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

 

 

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

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

Once You Become Fearless Life Becomes Limitless placard with bokeh background

They say sticks and stones will break your bones but words can never hurt you.

I beg to differ.

Because every time I’ve ever let someone talk down to me, I’ve felt like absolute garbage. And I think bad or negative encounters stay with us longer than we like to admit. There are some people in this world that are just plain nasty. You can be as sweet as pie to them and they always find a way to cut you down. Sometime we don’t even know how we feel until hours after the encounter occurs. In instances of confrontation I’ve always walked away, but I’ve learned to let the other person know that I’m not going to take it from them and their behavior is not acceptable.

——–

The first time I’ve had a bad encounter was when I was working at Auntie Anne’s pretzels. 18 year old me as standing by the cash register selling hand rolled delicious pretzels. A customer had asked for extra butter on her cinnamon sugar pretzel and as I was putting in the bag after she had paid she says, “You’re disgusting. You just touched my pretzel with your hands.”

I said, “No ma’am, I’m using the tongs to grab these. But if you like I can give you another one”

“Okay, I want these.” She points to the cinnamon sticks which are 75 cents more.

“Okay, but those are the cinnamon sticks, they’re more than the regular pretzels. They’re 75 cents more.”

“Well, I don’t know why I should pay more for them.”

“You get more pretzels with it, that’s the price Ma’am.”

My coworker who sees me struggling, tells me to just give her the sticks for the same price.

“I usually can’t do this, but I’ll give these to you for the same price as the pretzels.”

“You know what, I should get these for free since you’ve wasted so much time.”

I’m starting to get really aggravated. “Sorry, I can’t give food for free”

We go back and forth like this and this nasty woman tells me I’m just a cashier and I’m a loser.

She takes the pretzel sticks and then throws it at me. This adult woman just threw food at me!!

I had never been attacked like that in my life and she literally just laughed as this 18 year old high schooler cried tears of anger and frustration.

That day I learned some people are just sadists and just take pleasure in hurting, humiliating and taking advantage of people in fast food.

That altercation sat with me for a few days. I wished I stood up for myself more and wondered what it was about me that gave that woman the impression I was someone to pick on.

———–

My first tour as a NYC rental broker was equally as bad of an altercation. It was literally my first day showing and my senior agent had these two recent grads looking for a 1BR under 2300 in midtown. And if you know Manhattan, you know that’s a dirt cheap rent anywhere. I had no idea what my senior agent Kevin had told these girls but I met them at the corner of 56th and Lexington and had them sign the Fee agreement for the apt they were about to see. I was so nervous. I wasn’t even trained on anything yet, and I probably came off as really green.

“Why do I have sign this?!” One of the girls demanded.

“There’s a fee with this apt. I can’t show this apt unless you agree to a brokers fee if you rent this”

The girls eyed me suspiciously, then signed it.

We went off to see the apt down the street.

“This is a terrible apt, not what we saw online. You wasted our time.”

I called Kevin to confirm that was the apartment they had called on. He confirmed and told me to ask them if they wanted to see any of our other apts in that price range.

I don’t remember what was said next but they were picking on me, double teaming me and complaining about, “how I switch and baited them and that the’ve seen better apartments with other agents.”

I just wanted the appointment to end. “Well, it sounds like I don’t have anything else to show that you would like, I’m sorry.” I said tersely.

“What a waste of time!”

“I’m sorry you feel that way.” And then I left.

One block later I’m on the verge of tears wondering if I can really cut it in real estate.

I was happy that I kind of stood up for myself but hated that I felt so small.

—————-

Today a client tried to move in a day early. These are literally professional hustlers and were fighting us every step of the way. They had their movers at the building. And were furious that they couldn’t move in rent free, one day early.

“You all knew we were trying to move in a day early!!” Professional finger pointers.

My manager was trying to resolve the problem but was making it worst with his lack of tact. “I’m sorry I can’t just give you these keys and have you get one days free rent.” 🤦🏽‍♀️

These people were desperate to get keys with all their stuff ready to move so they started throwing my name under the bus. “I signed leases with Alex and we talked about this!”

I wanted to set the record straight so I went talk to the client and try to smooth things over with some understanding. He started saying how ridiculous the whole thing was and how we’re holding him and his girlfriend hostage by not giving him keys etc. He’s telling me we don’t know how to do our jobs. He was raising his voice and getting in my space.

A part of me felt small again, like that day I felt when the woman threw pretzels at me. But I was thinking, I don’t need to apologize and if this becomes a full out confrontation, I’ll just leave.

I said calmly, “you don’t need to talk to me like that.”

“You messed up our whole morning and my girlfriend is late for work, I’ll talk to you how I want to!”

Oh yeah? I threw my hands up and said, “I don’t need to indulge this.” I started walking away calmly and called him disrespectful.

I got over it but it was funny how everyone in the office was so quiet when he attacked me verbally. Not even my manager knew what to do. He later brownnosed his way back into the client’s good graces.

I told my manager, “I don’t care, one day I might get fired for not sitting down and taking it from client’s and I’ll just have to move on to the next property.”

He seemed shocked that I would be so bold and tell him he can’t make me be nice to these assholes.

——————–

I’m actually a very introverted person and when people attack me for something that’s I did, I take responsibility and offer a solution. But if that’s not enough, I know how how to take my losses and walk away, while politely telling someone they are out of line.

Life is a slippery slope and we end up taking the treatment we think we deserve.

Don’t let anyone make you feel small. Stand up for yourself when people try to step on who you are and take advantage. If you think people will stand up for you, they won’t. Nobody stood up for me in any of these scenarios, sure they sympathized with how I felt, but no one stood up. I could have lost my job for not giving good customer service but I took the risk and guess what, I didn’t lose my job!

Some of you might be reading this and thinking, it’s not worth the aggravation and that you should never risk your job for your pride. And maybe I’m giving bad advice. But in my heart and in my soul, I know that every time I don’t stand up for myself I’m allowing myself to be treated as less than and accepting that as truth. I know it probably won’t change how nasty some people are. If standing up for myself doesn’t do much else, at least I set a boundary with myself on what I’m willing to accept. Ego shm-ego.

The workplace is a tough place, and you always have to remember to look out for #1. No ones going to stick up for you and no one’s going to defend you. And while most jobs require some level of customer service and hospitality, it doesn’t mean you should allow your self to be treated like a doormat and disrespected.

Jobs come and go but your sense of self and how you are to be treated by other people is 100% on you.

Thanks for reading, if you liked this post feel free to follow, like and share!

Why I Took The Risk And Quit Law School

Happy successful business people in office having fun throwing documents

I think a lot of what has held me back in life has been my own insecurity over what other people think. There’s kind of a safety in following the herd and doing what’s expected. I was always one of those people who found safety in numbers. Sure, standing out meant you might be liked more but it could also be an opportunity for people to put you down. So that’s what I did for many years, I was a self chosen wallflower. I wasn’t much different from anyone else, nor did I want to be.

For people who suffer from self esteem issues, there’s a lack of self acceptance that causes you to doubt yourself. A little voice in your head that says, “I don’t know about this, people might think this is stupid.” What I’ve learned over time is that that voice is irrelevant. I really pushed myself against what other people think. In my heart, I knew what was right for me and though my actions seemed risky to others, I followed my passions.

I feel like the story about how I quit law school is pretty relevant to this message. You see, like many young college students I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had no idea what my talents were or where my interests lay. I knew I was smart and was able to get good grades with some studying. Grad school seemed like a good option. And I like money and respect so going to law school seemed perfect. I could figure out what kind of law later. I had a vision that once I became a lawyer, I would be important and rich and everyone in life would like and respect me. So I took the LSAT, applied to different schools and finally was accepted to a decent law school in NYC with a partial scholarship. Everything seemed perfect.

A few days before I started law school I had a gut instinct that I didn’t want to go. I didn’t know where this feeling came from, I knew I shouldn’t be pursuing this degree. It was like a feeling of dread, like something terrible was about to happen. Logically, I didn’t have a good enough reason not to go, I didn’t listen to that instinct.  I went and spent 30K on that 1 year of law school.

And I bombed.

I sucked at the test taking. No matter how hard I tried I just wasn’t absorbing the information. I sucked at legal writing, I sucked at contract and real estate law. And I wasn’t happy. By the end of the first semester I started to question whether law school was the right direction for my talents.  My parents said, “No, you’ve got to see it through. Don’t be a quitter.” I didn’t want to be seen as a quitter by anyone. Even though that terrible gut feeling of doom was back, I continued my education for more torture.

That second semester, I was not sleeping or taking care of myself and literally abusing my body with adderral. I needed to get better grades, at whatever expense. I was getting addicted to adderall and by the end of that semester I was just over it. I didn’t bother checking my grades, I knew I was at the bottom of my class. June came and people had internships and I was like WTH, no one is going to hire me with these grades and I don’t think I can get through two more years of law school and a bar exam to become a lawyer.

So I quit.

The Assistant Dean actually called me when he saw I didn’t enroll again. I just let it go to voicemail. I couldn’t go back. My parents told me, “This is a decision you’ll regret for the rest of your life.” I wasn’t hearing it, I wasn’t going back.

That year, people would ask me how law school was going and it was so embarrassing to tell people I had quit. I tried to say it in a way that didn’t sound like quitting, “Oh I decided I didn’t want to be an attorney. It wasn’t for me.”  And it wasn’t. But being seen as someone who walked away from an opportunity really hung over my head.

After that I did an oddball office job until I got the special idea that I should be a real estate salesperson in NYC. I think I got the idea from Million Dollar Listing NY. LOL. I just loved the flashiness of it and the hustle. It seemed so legit. So I got my license and then signed up with a rental brokerage. It was the easiest thing ever.

I sucked at that too but I had the passion and drive to keep at it. I could tell you a billion stories about all the shitty client’s I had and all the fun deals I did but I’ll save that for another story.  I eventually climbed up the ranks to a great six figure sales opportunity. When I think about my current opportunity, I think DAMNN, you lucked out girl. This was a true hustle.

Other things happened in my life that I felt was totally not the norm, like getting pregnant at 23 and having a gunshot wedding to my college boyfriend who dropped out of undergrad.  Without a plan in sight, I’m sure it looked like our lives were about to crash land into loser land.  But K and I hustled like a dream team and made it work. Now people are looking at us like the power couple that got it all done before 30.

And if you told 20 year old version of me that I would be killing it at 29, I would have called you a liar. But we really did it and worked hard for the life we have now.

I think the moral of this story is more like:

Don’t be afraid to do you. Follow your gut and take risks. You’re not going to win at every single risk you take but at least you’ll have the experience and learn from it.

People who don’t take risks have nothing to lose but also nothing to gain. That’s the truth. The people in my life who played it safe are now wondering, “why isn’t life happening for them?” I just want to shake them and say, “because you did nothing to make it happen.”

I want to inspire everyone who’s reading this to think about the one thing you always wanted to pursue and then make a plan to create that reality in your life. Life and success doesn’t happen to lucky people but rather people who go out and make things happen. So the one thing I would recommend everyone focus on is to care LESS about what other people think about them. Of course there’ll be people who don’t like you or try to put you down. Those people are the minority and if you’re making people upset, that just means you’re doing something right.

I hope my story was one that inspired you! Please like, share and follow!

Check out my other posts too!

The Power Of Positivity

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

What Does It Take To Be Charismatic and Likeable?

Developing Personal Style: The Manly Edition

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I’ve always loved the idea of a stylish man. GQ men and James Bond always come to mind for me. There’s something very attractive about a man that can dress well and as some might say, a “Je ne sais quois,” that makes a man irresistible. I pondered these questions for myself and wondered why I found certain qualities attractive.

My husband, K, did not have personal style in terms of clothes or possessions when I met him but he had a bit of swag and charisma. I wrote post on charisma not too long ago and it definitely helps you put your personal style to life but personal style is different.  It’s how you present yourself to the world, what’s on the outside as opposed to what’s on the inside.

Like I mentioned, K really didn’t have much in terms of personal style. He always wore the same shirts until they got pilly fuzz on them and started to curl at the bottom from being over dried too many times. He also always wore the same shoes until they started to wear through and look retro. And honestly, he didn’t really have a good reason to look put together; we were in our late teens when we met and barely getting by as young adults. Nevertheless, he would come dressed to impress whenever we had to go out to dinner or an event to go to.   In return, it made me want to dress up and look good for him because why should he be the only one that looks good? 💁🏽 Over time he has developed his own style that fits his personality but also says success and confidence.

Here are some tips to help you look as good on the outside as you do on the inside:

A Quality Timepiece

I always notice if a man is wearing a watch and if you’re close enough to him, you can see the actual brand he’s wearing. Surprise, surprise women will look at your watch, notice, and make inferences about it. I’m not saying you should get the most expensive watch possible, but picking a watch that says a statement about who you are and will add to your personal style.

The Timex Weekender Watch is a classic.  It’s a nice casual timepiece you can wear when you’re out in a polo and shorts or more casual with t-shirts.  Its good for outdoors and is easy to replace if lost or broken.  Timex is the perfect brand if you want to stay under $50 for a watch.  The Weekender Watch here is under $30.

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I also recommend Guess watches if you want a flashier look for less.  Most of Guess’s watches fall between $75-200.  I find the Guess watches to be a more affordable option over the pricier brand Movado.

Just look at the two nearly identical options for gold toned watches.  The Guess watch is $100 while the Movado option is $1000.  There isn’t much of a difference and Guess watches are just as sophisticated as the higher end brands.

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For a luxury brand, I would recommend Bulova, they are exceptionally good quality timepieces that are reasonably priced between $250-$600.  I have one of their women’s watches and I get constant compliments on mine.

I really love the Marine Star collection, This stainless Steel Chronograph watch is perfect for every day use since its waterproof.  I also love how the watch faces are on the larger side with plenty of chrome detail.

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A Nice Haircut:

K has beautiful thick hair. He also hates going to the barber. I don’t understand whyyy?? I love when his hair is freshly cut. Two months later his hair still looks good in an unkempt rugged sort of way? The point of this segment is to say your hair can say a lot about you. It says a lot about your grooming habits, whether you put time into your appearance or if you just let your mom cut your hair every 3 months.  Hair is the first thing people are going to notice about you so finding the right cut is important.

I’m not going to post any pictures of what I think good looking hair looks like, but to be honest, there are many different hair styles, cuts, and textures that are attractive.  Sexy beards are a thing too and some men have impressive beards that women turn their heads over.  So having a well maintained beard is also something to think about.  K, doesn’t really grow a great beard, though he tries.  His barber helps him maintain a nice goatee.  So talk to your barber, they know hair!

Suits

I think every man needs at least one nice suit. One that he can wear at a funeral, wedding or for a job interview. You always want to have one handy for an unexpected event, especially for an interview. Because you never know when you’ll have a great opportunity that requires you to dress your best. And between getting a fresh haircut and preparing for the opportunity, the last thing you want to spend your time on is a new suit with the right fitting. I love tailored slim fit suits. Dark blue is my favorite color, black tends to be too somber. The nice thing is suits can come in many different colors, textures and materials; so with plenty of options you can find one that fits and looks right for you. Suits tend to be expensive so you’ll probably need to start with just one and just maintain it with dry cleaning after every 2-3 wears depending on how soiled you feel like it gets. You don’t want to over wash or clean the fabric, because even with dry cleaning it can cause damage. In most department stores, you can get a good quality suit for $200-$300, especially during sales.

Surprisingly Amazon has a new program for clothes called PRIME WARDROBE,  I’m not really one for in person shopping and neither is my husband.  We usually just buy online and return by mail if we don’t like the fit.  It’s pretty easy.

Anyway, K had bought this Blue Tommy Hilfiger suit and look amazing in it for a wedding shower brunch we went to.  One of our friends had commented that he was always dressed so sharp for events.  Sometimes I feel like he goes over the top, even for simple or small outings.  But as he would put it, “You can be underdressed, but you can never be overdressed.”

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Getting Higher Quality Clothes:

I’m going to start this segment with a caveat, having expensive clothes will not help in making a man more attractive when he is out of shape or unkempt. I would say good grooming and good health are first attractors for women and for people in general. As for clothes, I’m not talking about brands and trends and all that. I’m talking about getting good quality timeless pieces that you can mix and match with other parts of your wardrobe to create a polished look. K used to shop at Express and Zumies and although their clothes were really trendy; they always felt out of style within a year. Getting good quality shoes, jeans, dress pants, dress shirts and jackets can really add to your style. I’m not saying to buy everything overnight but start with one piece then add another piece, then another as you’re able to afford it. As you buy more pieces, you can filter the lesser quality clothes out or just have a greater variety to wear.  My husband has recently gotten into Robert Graham dress shirts and Lucky Brand Jeans.  These pieces are a bit pricey ($150-$200 a piece) so we get them here and there, especially if we see any sales at the mall.

Tips for Maintaining Clothes

1. High Quality Jeans: Jeans overall don’t need to be washed a lot. Actually they should be washed on a need to basis in order to avoid fading and shrinkage. You can hand wash them in cold water and detergent for darks. Don’t wring them out to dry but rather ROLL as much water out of them. Hang them up to dry or tumble dry them with cold air.

2. Shoes: wearing the same shoes every day wears them much faster. You need to let them breath and to keep quality shoes for longer, so you’ll also need to expand your collection from one to at least 3-4 pairs of shoes for daily wear that you can rotate. You’ll also need one pair of dress shoes and a pair of seasonal shoes like sandals or boots. And this is to start, eventually you’ll expand further depending on your preferences.

3. Jackets and suits: require dry cleaning. You can spot wash areas heavily soiled areas like underarms and neck collars by soaking with water and a light detergent and scrubbing with a toothbrush, but anything other than that I wouldn’t recommend.

You don’t need to have the best wardrobe to get attention or get the best job, but your overall style will say so much about you!  They say first impressions are made within 30 seconds.  It’s important your style choices match who you are and what you’re trying to portray.  Most of all, personal style is a reflection of you.  It doesn’t come overnight but you want it to match the best version of you possible 🙂

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Check out my other posts:

Be Charismatic By Mastering Small Talk

What Does Your Body Language Say About You?

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!

Check out my other posts What Does Your Body Language Say About You? and My Favorite Motivational Mantra and What Does It Take To Be Charismatic and Likeable?

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

Not many people can honestly say they have a good work life balance. I feel like I’m always chasing  paper or time. Time back from my commute, time for my family, time back from my overtime. There have been moments I’ve worked less and made less money. There have also been times I’ve worked more and made more money. But I’ve never worked less and made more money. And yet I keep finding myself chasing that elusive unicorn job.  The one where we have enough time during the day to get things done. Where we get an hour lunch break, where there some light politics but no animosity.   But while we are chasing for the perfect job we have to try to make the most of the job we have now.  Here are some ideas

1. Time Management: Is probably the best but hardest thing to master. Determining what can wait until the next day and what you need to do now based on priority. You don’t want to take care of all the non essentials and then at the end of the day scramble to take care of what you are now realizing is a must on the to do list. The best time management tip is this: take a few moments to collect your thoughts and make a list of what you need to do for the day.

2. Cutting BS activities: sometimes we engage in non essential work habits that we “think” are productive but are really a waste of time and causing your hours to be longer. Things like engaging in office gossip, constant bathroom and smoke breaks, the lunch hour that over extended result in reduced employee productivity. It’s ok to engage in these activities here and there but constant and daily disruptions to work will be noticed by higher ups and will extend your work day and make you less productive at work.

3. Delegate: I really struggle with this one. I really think I’m the best person to do the work so I’ll take on all the work I can, then I’ll burn out badly. Taking work off your shoulders and giving it to someone else might seem like you’re passing off your responsibilities but it’s really not. In a Corporate environment usually the workhorse takes on everything, sacrifices personal time and energy to get everything done. Do you want to be the workhorse? Everyone should do their share and if you feel overwhelmed don’t be afraid to speak up and give work off to others who are less busy, and then hold them accountable for their work.

4. Take Time Off: Take all your PTO, especially if it doesn’t roll over. Take personal days and sick days if your not feeling great. I usually take a mental day after a long project.

5. Don’t Be The Workhorse: Learn how to say “No I’m not going to do this. Not because I don’t want to but because I can’t.” Learn to say no if you think something might be unfair to you. The workplace is cold-hearted and everyone is vying for their own interests. My experience in the corporate world is that these companies can take the best intentioned employees, the ones that are passionate about their work, and turn them into human capital to be exploited for productivity.  Saying no sometimes allows you to create boundaries that are needed.

6. Live Closer To Work-Commuting sucks. I have a 2 hour commute round trip and If I could shorten it I would. Often we have to consider work life balance in the sense of, am I willing to spend more on rent to get time back for my commute? Right now I’m not in a position to move but do try to take into account heavy traffic times so I can try to minimize time lost in traffic.

7. Change Careers: I decided I wanted to be in real estate. I wanted the big money.  And after 5 years I finally have all the money needed to pay off my student loans. I’m also working 50-70 hours and work Saturdays. Even if I changed jobs the hours would likely still include weekends and evenings. I need a career that is more flexible, work from home, or I need to save more so I can eventually scale back the hours. Changing careers is not always feasible, definitely not at the drop of a hat, but I’m making serious moves to change that and free up some time, even if it means a pay cut.

Quality of life VS Cost of living. That’s always the underlying question when it comes to acheiving work life balance. I hope these tips helped Feel free to comment below your tricks to balancing it all.

Please subscribe, like and share if you find my posts helpful! 🙂

Check out my other posts Build An Eye Catching Resume And Get More Interviews and 5 Amazing Ways to Alternative Living. Live Outside the Box. and My Job is Killing Me….

What Does It Take To Be Charismatic and Likeable?

I had a request about how to be more confident and I thought why not, let’s talk confidence, charisma and magnetism. And it’s honestly a hard topic to write about or even grasp. Confidence is such an intangible quality that is so allusive to most people. But we are all drawn to it. You might even ask yourself, “Am I Charismatic?” and “How to be Charismatic?”

I’m a natural introvert. In high school I was like a wallflower; I was quiet, soft spoken, trying to fall under the wings of my more extroverted friends and did not possess natural charisma. I always associated confidence with being outgoing, popular, attractive, friendly and extroverted. I painfully tried to fit in with my friends by displaying these characteristics. At the end of it all, I still wasn’t confident. I was negative and jealous with a victim mentality. I had social anxiety; I would scroll through my newsfeed with a feeling of missing out… I was unhappy during high school and college because I was constantly comparing myself to everyone around me.

Fast forward to 2018 I’m now the most confident version of myself. I’m magnetic, charismatic and likeable. I can talk to pretty much anybody and have accomplished most of my life goals. Last year I went to my 10 year high school reunion. I was hoping to see some friends I fell out of touch with. I wasn’t afraid to go up to people and mingle, I also wasn’t second guessing myself when I felt like sitting on my own and observing. I was happy and content to just be there, unapologetically.

I’m going on a tangent about my own self growth but the point of the topic is that self growth and confidence doesn’t come to everyone overnight. For some people it comes easier, but everyone is capable of being confident, charismatic and magnetic.

Work on the life you want for yourself.

I want you to close your eyes and envision the confident image you’ve always had for yourself. I want you to really think about that person. What they look like and what they are doing with their life. Are they with a career and family? Is that person traveling? Are they living in the big city? Are they the rock for their immediate family? Then I want you to think about why you came up with that image. What are your values that are creating that image? These are your core desires and not fulfilling them are what is causing that feeling of dissatisfaction/ lack of confidence.

On a side note: these values might change over time. You might get to where you were going and realize, “hey, this isn’t really where I wanted to be. Let me tweak this a little.” That’s ok too.

Once you realize what your values are and what you want from your life, you’ll be able to set real goals or accomplish them. I’m not talking about “oh, I want to be a entrepreneur and be my own boss in a few years or I’m going to be dating the love of my life soon” type goals.

I’m talking concrete goals with a tentative completion date. Actual steps to make that a reality.

Confidence, Charisma and Magnetism is hard work. People who display these kind of characteristics tend to invest A LOT into themselves. They get these qualities from genuinely loving and appreciating the life they worked hard to achieve. There’s no shortcut for building a great self-esteem and sense of self.

I know for the past 10 years I’ve been pushing this image of myself. Little ole’ 19 year old me wanted to be a career woman, a reliable outgoing personable personality and be with my man of my dreams who truly loved and cared for me. For the past 10 years every choice and decision I made has been to grow in those areas. And now I’m finally comfortable in my own skin knowing that the person I always knew I was capable of being is truly who I am now.

This post is just an introduction on what changes you’ll need to take to get there but feel free to read my other post on personal growth, The Power Of Positivity and The Power Of Change.

Also check out these posts on CHARISMA

Be Charismatic By Mastering Small Talk

What Does Your Body Language Say About You?

Dear Single Friends, This Is Why You Are Still Single. Love, Your Married Friend.

This post is not meant to be a personal attack on single people or say marriage is better than being single. This post is for single people that want to be married and want advice from a married person.

I don’t know if this post will be popular or if I will get a lot of backlashed comments but here we go…

1. You are unrealistic: I hate to put it this way but the dating scene is a market like any other. We all come with strengths and weaknesses. Pluses and minuses. We can’t all get prince charming or the hottest babe at the beach. You really get what you bring to the table. And you need to be honest with yourself with what it is and manage your expectations. Declaring yourself a “bad bitch” and “all that” is great talk. But are you independent? Are you compassionate? A good cook? Caring? Genuine? Breakups usually happen when one or two people in a relationship realize that there was a misrepresentation somewhere and there isn’t any true compatibility.

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2. You’re selfish: I have single friends who are this type. Demand, demand, demand. They make their partners jump through hoops, complain about everything their partner does wrong. Does not share time with their partner but expects their partners to drop everything for them. These selfish types are usually lots of fun but leave a string of heartbreak and disappointment behind them.

3. White nights/Florence Nightingales: they love to make people people better, even at their own expense. They are the opposite of the selfish type. They enable but eventually resentment slips in for all the “sacrifices” they made in the relationship. Most of all they need to be with partners they can accept, not change.

4. Peter Pans: they are never going to grow up. Time is not on their mind and they think they have all the time in the world to find a partner. They are not mature enough and they know it. They are afraid of making the wrong decision so they avoid making decisions in their life that have long term meaning

5. No self love: this is probably the most important and underlying problem. This probably underlies problems 1-4. Self love is so important. Not loving yourself, understanding yourself, accepting yourself and working on yourself can cause a whole set of behavioral problems. Accept your own faults and then work on them. We aren’t perfect but we need to accept ourselves and grow.

I think the key to a life partner is self love, genuine love and care for your partner and the right expectations. It’s easier said than done but relationships are a lot of work. It can be easy to some and harder to others. Long term relationships can be so rewarding, but they often don’t come easy.

This post is meant to inspire and create conversation. As my first post on relationships, feedback is most appreciated

The Power Of Change

In a previous post I mentioned the power of positivity. I think now is a good time for me to discuss the power of change.

Right now I’m going through a lot of change at work and it’s really stressful. My manager left and it took 1 and a 1/2 months for them to bring on a new person. We are severely short staffed and everyone is stressed and overworked. Apparently this is a good time for my Director to come in and shake things up. In his time at our office, he changed our deal flow, set up a billion meetings and let our underperforming admins go.

Le Sigh…now all of us (me) have to pick up all the slack.

Change in an organization is scary, but it’s also a time to shine. It’s a time when, let’s face it, shit hits the fan.

While my director was there I did all my duties, with no complaint and then some extra. I took this opportunity to make sure all my strengths were known and I took on a lot more to show I was reliable.

My receptionist didn’t fare so well with this change. I tried my best to keep her spirits up but I think she was reaching the end of her rope. In one meeting she basically said, “This is not my job, this is not what you hired me to do.”

We’ll..she just signed her death note. A week later my Director was making plans to send her packing. “We need people with a positive attitude and who want to be here,” he said. He wasn’t wrong. She was getting paid for her time there, not just for her responsibilities. It wasn’t expected she would take on those responsibilities forever and her resistance to taking on the extra work made her look like a slacker.

Change is natural in an organization. One persons opposition is not going to stop the will of the organization and the change that comes with it. Accepting change and greeting it with positivity can help you be perceived as a “Team Player,” “Progressive,” and “Positive.” It can lead to more opportunities and career growth. And being open to change also gives your managers/directors confidence that their ideas are valid and worth consideration. (Since then, my Director has confided in me that his job is actually really thankless).

My receptionist is gone and I really wish she would have just put on a happy face. She knew her job but the additional tasks that she opposed so fiercely cost her a job.  Now she’s back on the job hunt searching for work.

Change is vital and necessary.   Professional growth rarely comes without price.

Adaptability is not imitation. It means power of resistance and assimilation. –Mahatma Gandhi   Motivational quote of the day.