play the field into our 30s. Please stop with this jargon. That’s just not how female anatomy works, that phrase works for men, not for women. Because by 35, women have only a fraction of the fertility they would have had at 20. The issue is that many marriage minded men WANT children. Considering that it takes time to date and get to know someone, become engaged, plan a wedding and make a baby, many eligible men find it too impractical to date women in their thirties. From a a purely statistical standpoint, it would be easier to start dating a 25 year old and conceive at 30 than it would be to start dating a 30 year old and conceive at 35. Or even a 35 year old to conceive at 40.  Yes there are women who are conceiving at 40 but often it requires medical intervention to even conceive and is considered a riskier pregnancy.

Then there’s also the consideration that in your 20s there are more eligible men. When I was 20-26 I remember getting so much attention I just didn’t know what to do with it all. It was actually really flattering, but I always knew it wouldn’t stay.  Men were available in my age group and enough were unattached so I could find a partner easily. Men were just finishing college and starting jobs, if I had wanted someone more secure I could have also dated a little older. Getting interest wasn’t a big problem. At 29, I don’t really have that kind of attention, and I don’t miss it much. My job requires I put a lot of time and attention into my appearance but I’ll still never be prettier than I was at the age of 20-25. That’s just a reality. Nothing can quite take the place of youth. So why women aren’t searching for a partner seriously In those prime years is beyond me. These are your most beautiful, alluring, and innocently charming years! After 30 your age starts to show, the eligible bachelors have become jaded due to frustration or been scooped up, some are divorced with kids. And the hunt for a good quality man becomes more competitive because men your age are also looking at women 5-8 years your junior.

My issue is that the conversation that women are hearing from a young age is that:

1. Online dating makes it easier to meet people and find the “perfect” partner.

2. Hookup culture is OK, empowering and will get you what you want.

3. That preferences that men have for women don’t matter as much as the preferences women have for men

4. That we can extend women’s dating life for decades. From her teens to her 30s.

This is just all around bad advice. And I don’t say this from my lofty pedestal of being already married. I’m saying this for my sisters and my friends who followed the whims of popular opinion and were short changed because of it. I’m saying this for the men that are opting out of the dating scene with frustration because the women they wanted in their 20s were just playing the field and keeping them as “friends.”

I write this with the warmest intentions. I want everyone to live an intentional fulfilled life and part of that is making choices EARLY that are right for your future. Not all women want marriage but SO MANY women do and they want children, some just find they’ve missed their boat for the right opportunity.

I hope you found this post useful. I know I’m writing some opinions that might stir the pot. Feel free to comment below and join in on the conversation.

Status Update: I’m Still Not Vibing At Work

Stress at your job or feeling over worked concept.

Things have settled in my job quite a bit since I last posted about it.  I’m actually about to go on vacation which I 1000% deserve considering how hard I worked in April and May covering the whole office while people were leaving this company left and right.

And yes, I was showered with praise and gratitude during that time.  I showed what I was truly made of despite being undermined by my coworker.  But people in this company forget and now that things have settled down, all that gratitude is being eroded.

They had approved some time off for me WAYYYY before the whole transition of the previous manager leaving and the new one being hired.   Then they hired the new manager who required the same vacation time.  So now here we are in August about to leave the office in the hands of our Director and another property’s manager.

I take so many issues with the company I’m at now, with how they treat their employees. Last time I checked Paid Time Off was part of the benefits program and each employee was entitled to it.

My Director has the gall to tell me:

“You know, Our Director of Operations, really wanted you to cover those days your manager (N) had off.”  “I know we approved those days but your lucky we let you keep them.  Technically your time off is voluntary, it’s not a necessary part of running the business.”

I was like WTF is she telling me right now??? Am I slave?   This is crazy!  I can’t believe she said that to me.

I respond, “Well, this time was approved before the previous manager left.  I honestly don’t consider working 7 days straight and then having 5 days off a vacation.  Our vacations are well deserved, I especially since I worked very hard this year.”

She let it go after that.

You’re probably reading this right now like why the hell am I still at the company.  They obviously don’t respect their employees and would rather abuse them.  But it’s a good paying job, great benefits and a steady paycheck.  (shrugs).  A job is a job.

It doesn’t help that my new manager, N, doesn’t know how to navigate the whole political landscape that is part of the role.  In less than 3 months he’s got our marketing director, director and some of the other departments upset with his attitude towards their requests and the changes he wants made.  Apparently making changes that would be efficient would create work for other departments, which they HATE.

You see the corporate environment doesn’t care about your individual contribution.  Every single employee, except for ownership, is replaceable.  We are to produce more and more each year.  There’s no “rah, rah, hoorah!” for meeting last years quota in a bad market.

But you know from my previous posts that I know how to be an entrepreneur so that’s the hard part for me.  I KNOW things can be better.  I KNOW I don’t have to be treated like crap.  I KNOW I could start my own business tomorrow and in 5 years be somewhere with it.   And I am going to start a business, I’m going to start taking this writing thing and motivational shit seriously.  But right now I just need this paycheck and benefits before I get the ball rolling.

I honestly feel more uneasy about my career at this company than I every felt while working for myself.  I’m constantly reminded that things can change in an instant and the office life I got used to could be taken from me by the “powers that be.”  At least when I was self-employed I could rely mainly on myself.  I am probably the most reliable person I know.

So my Director spent the whole day talking about how she hated our new manager.  Then she went on to me and how she thought the old manager ‘walked all over me.”  She had repeated this in front of all my colleagues.  Those were her literal words.  It was rude and uncalled for, and definitely inappropriate.  I could tell she was just trying to get under my skin and find out how far SHE could push me.  I wish I could go to HR, but honestly I don’t trust HR.  The HR here does the BARE MINIMUM.

You’re only bitter because you’re a sad and lonely woman.  I feel sorry for you.  Now I wish I said that but I was like, let me keep my job today.  Please.  I need to pay off the remaining $25K of my student loans.  And I didn’t want to stoop to her level.  You know, karma and stuff.  Then she went on to brag about how she fired our weekend receptionist because she couldn’t print labels.

I think the best strategy when working with cocky, difficult and challenging bosses is just to keep it moving. We are so over worked at this company, no one even has to stand up to the bosses and make a case for themselves.  The level of manipulation here is so painful and obvious but it works.  Enough people are quiet.

I personally think a lot of work environments allow this type of toxic behavior.  Anywhere you have people vying for their own economic interests you’ll have people fighting dirty.

I also got to meet the manager of one of the other departments.  I never met someone so inauthentic.  I didn’t get good vibes. She’s covering while N and I are out of the office and she didn’t seem too thrilled with the task.

Looking at her, I realized I’ll never go up in value in this company.  They don’t value their employees and the people they bring in to manage…just can’t.  I don’t want to be part of a management team that uses threats and manipulation to keep their employees in line.  And as a result, I don’t want to be part of any management team because almost all corporate environments require a cut throat demeanor.

But there are still many people who don’t need to stoop so low or cut down their teams to  feel productive and feel important.  I’ve seen them.

Thats why I vowed to return to being an entrepreneur and help teach others how to be entrepreneurs.  Because at the end of the day no one is going to give it to you,  The only person who can get it is you.  The days of working for a company and being respected and treated with dignity are over.

Please check out my other posts:

  1. My Job is Killing Me….
  2. Never Believe The Propaganda, Create Your Own Purpose
  3. My Favorite Motivational Mantra
  4. Stand Up For Yourself, Even When You Have Everything To Lose

 

 

 

 

Top Lessons I learned In Business & As A Salesperson

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The first “Job” Job I ever had

When I was 21, I started an online distribution company on Amazon.  I was working for this shady distribution company acting as their “Purchasing Manager” for like $15 dollars an hour.  They wanted me to get contacts for brands like MAC cosmetics, designer fragrances, coach bags, and other high end accounts.  My role was to buy at wholesale then ship oversees where the product was scarce and make a huge markup at the other offices.  It was super shady because we were dealing with an international Singapore office and selling goods that were unauthorized by the brands in certain locations.  Basically dealing in a gray market.  Turns out the whole beauty distribution industry is super shady in this regard.  Rather than discount certain goods to the public, companies like MAC cosmetics or Proctor & Gamble will sell to third party distributors old and unsold products, who will then sell it again to online sellers, third party shops and overseas.  So all those Ebay and Amazon stores selling cosmetics and goods are not necessarily fake, but are likely old product that’s been cycled through different distributors.

 I eventually had a contact for MAC cosmetics and decided to be bold and use it for my own use and become an Amazon pro-seller.  The money was just calling me.  I couldn’t help but think if I start selling this stuff people would buy it.  This was my first experience working for myself and being an entrepreneur.   My online store  was for cosmetics and our main item for sale was MAC Cosmetics. You wouldn’t believe how popular MAC is online, we had this wholesaler who would sell it to us. (I swear it was authentic). That was literally the only thing we would sell. I sold 80k worth of it within the first year.

Well I guess we didn’t tip the wholesaler enough because he stiffed us on the product and wouldn’t sell to us any more.

All the other product out there to buy was pretty much garbage and not giving us a high enough profit margin to make the effort.

After that I closed the business but I learned a few good lessons about owning a business:

  1. Never go into business with a friend.
    1. It sounds fun at first but it’sa recipe for disaster. I had worked with her at the distribution company and it was a lot of fun.  I felt guilty for taking the contact and profiting on my own, when my best friend was sitting right next to me.  We had very different approaches to the business though.  She wanted to cash out too early so we were never able to reinvest or grow the company. If our orders were growing, it would have been more worthwhile for the supplier and he would have been less likely to drop us like that. We were unknowingly wasting his time by making him fill our small orders twice a month.
  2. Always tip the people who help you make money
    1. It’s just good karma and it good at relationship building. You won’t believe how good “You’ll scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” strategy works.  I was so stupid to not give a nice Christmas bonus, like it’s such an obvious thing to do. When when your young and trying to start a business with absolutely no money, every dollar counts, but the dollars you spend on the people who help you be successful are the most important to spend.
  3. Never rely on one source of income or client for your business.
    1. When the MAC supply ran dry so did our business. We never bothered to diversify. We could have done videos on makeup or promoted our own products. But we never got that far.
    2. I’ve also read about other people making this mistake like YouTubers and Insta Influencers using only one platform to make their connections.  This is obviously risky since you are not in charge of the overall platform and if they decide to shut you down because of a “policy violation,” well then you’re SOL.

Lessons I learned From Being A Salesperson

When I stopped doing what the other salespeople were doing that’s when it clicked and I started to do so much more business.  There are 10,000 licensed real estate salespeople in  NYC.  There are only so many rental and sales deals for all those agents.  The reality is that not everyone will be successful in this industry and many are living hand to mouth and deal to deal.

They say 5% of salespeople make 80% of deals. To be the top sales person you need to do things other people aren’t willing to do or are too lazy to do.

In real estate that meant doing a mailing list. Many agents were too preoccupied with finding their next deal, they didn’t think ahead to do long term prospecting like email blasts and promotions.

I also prospected by cold calling leads for exclusives and following up relentlessly. All I needed was to have one door open and then I would snowball that opportunity into other opportunities.

Over time you want to create a snowball effect of success. Promoting yourself and showing off your accomplishments helps you get the confidence and business you need from new customers.  The snowball effect is probably the most important lesson I learned.  The more time you spend on a business, the more it should grow.  It should never be stagnant  unless there is a catastrophic economic collapse or recession.  The issue is that no one teaches you how to start the snowball.  In the beginning, it looks very small and almost useless to keep rolling.  Maybe a piece breaks off here and again there but over time all the cumulative effort you made over the years will be worth something, it will get stronger, and next thing you know you have a giant business! (Snowball!)

Once the snowball is huge, that’s when people notice you and give you more business with little prospecting.

Things that will help you grow your snowball:

  • Mailing lists and email blasts with all the contacts you’ve ever had
  • Cold calls
  • Holiday cards
  • Quality business cards
  • Neat  work space
  • Requesting referrals
  • Gifts at closing
  • Following up with service, doing surveys
  • Having a business plan and marketing plan
  • Being consistent with the above items

I hope you’ve found this post really useful. It was actually a discussion that I first started on Quora but it was so popular there, I decided to expand on the discussion.

Let me know your thoughts and feedback and feel free to follow, share and like.

Other Posts

Thinking About Working For Yourself? Consider These Strengths & Pitfalls!

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Why I Took The Risk And Quit Law School