Under30CEO » Career Advice http://under30ceo.com Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:27:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6 Under30CEO interviews successful young entrepreneurs to hear about their story and journey while starting their company. These young founders have over a million dollars a year in revenues and have been through many ups and downs to get there. These stories are meant to inspire, educate and motivate more young people to take a leap and do what they are passionate about. Under30CEO clean Under30CEO jared@under30ceo.com jared@under30ceo.com (Under30CEO) Under30CEO Interviews with Young Entrepreneurs on Starting Businesses entrepreneur, business, interview, young entrepreneur, business advice, startup advice, founder interview, ceo Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/u30logo300x250.png http://under30ceo.com/category/career-advice/ Expert Tips on How to Negotiate a Salary with Employers http://under30ceo.com/expert-tips-negotiate-salary-employers/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=expert-tips-negotiate-salary-employers http://under30ceo.com/expert-tips-negotiate-salary-employers/#comments Sun, 25 May 2014 19:00:59 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=39603 Maybe it’s time for your annual review, maybe there’s been a recent restructuring, or maybe you are interviewing for a new job. Whatever the reason, the time has come for one of the most important and anxiety-inducing events in your career – negotiating your salary. Even in a down market, there are important reasons to […]

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salary

Maybe it’s time for your annual review, maybe there’s been a recent restructuring, or maybe you are interviewing for a new job. Whatever the reason, the time has come for one of the most important and anxiety-inducing events in your career – negotiating your salary.

Even in a down market, there are important reasons to negotiate your salary. You have to be careful though that you don’t make a misstep that could hurt your position in the company.

When you’re ready to have the conversation, make sure to follow these expert tips on how to negotiate a salary with employers:

Tip#1: Do Your Deep Research – It Will Pay Off, Pun Intended

You want to come to the table with concrete facts that will help support your case.  What is the market value for your position?  What are other companies currently offering for comparable experience?

Is your job in high demand right now? Knowing the market value of your position can be very helpful on two fronts.  First, it will keep the discussion factual which will help to keep emotions from getting involved. Second, it may reset your expectations for how much it is reasonable to ask for.

Tip#2: You Can’t Have What You Want Unless You Know What You Want, but Be Flexible and Reasonable

After you’ve done your research you should have a good idea of what your salary should be. Don’t get too attached to that specific figure though because your company (or the one you’re interviewing for) just may not be able to give it to you.

Take the discussion very seriously and consider any reasons they provide for not giving you exactly what you ask for. Be open-minded to other forms of compensation as well. Some companies have strict guidelines for salary increases, but may be able to offer substantial bonus opportunities, additional paid vacation time, remote work opportunities, or other financial perks.

If you do a good job of pitching your strengths and value, they will find a way to make an offer that you are happy with.

Tip#3: You Can’t Afford To Forget To Keep It Positive

You’ve done research, prepared yourself to be open-minded, and now it’s finally time for battle. You’ve got to go in there, be persistent, and not take no for an answer…right?  Wrong. If you are negotiating a pay increase, keep in mind that while you have been preparing and thinking about this for possibly weeks in advance, it’s likely that your boss has not.

They may be caught off guard and you don’t want either party involved to become defensive.  The last thing you want is to come off as bullying your own boss. A good negotiation needs both parties to be active in the conversation, so if your boss needs time to think and prepare on their own, give them that time. If you are negotiating as part of a new job, keep in mind that you are still technically in the interview process.  The attitude you have now is what they will expect to see going forward.

Tip#4: Don’t Lose Sight – It’s About Them, Not You

Yes, you’re negotiating a salary for you, but don’t come with a bulleted list of why you need the money. Everyone wants to help out someone in need, but that’s not reason enough to give someone a higher salary.

You need to be ready to prove how you will help them.  More importantly, how you have made them (or past employers) more money and how you will continue to do just that.  If you are not in a revenue generating position, you still need to come up with good reasons why paying you more will actually help them.

Tip #5: Salary is Earned, Not given – Provide the Proof First

Pay follows performance, not the other way around. You can’t expect your employer to give you a raise if you haven’t already proven to them that you deserve it.  This doesn’t mean you need to be working for free, but make sure you are performing at your best.

If you are currently a top performer, then they can expect you will continue to be.  If you are a poor performer, you will have a much harder time trying to convince them that more money will transform you into a top performer.
Negotiating your salary can be one of the most difficult aspects of your career. It is very hard to keep emotions out of the process, but if you do your research, keep an open mind, and approach the discussion with a positive attitude, your odds of a good outcome are higher. Most importantly, always work to your best abilities because there is nothing a company is more likely to pay a premium price for than a hard-working, top performer.

What negotiation techniques have you used to successfully attain a desired salary? Share your personal insights in the comments below.

Gerald Buck is the editor of www.ejobapplications.com, a website offering free downloadable job application forms, career information, job interview and resume tips, as well as much more. He can be reached via Twitter @EJobApplication.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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5 Questions to Ask An Interviewer http://under30ceo.com/5-questions-ask-interviewer/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-questions-ask-interviewer http://under30ceo.com/5-questions-ask-interviewer/#comments Thu, 22 May 2014 17:00:17 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=39418   When going into a job interview, candidates prepare to answer tough questions and perfect their elevator pitches. However, a crucial part of the interview process is often forgotten. Interviewees often hesitate to ask questions pertaining to the company and position, but creating a discussion around these topics (at the appropriate opportunities) can show that […]

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 interview

When going into a job interview, candidates prepare to answer tough questions and perfect their elevator pitches. However, a crucial part of the interview process is often forgotten. Interviewees often hesitate to ask questions pertaining to the company and position, but creating a discussion around these topics (at the appropriate opportunities) can show that a candidate is thoughtful, eager, and interested. Here are five must-ask questions to start a dialogue.

About the position

It is always important to be informed about the company and the position you’re applying for; however, this is an opportunity to learn why there is actually a position available. Was the previous employee let go, promoted, or is it a new role? By asking these questions you will learn what the position entails and how it has been handled previously. Another crucial question to ask is if there has been a high turnover rate. It may mean that you might not keep the job for long, even if you succeed.

How can you succeed?

While discussing the position, ask the interviewer what it takes to succeed in this role. By knowing what it takes, you’ll be better equipped if you are offered the job. The interviewer may describe what past employees have done, outlining successful and ineffective methods that have been used. Asking about the first task you will be managing in this position may also provide some insight. This can help you determine whether or not you will be able to complete the goals set by the company.

Company culture

Asking about company culture can help when making a decision if the company offers you a job. The company’s values and goals can speak volumes about whether it will be a good fit for you. If the interviewer has little to say, this may imply that the company is not an enjoyable place to work. It is also important to note how they communicate within the company. If you are someone who is outspoken and is always full of ideas, a company that is not interactive could be a poor fit.

Your qualifications

You may be hesitant to ask questions regarding your qualifications and any gaps in your resume, but it can be an opportunity to address them and play up your strengths. By clarifying issues before the company makes a decision, your answer can persuade them. Talking about your qualifications also shows confidence and that you are willing to be trained. Companies look for potential employees who can be molded and trained to fit the company’s needs.

What to expect next

As your interview comes to a close, don’t be afraid to ask what to expect next in the process. Be sure to ask about the timeline of the hiring process and provide your preferred method of contact. This will show the interviewer that you are eager and attentive. It can also give you a better idea of how you performed during the interview.

An interview should be an opportunity to create discussion and gain insight for both the interviewer and potential candidate. Asking these questions not only helps the interviewer get to know you better, but they can also help you understand the company as well.

Priya Sudendra is a recent graduate of University of Colorado and a staff writer for CollegeFocus, a website dedicated to helping students deal with the challenges of college, including housing, finance, style, health, relationships, and transferring from a community college to a four-year university. You can follow CollegeFocus on Twitter and Facebook.

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Self Motivation At Work – Are You Going Through The Motions? http://under30ceo.com/self-motivation-work-going-motions/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=self-motivation-work-going-motions http://under30ceo.com/self-motivation-work-going-motions/#comments Mon, 19 May 2014 17:00:57 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=39354   Do you look forward to going to work each day? Whether your employer believes in creating a positive work environment or not, there are a number of steps you can take to motivate yourself in the workplace. Job enlargement For some people, a more varied job is a more fulfilling one. Think about ways […]

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 office worker

Do you look forward to going to work each day? Whether your employer believes in creating a positive work environment or not, there are a number of steps you can take to motivate yourself in the workplace.

Job enlargement

For some people, a more varied job is a more fulfilling one. Think about ways you could increase the scope of your job. For example, there may be tasks related to some of your existing responsibilities that you feel you could take on. Or perhaps you feel you could train new staff or more junior staff on how to do your job. If you think you could do some of these tasks, talk to your boss.

If you dislike your role, then broadening your experience can also make you more attractive to other potential employers.

Find out how your role benefits the company

Especially if you hold a junior role in a very large company, you may feel extremely insignificant. But undoubtedly your employer pays you a salary for what it thinks is a very good reason. By asking the right questions of colleagues and superiors, you may be able to get a better picture of how you contribute to the company’s success.

Set yourself personal goals

Your employer may conduct regular appraisals of your performance, at which they may set targets for you to achieve in the next period. Whether the company does this or not, there is nothing to stop you coming up with some targets of your own. If you are in a sales role, this could be something as simple as selling a set amount. Otherwise, your goal might involve achieving a quality target, taking on an additional responsibility or achieving a professional qualification. Start thinking about how you might go about achieving your objective and, if necessary, get the guidance of colleagues and superiors as to the steps you could take.

Draw on your past experiences

If you have been given a task to perform, it is because your company thinks you have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience. Remember what you have achieved previously, and use your experiences of what went right to guide you when performing a task.

Even if you are not looking for a new position, always keep your CV updated so that it shows what tasks you have accomplished and what your key achievements have been.

Break tasks up into smaller chunks

You may be responsible for a large-scale project and the size of the task may seem daunting. But think about all the smaller elements the task entails and, where possible, focus on achieving the next one of these milestones. For example, you may be re-writing your company procedure manual, so think of each individual section or chapter as a sub-task. Every time you reach a milestone, take a brief moment to bask in the satisfaction of what you have done, before moving on to the next part of the task.

Be ready for setbacks

On the road to achieving your goal, or completing a task, things may not always run smoothly. If you prepare yourself for the inevitable setbacks, hopefully when they occur, they will not affect your confidence unduly. When they do occur, take a step back from the situation to think carefully and rationally about how you can resolve the difficulties. Again, try and draw on similar experiences in the past and how you dealt with those.

Take professional qualifications

Sometimes certain professional qualifications are obligatory in order to carry out a role – accountants, lawyers and financial advisers spring to mind. However, in many cases there will be additional optional qualifications that you can take. Provided it is something relevant to the role, a responsible employer should be willing to pay your course fees. Studying for and passing an appropriate qualification can increase your knowledge of matters related to your role, can make you feel good about yourself and can make you better at your job. Qualifications may also increase your chances of receiving salary rises, or of achieving promotion within the company.

They can of course make finding a job elsewhere easier, if that is what you want to do. However, here you should note that many employers are wise to the idea of staff using company money to gain qualifications and then using them to move on – some will ask you to sign up to an agreement that you would repay some or all of your course fees if you resign within a set period of completing the qualification.

Think positively

A glass is either half full or half empty. Always try and see the positive side of things, and use these positive thoughts to keep you motivated.

Take breaks

Very few people can work constantly; after all we are not machines. In the course of your regular work, take a decent amount of time over your coffee breaks and lunch breaks, without taking this to excessive lengths of course! Take your full annual leave entitlement – even if you don’t want to go away on holiday, use the time just to have a break from work.

Value your workplace friendships

The workplace is where we spend a great deal of our lives. It is often where we meet some of our closest friends, and not infrequently, our partners as well. Even if the job itself, or general work politics, are getting you down, always remember the friendships you would never have formed had you not worked for the companies you have.

If all else fails, think about your life outside of work

There are 168 hours in a week, so standard office hours take up little more than a fifth of that. Even if you have a job that demands relatively long hours, work is unlikely to be where you spend the majority of your time. There is always a great deal more to life than your work.

If you really can’t motivate yourself adequately at work, take some time to think about what’s coming up in the next few days, weeks and months. Are you due to spend quality time with family and friends, attend a special event or go on holiday?

John Baird is a debt arrangement professional with Scotland Debt Solutions. Visit their website here – www.scotlanddebt.co.uk.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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Stop Wasting Time: 7 Things Highly Productive People Do Every Day http://under30ceo.com/stop-wasting-time-7-things-highly-productive-people-every-day/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=stop-wasting-time-7-things-highly-productive-people-every-day http://under30ceo.com/stop-wasting-time-7-things-highly-productive-people-every-day/#comments Wed, 14 May 2014 13:00:03 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=39412   After spending the last several years coaching people and corporations on how to create Success with Ease, I’ve realized that one of the biggest obstacles to success is the gap between perceived and actual productivity. People often think they are being productive, yet they are not actually moving the needle in the areas that […]

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 Productive-Quotes-3

After spending the last several years coaching people and corporations on how to create Success with Ease, I’ve realized that one of the biggest obstacles to success is the gap between perceived and actual productivity. People often think they are being productive, yet they are not actually moving the needle in the areas that matter most. Instead, many of us choose to complete the simple tasks to “get credit” and feel we are being productive. Some people call this procrastination by productivity: putting off the tasks that really need our attention in favor of anything that will not stress, annoy, or test us. Here are Seven Habits that highly productive people have in common. If you want to work less and earn more, this is a great place to start:

1)    Prioritize.

Be ruthless with your focus. Create a To Do list the night before and ask yourself the following question: “What is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT thing I need to get done tomorrow?” That item is #1 on your To Do list. If you complete that one thing, you’ve had a good day. Do this every evening while planning the following workday and you will be astounded at the results.

2)    Be Selective.

Limit your To Do List to a MAXIMUM of three things. Focus on the three things that will move your business forward the most. That is your To Do list. That is ALL. Do not add anything else. Many people have very long To Do lists that they never complete in a given day, draining them both emotionally and physically. Highly productive people know how to focus.

3)    Do a Data Dump.

When all of those unimportant To Dos are floating around in your head, try spending 10-15 minutes writing down EVERYTHING you might possibly need to do. This is NOT your To Do list. This is a data dump to free up your brain. Refer to this list on a weekly basis to see if the priority of any of the items qualifies it for your three item To Do list – otherwise the list lies dormant.

4)    Limit Email.

Check email in concentrated blocks no more than three times a day. One study showed the average worker spends 13 hours a WEEK, or about 28% of their workweek, doing email! And, once distracted it takes our brains up 23 minutes to recover. That means that reading a single email can set you back by as much as 30 minutes! This is one of the biggest time sucks. By checking email at specific points of your day, you will optimize your ability to stay focused and complete the tasks that really matter (which you determined in #1 and #2 above). One option suggested by highly productive people is to manually download email. By controlling when email arrives, it becomes a communication tool instead of a distraction.

5)    Stop Multi-Tasking.

Multi-tasking has been scientifically proven to be ineffective. In today’s tech heavy world, we don’t focus and we do too many things at once. Are you spinning your wheels on many things and completing nothing? Is your attention dispersed? Try focusing on only ONE task at a time by doing a Power Hour.

A Power Hour consists of concentrated twenty minute intervals where you focus on only one task. Put away all distractions. Silence your phone, turn off email notifications, or close your laptop, and then spend twenty minutes COMPLETELY FOCUSED on your most important task. At the end of twenty minutes, take a two minute break. Stretch, move, breathe. Then do another twenty minute interval. After three of these twenty minute intervals take a ten to fifteen minute break. That’s one power hour (it’s more like eighty five minutes total). If you complete your #1 task at any point in the Power Hour, move on to the #2 task on your To Do list and so on. The point is to focus on one task at a time, with no other distractions.

6)    Find a Quiet Space.

When doing a Power Hour, it can be helpful to create a ritual or find a sacred space where you can work uninterrupted. You may want to leave your open office space and go to Starbucks or work in a conference room for an hour. Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and focus on completing your most important task for the day.

7)    Start Strong.

Do the most important task on your To Do list FIRST THING in the morning, before anything else – especially before responding to email. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and energy that will fuel you the rest of the day. We all procrastinate on some of the biggest projects, and that is what keeps us stuck. Successful people tackle the most important projects right away when they are at their freshest in the morning.

If you practice these seven principals for just one week, you will notice that you’re getting more done in less time. The next question becomes – what are you going to do with all your newfound free time? Many people make the rookie mistake of wasting that time in unproductive tasks, like incessantly checking email or Facebook. I suggest you invest that time in an activity that brings you pure joy. Allowing yourself to be productive AND to celebrate that productivity is the key to Success with Ease.

Vanessa Loder is an entrepreneur, inspirational speaker and writer whose company, Akoya Power, supports women in stepping into their power unapologetically. She is also the Co-Founder of the Mindfulness Based Achievement curriculum, a program that teaches high achievers how to attain success with ease Vanessa received her MBA from Stanford University and is trained in hypnosis and past life regression healing. Her personal transformation, subsequent research and work has led to thousands of women finding more passion, success and love with ease. You can read more at Vanessa’s blog, Akoya Power, as well as LivingMBA or find her on twitter @akoyapower.

Image Credit:http://angelatella.com/

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Start Small: Why Small Companies Make Great First Jobs http://under30ceo.com/start-small-small-companies-make-great-first-jobs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=start-small-small-companies-make-great-first-jobs http://under30ceo.com/start-small-small-companies-make-great-first-jobs/#comments Sun, 11 May 2014 17:00:00 +0000 GuestAuthor http://under30ceo.com/?p=38989 Big companies dominate our lives. We use our iPhone to search Google, log on to Facebook to interact with our friends, and shop on Amazon. It can be hard to remember that smaller companies even exist, particularly when it’s time to look for a job. Many job seekers look to the big companies first, thinking […]

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small business

Big companies dominate our lives. We use our iPhone to search Google, log on to Facebook to interact with our friends, and shop on Amazon. It can be hard to remember that smaller companies even exist, particularly when it’s time to look for a job.

Many job seekers look to the big companies first, thinking they offer the best platform to launch a successful career. Working for a big company may be right for you if the environment and professional development offered suit your needs. However, if you have doubts about any of those aspects of life at a big corporation, it’s worth looking into joining a smaller company.

Here are four reasons why working for a smaller company can be better:

1. You won’t be another cog in the machine.

Employees at big corporations are often hired to be a cog in the machine and fulfill a specific duty. These tasks can get repetitive and dull very quickly. You typically don’t have the freedom to experiment and expand your skills.

With a smaller company, you have a greater chance to explore. You can learn about many different aspects of operating a business and gain more experience quickly, which makes it easier to shift your career focus if you find something that interests you more than your current job.

2. You will be noticed.

When your job operates in one tiny corner of a large corporation, you can easily be forgotten. Not only can this be demoralizing, but it can also hurt your potential for career advancement.

At a smaller company, you’re a more significant part of the operation. You need to be effective in several areas and are more likely to be noticed for your accomplishments and dedication.

3. Your work will matter.

If you’re one of several analysts at a large corporation, there are dozens or even hundreds of employees doing your exact job. Your presence on any given day is not vital to the company’s success.

At a smaller company, your daily work matters, and your actions directly affect the bottom line.

4. You will have access to management.

Your first job is a learning experience. Your colleagues and bosses have information and strategies to share. At large corporations, opportunities to talk to higher-ups can be few and far between. The focus is on your current tasks, rather than on potential future growth.

Smaller firms will have CEOs who regularly interact with all levels of the staff and make themselves available. This is a huge opportunity for you to learn from others with more knowledge and experience.

Finding that Job

Unfortunately, it can take a bit more effort to find a small company that fits your qualifications and interests. These probably aren’t the companies your friends are applying to. They don’t have big bucks to throw at recruiters, and they won’t be spending money to distribute hundreds of flyers and squishy balls around campus.

Here are some tips for finding the perfect small company:

  • Search “best places to work” lists on Forbes, Crain’s New York Business, and niche publications for your industry.
  • Search Glassdoor for companies that are hiring based on the job title and location you want.
  • Check out your local Chamber of Commerce business directory for small businesses in your area.

Small companies offer many benefits that their larger counterparts cannot. While large companies may dominate the landscape, smaller companies work to recognize your strengths. You potentially have more opportunities for professional growth and a much closer relationship with your peers and superiors. Don’t be just another cog. Explore your potential in a small business environment. 

Stirling Cox is the managing director of AlphaSights USA, a company that connects today’s business leaders with the insight and expertise they need to prosper. The company assists a global client base, including private equity firms, asset managers, strategy consultancies, and corporate executives, in making more informed decisions. 

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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7 Unconventional Ways To Save Serious Money http://under30ceo.com/7-unconventional-ways-save-serious-money/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=7-unconventional-ways-save-serious-money http://under30ceo.com/7-unconventional-ways-save-serious-money/#comments Thu, 08 May 2014 13:00:03 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=39364 Bootstrapping.  The very word conjures visions of Ramen noodles, re-worn shirts, and sleeping on the floor. But it doesn’t have to be torturous.  I’ve personally saved over $2,550 a month while living like a king using the tactics below. That makes a big difference for a fledgling business (and fledgling business owner). These tactics are […]

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o-WORK-OUT-OUTSIDE-facebook

Bootstrapping.  The very word conjures visions of Ramen noodles, re-worn shirts, and sleeping on the floor.

But it doesn’t have to be torturous.  I’ve personally saved over $2,550 a month while living like a king using the tactics below.

That makes a big difference for a fledgling business (and fledgling business owner).

These tactics are battle tested and non-obvious for many.  Yes, you need to cut back on the $6 lattes, expensive vacations, and yacht parties: but you don’t need to read that here.  Instead, here are some tried-and true tactics that will save you lots of money without sacrificing the things that matter most.

Move into the main room and Airbnb your room

This is a revenue generator or a cost saver depending on how you look at it.  Either way, it is the simplest way to rock your budget while you’re bootstrapping.

Put your room up on Airbnb.  In cities like NYC or San Francisco you can charge AT LEAST 2x what you pay in rent per night.  Which means that if you have a guest two weeks out of a month, you have your rent covered.  Any more than that and you transform your single biggest expense to cold hard cash.

Know what else is awesome?  You can meet AMAZING people.

I met a guy who does Infusionsoft setup and I’ll definitely solicit his help when we switch over.  I met a designer who created a book cover for us for free.  I met a guy who has several million dollars worth of equity in a mobile startup.  Believe it or not, Airbnb counts some serious ballers in its ranks.

Cold hard cash plus potentially awesome relationships, all at the cost of sleeping on your couch a few nights a month?  Yes please!

Want to take it to the next level and make it a part-time job?  Check out this article.

Total saved: $1,000+ depending on the city you live in.

Stop drinking

Most people in their mid twenties spend HUNDREDS of dollars a month on alcohol.  Even when they’re broke they’ll pickup a six pack of beer or a handle of Vodka on a Friday night.  Then they’ll top it off at the bar once they’re sloshed and their wallets have loosened up.  With late night food, taxis, and phone(s) lost while hammered, drinking likely adds up to your most expensive discretionary habit.  Add to that the lost productivity of your Saturday and Sunday mornings…you can see where I’m going with this.

When you drink, you are literally paying money to ingest poison.  The costs are steep, both financially and physically.  Conversely, going out sober has the benefit of forcing you to develop social skills WITHOUT the aid of liquid courage.  Think that might come in handy when pitching or networking?

I recommend going cold turkey on alcohol.  You can still go out as much as you like, but your nights will be 90% less expensive and you’ll actually get stuff done on weekend mornings.

Total saved: $400+ plus 6 hours a week in productivity

Learn bodyweight exercises and lift outdoors

Bootstrapping is all about cutting out the inessential and an expensive gym membership is definitely inessential, even if you’re a fitness buff.  A playground has everything you need to get shredded.  Sprints, pull ups, push ups, dips, handstand push up, lunges, high jumps: none of these require a fancy gym membership.  All can provide a great workout if done with the right intensity.  Add yoga and cardio intervals and you can get in the best shape of your life for free.

What about during winter?  Buy yourself a pull up bar and go to town.  There’s really no excuse.

When you decide to drop the gym, be careful to check your credit card statement.  I’ve cancelled my account at a certain gym (cough**NYSC**cough) and been billed for months after.  My recommendation: cancel in person AND THEN cancel the credit card they’re billing.  Unfortunately vampiric billing seems to be common in the industry and this is the only way to ensure you’re not paying for gym time you don’t use.

Total saved: $200+

Buy cheap, healthy foods that require no prep and no cleanup

No one wants to live on Ramen.  It is bland and is awful for you in the long run.  Grocery shopping gets you higher quality food for cheap, but you’ve got to prepare, cook, and clean wasting valuable time (not to mention the hidden costs of spices, oils, dressings, pots and pans etc).  It feels like you’re being pulled between cheap, high quality, and easy to make and you can only choose 2.

What to do?

Discover the hidden group of cheap, healthy, tasty, and low-investment foods and go bonkers.  That’s exactly what I’ve done for you here :-)

All of these take zero cooking and less than 2 mins prep/cleaning.

Meals

Chipotle ($7.50 for double meat and guac when hacked, delicious, extremely healthy when you get the right ingredients)

Canned Tuna and Avocados ($3.50, delicious together, and awesome for you)

Pre-Cooked Rotisserie Chicken and Bagged Spinach (<$11, healthy, spinach adds much needed leafy veggies)

Snacks

Greek yogurt (<$3/serving, healthy, protein-chocked and cheap – buy in tubs for best savings)

Almonds and dark chocolate (<$1.50/serving high in calories, delicious, and health).  My personal favorites for cheap but still delicious are here: Almonds and Dark chocolate

Lunch meat (<$3/serving, healthy and cheap – turkey tends to be the least expensive)

Bonus: buy using Amazon shipments on non-perishables to save like crazy

Amazon shipments will save you 15% per shipment, plus time wasted in the checkout line.  Enough said

Bonus #2: All you can eat buffets

Every town has a buffet with decent food for approx. $20.  Park there midday and bring a book.  Some places have wifi so bring your laptop, too.  If you go often and make friends with the wait staff, they won’t ever rush you out.

Total saved: $150 – $300

Buy stuff with work/life crossover potential and expense them

Eventually you’re going to need to replace those shirts with holes and those ratty shoes.  The good news is that as an entrepreneur, some of your life expenses are also legitimate business expenses.  You just have to do some planning.

So go ahead, buy yourself a nice button down shirt for a pitch meeting.  Then wear it out at night to the dive bar (no drinking though!)

Need new shoes?  Buy one pair of black dress shoes that go with slacks or jeans.  Wear them everywhere, from business casual meetings to hanging out with friends.  Legitimate business expense.

Also, DO THE WORK UPFRONT to establish an office area in your apartment so you can expense it. This can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars of tax refunds come April 15.

Total saved: $100, potentially much more if you set up a home office.

Coaching trades

There are a lot of skills you’re going to need to start your business.  And I promise you, no matter how smart you are, you don’t have all of them.  You can try to do everything yourself, but that is going to take a long time.  You might sink before your business can keep you afloat.

This is where coaching trades come in.  If you’re starting a business, you must be good at something.  Capitalize on this.  My partner, Ben, for instance teaches charisma with me.  While at an entrepreneurial meetup, he managed to make a good impression on some super successful entrepreneurs.  One of them was impressed enough to ask for coaching.  Instead of treating him like a dollar sign, Ben proposed a trade.  You help me develop my business, I’ll help you become incredibly confident and charismatic.  

Two months later that coaching trade has generated us thousands of dollars and some awesome contacts.  On the other side of the equation, the guy Ben works with has said he’s never been happier and that Ben’s coaching has been one of the most impactful decisions of his life.  Everybody’s happy, everybody wins.

When you have a would-be customer, ask yourself, “What if I just GAVE them my product or service?  What could we exchange that would create more value for both of us?”

Total savings: none, but huge potential upside

Check fiver

Yes, this is technically spending money.  But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to photoshop an image or format an ebook and wasted hours.  The next time you’re going to try something outside of your expertise, check fiverr.  There just might be somebody willing to save you 3 hours for 5 bucks.

Total savings: several hours and your sanity :-)

There you have it: 7 proven tactics to cut expenses while you bootstrap WITHOUT living like a pauper.  Implementing just a few of these could buy you the precious time you need to get your business funded or profitable.  I’ll be happy to accept retroactive donations once you’ve built your empire :-)

Charlie Houpert is co-founder of Charisma On Command.  He currently lives in Rio de Janeiro and spends his days writing, coaching, and enjoying life on the beach :)  WebTwitter.

Image Credit: www.huffingtonpost.com

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Why Does the Hiring Process Take So Long For Young Professionals? http://under30ceo.com/hiring-process-take-long-young-professionals/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hiring-process-take-long-young-professionals http://under30ceo.com/hiring-process-take-long-young-professionals/#comments Wed, 07 May 2014 15:00:00 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=39169 The hiring process for new graduates can often be lengthy. Many employers are looking for young professionals with new ideas to add to their team. They may take a longer time to vet them, however, unlike with a veteran professional who might be fast-tracked due to his significant job experience.  This doesn’t mean an employer […]

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Hiring

The hiring process for new graduates can often be lengthy. Many employers are looking for young professionals with new ideas to add to their team. They may take a longer time to vet them, however, unlike with a veteran professional who might be fast-tracked due to his significant job experience.  This doesn’t mean an employer is reluctant to offer you the job. On the contrary, this is your chance to shine and make sure you present a convincing case of why you should be hired.

Vetting: What is the employer searching for?

Potential:

Hiring managers and recruiters often struggle to assess whether a new graduate really has the potential to excel on the job, especially given their minimal real world job history. The shift from college to a full-time job is a major one and many young professionals have a difficult time adjusting to working 40 or more hours a week with committed focus and little time off.  At most companies, new hires have the highest turnover rate. Either they quit because they can’t adjust or they think they can find a better situation at another job.

What can you do?  Understand these concerns and counter them by including things in your interviews that demonstrate you’ve had long-term commitments and are accustomed to hard work. Present examples of where you’ve faced tough situations but didn’t quit. If life circumstances have caused you to take on unusual burdens or set of responsibilities at some point in your life, make a point of sharing how you triumphed despite that.

Soft Skills:

It’s not the technical skills of new graduates that cause employers worry. A Workforce Solutions Group survey found that many employers – 60 percent – felt young applicants lacked significant “soft skills,” such as interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate well. In addition, employers questioned how well recent graduates were taught to think critically enough to solve workplace problems or creatively enough to be innovative.

What can you do?  During your interviews, express yourself confidently and clearly. Be open and try to strike rapport with the interviewer. Emphasize your people skills and how well you can work both by yourself and with a team. If you were known for helping classmates, being an activist on campus, managing social activities or serving as a resident assistant or a student leader, explain how this allowed you to develop your interpersonal talents.

The Process:  What is the most time-consuming phase of the hiring process?

Resumes, interviews, reference checks, backgrounding, follow-up interviews and comparative evaluation of candidates can all slow down the selection process for hiring a young professional.

The interview process is by far the longest phase, and may include an email exchange, phone interview, initial in-person interview, a post-interview review, a second round interview for the top one or two finalists and possibly a third bargaining interview.  The steps in this interview series may be separated by weeks or even months, whether you are working directly with a hiring manager or a recruiting firm.

The first interview focuses on your resume, personality, skill level and occupational knowledge.  The second interview is an intensified look at your experience and will be used to assess what you have to offer compared to other final candidates. It typically includes interviews with additional people at the company, whether they are managers or top employees at your pay grade. At this time, there may be a discussion of job benefits as well as a tour of the actual facility where you would be working.  If you are not offered a contract at this time, you might be called in for a third interview where final negotiations and a formal job offer will take place. After each interview, the management team will take time internally for discussions and review.

What you should do? Keep sending out resumes and searching for jobs. Accept other invitations to interview. That way, you will have choices in case you are rejected. If a manager or staffing firm rejects you for a particular position, often they will keep your resume on file in case a position better suited for you become available.

Your Responsibility: How can you help speed up the process?

  • Follow up after your interviews with a thank-you email or a note sent by snail mail. Make this contact within 24 hours.
  • If you have not heard from a hiring manager or recruiter at any phase in the hiring process, give them a call to see if they got your resume or have any post-interview questions.  Ask them how soon they plan to make a decision.

Keep a positive attitude as you wait, believing that someone will see your potential and give you the opportunity you deserve.

Judi Wunderlich has been a leading recruiter for over 20 years. In 2009 she co-founded the WunderLand Group, a staffing and recruiting firm which focuses on contract and full time job opportunities in Marketing, Advertising, and Digital Design & Development. WunderLand has offices in Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Connecticut. Judi’s position allows her a unique view of hiring trends, and she has written about and spoken at numerous conferences on hiring, career trends, and the use of social media for job seekers and hiring managers alike. Connect with Judi on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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Why Learning to Say NO is Good For Your Career http://under30ceo.com/learning-say-good-career/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=learning-say-good-career http://under30ceo.com/learning-say-good-career/#comments Tue, 06 May 2014 17:00:00 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=39160 Well, let’s face it! We all have been in a situation when our boss knowingly or unknowingly makes us work beyond we actually would want to. There have been times when we are already running short on a deadline and still, owing to our inability to say a simple “no”, we take on another assignment […]

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Say No

Well, let’s face it! We all have been in a situation when our boss knowingly or unknowingly makes us work beyond we actually would want to. There have been times when we are already running short on a deadline and still, owing to our inability to say a simple “no”, we take on another assignment which obviously would make us curse ourselves later on. So, what is it about saying “no” that keeps us from saying it and make things difficult for us?

Why it is so hard to say “NO”?

Saying no is definitely more difficult than saying yes, and research studies have shown that many people just end up saying yes because they do not want the discomfort that comes with saying no. Social connection is one of our fundamental needs, and saying no seems to put our relationships at stake. That’s why, the more close the person is, we find it more difficult to say no. We fear that a negative reaction would change the way the other person views us.

Neuroscience seems to back this with its findings regarding the way brain handles negative reactions. Negative information is responsible for creation of greater electrical activity in the cerebral cortex than positive information. May be that’s why negative or hurtful memories are harder to forget than positive memories. This actually is the brain’s way to keep us from repeating the same mistake twice. You might be one of the most helping souls out there but when it comes to professional arena, learning to say no might actually prove more beneficial than harmful.

Why do you need to learn to say no more often?

We are so accustomed to saying yes to almost everything that we often forget what we are saying yes to.  When you are at work such a nature would obviously count you amongst the people pleaser who just wants to suck up to the boss so as to gain a promotion or a salary hike, even if you are genuinely passionate about your job. But this shouldn’t be the reason to start learning to say no.

In fact, saying no more often can actually help you avoid unnecessary stress and falling into trap of inefficient production cycles.  If at any point your subconscious mind tells you about saying no to something, you must give that thought a merit for consideration. It is my first hand experience that when you agree to doing something that you actually do not want to do, it drains you up mentally. Your mind stops being creative for a task which you think you shouldn’t be doing at first place, resulting in mediocrity, which is anything but appreciable at work.

You are no superhuman, so don’t be ashamed of saying it

If I possessed even 10% of the superhuman powers of Spidey or the Batman, I wouldn’t be probably writing this article and you wouldn’t be reading it. Instead, we all are normal human beings bounded by limited mental and physical capabilities and that’s why sometimes saying no can help manage your work load, improve your professional performance and even relationships. Agreeing to do everything what your manager asks you to do even when you have your plate full amounts to being a people pleaser, which can have serious implications for your productivity. The consequences of saying ‘yes’ when you are already working to your full capacity and are unable to deliver the necessary standard of work are actually worse than trusting your gut and saying ‘no’ to a particular assignment.

Take your time to respond

Instead of immediately responding to a request, give your mind few crucial minutes to structure your schedule and find if there is any room to fit in that new request. Conduct a priority check. Does the new request create any value for the company or add up to your existing skills and capabilities? Can you afford to prioritize the new request if it requires to be done ‘on-priority’ basis?

A reality check regarding the workload will also help. Sometimes it’s not the work but our inefficient management that ends up making us feeling overwhelmed. If you are saying no to a new assignment by your manager, you better have solid reasons to back up your denial.

Be honest

Once you realize that there is no way you can comply to the new request without actually affecting your existing projects and work assignments, the next step is to let your colleague or boss know the same, in delicate yet firm manner. A lopsided statement as it may seem, but nevertheless, a denial of request should be accomplished through delicate choice of words.

Let it be clear through your statement that you are rejecting the request, not the person.  If it’s your boss then you can engage him in prioritizing the different tasks. Ask him if he would like you to complete the new request over the other tasks you have or wouldn’t it be better if the new work is assigned to someone else.

While it will take some time to getting used to saying ‘no’, you will find after some practice that it is not as difficult and it may also earn you the respect of others for they will know you are responsible individual and a person with a plan.

Saurabh Tyagi took to writing at a tender age of ten, when he submitted his first essay for the school magazine. Although an engineer by qualification, he has kept his creative flame alive and still writes and guest blogs for online education websites on various career and education related topics.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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6 Ways to Foster Collaboration in Your Workplace http://under30ceo.com/6-ways-foster-collaboration-workplace/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=6-ways-foster-collaboration-workplace http://under30ceo.com/6-ways-foster-collaboration-workplace/#comments Sat, 03 May 2014 17:00:55 +0000 GuestAuthor http://under30ceo.com/?p=39615 What do the “The Avengers,” “The A-Team,” “The Expendables,” and “X-Men” have in common? They are all stories of individuals combining their talents to achieve a common goal. Teamwork brings victory in the world of fiction, and it can help you succeed in business, too. Collaboration is a big theme for small businesses today for a reason: It works. […]

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collaboration

What do the “The Avengers,” “The A-Team,” “The Expendables,” and “X-Men” have in common? They are all stories of individuals combining their talents to achieve a common goal. Teamwork brings victory in the world of fiction, and it can help you succeed in business, too.

Collaboration is a big theme for small businesses today for a reason: It works. As CEO of the first e-commerce company in the commercial printing space, I know the importance of building a team-oriented workforce. People thrive in an environment that frees them to collaborate. When my employees experience job satisfaction, my customers reap the benefits.

However, implementing this approach can be challenging. It requires a complete paradigm shift to change the focus from individual accomplishment to team success.

The first step to getting started is equipping each team member to participate. Here are six ways to cultivate a collaborative environment:

1. Communicate company expectations.

Define roles and responsibilities within the team, and make it clear that collaboration is the minimum standard. All team members should understand their positions and what is required of them.

In a collaborative environment, every team member takes responsibility for good outcomes. At my company, we have a “Project Insta-Team,” or “PITstop” process. All our employees, from sales to manufacturing, have the power to stop any order to ensure accuracy and quality, and members of our team know that they are all held accountable for customer satisfaction.

2. Set team goals.

Set concise, measurable goals on a quarterly basis. Getting the team to focus on goals will keep individual efforts aligned with desired outcomes. Be willing to reevaluate goals as needed. All our quarterly goals are published on our company intranet. Each quarter, we post the outcome of each goal. This keeps us focused and transparent.

3. Foster a creative atmosphere.

Allow team members to question and brainstorm in a non-judgmental framework. Encourage the team to view all obstacles as conquerable. Nurture a can-do company attitude. Ask why — or why not — on a regular basis.

One way we cultivate a creative atmosphere at my company is by providing leadership training that encourages character development. We purposefully hire employees who aspire to be and produce their very best.

4. Build cohesion.

Include every person on the team in as many large decisions as possible. Initiate daily team huddles where each member shares what he or she will be accomplishing that day, and have a means to communicate workflows to avoid duplicating efforts. This keeps everyone on the same page and enables team members to redirect their efforts as needed.

5. Know one another.

Every team is full of different personality dynamics, skill sets, and experiences. It’s worth the effort to have each member complete a simple personality profile. Share the results, and openly discuss likes and dislikes regarding communication, tasks, and personal focus.

At my company, we use Insights Discovery to provide a personality and work style assessment. We print the resulting insight color graph on each team member’s nameplate.

6. Leverage team member strengths.

Position each team member for success by assigning tasks that play to his or her respective strengths. Reward both individual and team accomplishments regularly.

Establishing a collaboration policy is just the beginning. Collaboration must be consistent and deliberate, and you must dedicate time and resources to it. You may have many superheroes in your office already, but you can increase your productivity exponentially by getting them to work as a collaborative team.

Andrew Field is the President and CEO of PrintingForLess.com, a print and marketing technology solutions company that prides itself on being called “America’s Print Shop.” Connect with Andrew on Twitter and Google+.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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Where You Should Sit for an Interview or Meeting http://under30ceo.com/sit-interview-meeting/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sit-interview-meeting http://under30ceo.com/sit-interview-meeting/#comments Fri, 02 May 2014 15:30:00 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=39044 If you’ve graduated from college somewhat recently, you probably still remember the delicate art of choosing where to sit in your classes. When you were in a large classroom with hundreds of other people, you could either choose a seat towards the middle or back to remain anonymous, or you could choose a seat closer […]

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If you’ve graduated from college somewhat recently, you probably still remember the delicate art of choosing where to sit in your classes. When you were in a large classroom with hundreds of other people, you could either choose a seat towards the middle or back to remain anonymous, or you could choose a seat closer to the front to avoid being distracted. When you were in a smaller seminar or section that met at a large round table, you had to negotiate how close to sit to the professor or TA (or even risk sitting in a chair at the edge of the room if you came late).

The professional world also has certain unspoken rules about where to sit in different situations, and where you choose to sit can end up making a big difference in the way hiring managers, your employer, and your co-workers think of you. Your seat can also influence your engagement and productivity in a business meeting, which can in turn affect your overall career performance. Even though it seems like a minor thing, your seating position is something you should put some thought into. Let’s take a look at two different professional settings—interviews and meetings—where seating matters.

One-on-One Interview

If you’ve ever been a job seeker (which should be just about everyone reading this), you’ve probably already received endless advice about how important first impressions are when you go in for an interview. You’ve heard that you should be well-dressed, show up on time, make eye contact, smile, and give a firm handshake, but one thing that doesn’t always come up is where you should sit for your interview.

As a general rule, you should wait for your interviewer to invite you to sit, and then take the seat they gesture to. However, if your interviewer doesn’t indicate a particular chair and you have several choices, you should take a seat directly across from him or her and adjust it if necessary so that you are at eye level. This shows confidence and an interest in engaging with the interviewer, two qualities that are important for any job.

Group Interview

When you’re placed in the daunting situation of interviewing with a panel of people, you’ll want to sit directly across from your interviewers, at the middle of the table. Make sure that you’re engaging with all your interviewers by shaking hands, making eye contact, and smiling. You should also introduce yourself to each interviewer individually. If you’ve brought something like a purse or a briefcase with you, carefully place it underneath the table rather than on it.

Brainstorming Meeting

Although it might not seem like as much of a high-stakes situation as a job interview, the seating arrangement during a company brainstorming meeting is still important because it can influence the group’s productivity. Whenever possible, keep brainstorming groups small and sit at a round table so that everyone can be involved—or eliminate the table altogether and circle up the chairs to encourage an informal discussion. If you know that there are several strong personalities in the room, separate them across the circle to encourage the most collaborative environment.

Lunch Meeting

That’s right, your seating arrangement is important even when you’re going out to lunch! If you’re meeting with one other co-worker or supervisor, request a 4-top table in a quiet corner of the restaurant to avoid loud noises and other distractions. Instead of sitting directly across from one another, you and your co-worker should sit next to each other on the corner of the table to allow for more intimate conversation. If the two of you have also invited a client to lunch, politely direct him or her to the chair next to you when he or she arrives.

Professional seating arrangements certainly aren’t something that you should get stressed out about, but being aware of them can help you to put yourself in the best possible light and establish the most conducive work environment.

breuerchairsbusinessseatingguide1

Matthew Zajechowski is an outreach manager for Digital Third Coast.  Connect with him on Twitter or Google+.

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