Under30CEO » Career Advice http://under30ceo.com Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +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/ Why I Wrote A Check To The Nazis For $1,000 (Trust Me, There’s a Good Reason) http://under30ceo.com/wrote-check-nazis-1000-trust-theres-good-reason/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wrote-check-nazis-1000-trust-theres-good-reason http://under30ceo.com/wrote-check-nazis-1000-trust-theres-good-reason/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 13:00:07 +0000 danieldipiazza http://under30ceo.com/?p=39452   Wow. Never thought I’d type THAT title into the subject line of this post. Today, my friends, I wanted to give you some quick insight into a last resort strategy you can enact to finally get yourself to take action when other methods have failed. It’s very simple: Punishment. I’ve had an annoying psychological […]

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Wow. Never thought I’d type THAT title into the subject line of this post.

Today, my friends, I wanted to give you some quick insight into a last resort strategy you can enact to finally get yourself to take action when other methods have failed. It’s very simple:

Punishment.

I’ve had an annoying psychological barrier lurking in the background of my brain for 25 years. I call it the Wiggle Room Barrier. The Wiggle Room Barrier has me believe that approximates can be substituted for absolutes, then makes me underestimate the consequences for not hitting benchmarks I set for myself. It sounds a little something like this (various formats):

  • “It’s ok if I’m a LITTLE late. What’s 5 – (or insert much higher number) minutes between friends/coworkers/clients?”
  • “This person SAID they wanted this deliverable at X time, but if I got it to them at Y time, everything will still run smoothly”
  • “Officer, I understand. But I was only going 11 over. It’s basically the same.”

This barrier is very real. And it has real consequences. I’ve always known that it was something I needed to work on, but I’ve always been able to work AROUND it, not through it:

For instance, if I was late to class, I’d show up and do incredible, top 1% work. Teacher can’t be mad.

Or at work, I’d build such strong personal bonds that people would be forced to overlook my negative traits in the blinding glare of my awesome.

Or maybe I’m late for my training session at the gym. My excuse: I’m paying my trainer, he’s already getting my money. No big deal.

All of this, is of course, dreadfully wrong.

In the back of my mind, I’ve told myself that I’d continue to work on this weak point “when I have time.” But…umm…when has THAT phrase ever really helped us get something done?

As I get older, I realize that this is something that I need to handle now. I can blame it on my parents, or the fact that I’m still “young and learning (boo hoo)”, but in reality, I need to get this shit handled. Period.

Except I can’t FORCE myself to do it. I can’t WILL myself to be more accountable or show up at places on time. I’ve tried. If I have an hour to leave, I’ll look at Google maps, see that it only calculates 38 minutes of drive time, then leave at PRECISELY 38 minutes until I have to be in the meeting. Then I have the audacity to get mad at traffic. LOL. I’m funny.

So what’s the solution? Wallow in this? Let the habit take me down and overshadow my other good qualities? Not a chance.

Thank GOD the American Nazi Party is here to help.

I remember reading a post by AJ Jacobs a few months ago. AJ had an interesting suggestion for hacking your own stubbornness.

  • First: Identify a habit that you want to be accountable for.
  • Then, to get MASSIVE leverage on yourself, write a check to a charity you absolutely HATE — and give that check to an impartial 3rd party who will check in on you once a week.
  • (Make sure to pick someone that doesn’t care about your feelings.)
  • Have them call you 1x/week for 90 seconds. If you didn’t follow through on your end of the commitment (make them probe you), the check sends.
  • That’s it.

Here’s my check. I’m sending it to a masochistic friend in Canada today. I would rather burn myself alive than send this out. So I know I’ll be overcoming the Wiggle Room Barrier. Come to think of it, the Nazis would probably rather me burn alive as well.

 

photo

Note the memo. And I think the Superman print is despicably ironic.

 

Writing checks to people/charities you hate is one way to take massive action to change yourself. But it’s not the only way.

What’s one habit/trait that’s been KILLING you your whole life and needs MASSIVE action/consequences to change?

What action/consequences could you take/enact to change it. Get extreme here.

*******

PS – I share all my best insights/strategies on building online businesses and living a better life with my Tribe. Have you joined yet? It’s free - click here to join.

 

Parts of this post were originally published by Daniel DiPiazza at Rich20Something.com

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5 Creative Ways to Visualizing Your Resume http://under30ceo.com/5-creative-ways-visualizing-resume/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-creative-ways-visualizing-resume http://under30ceo.com/5-creative-ways-visualizing-resume/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:00:02 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38849 Finding creative ways to get ahead of your competition for jobs is vital because at the moment it is an employer’s market. Add to that that college students have it even tougher because they have no experience and so have to work harder to stand out. That is why adding a visual element to your […]

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Finding creative ways to get ahead of your competition for jobs is vital because at the moment it is an employer’s market. Add to that that college students have it even tougher because they have no experience and so have to work harder to stand out. That is why adding a visual element to your resume is a great idea. The HR staff have to look at resumes all day and sooner or later they are going to start blending into one big mess of words. That is why it is important to be more visual in order to stand out.

1 – Video resume creation

You may create a video resume to help you visualize your resume. If you can keep the video direct and to the point then it may go down very well. You just have to remember that the people watching will consider your video resume an inconvenient, so you have to make it as direct and concise as possible with a mind to the fact the viewer is very impatient. You must also remember that visuals are great but if your audio is not perfect then you will fail.

You can try Stupeflix if you want to create a new video resume. Or, if you want to go a slightly lower tech route then you can try YouTube, as they have a batch of tools that are good for video tinkering. There is also Windows Movie Maker which comes pre-installed with your Windows operating system, and that has a few decent editing tools that are easy to use.

Tools you can check:

For example, this video for EssayMama was created by Stupeflix in 30 minutes:

www.youtube.com/embed/xDZ6TZPni7U?rel=0

2 – Infographic resume

Having an Infographic feature before your resume is not a bad idea. The employer may see a glimpse of what you are all about–with the added benefit that you can present yourself in a very positive way whist still being honest. The mention of your “A” grades may have a much bigger impact on an Infographic than simply listing your grades on a document. You need not even mention that you only got one or two; you need just mention that you got high grades. You are supposed to keep packets of information short on your Infographic, so keeping it down to the most basic but fantastic things about you is going to work well.

There are a lot of tools out there for creating your Infographics.

Vizualize is there to help you manufacture simple Infographics. You may like to add live feed information to your Infographic, which you may do with the Google developer’s tool. A lot of people use Piktochart to help create their Infographics and http Easel.ly is very popular too.

piktochart

Tools you can also use:

3 – Animated video resume

An animated video resume is usually a better idea than a video resume because there are fewer things that can go wrong, and a poor quality video may be annoying whereas a poor quality cartoon is just inconvenient (and a little more forgivable). Plus, the more time you spend on it then the better it becomes, which is not always true of video resumes. Just like with a video resume you should be concise, quick and make sure the audio quality is top notch.

There is PowToon beta which makes animating your video resume very easy because of the simple principles they use. Plus, the animation is very basic and that is all you really need. Alternatively you can try Go Animate which is slightly more sophisticated, but they market themselves as low budgets with a low learning curve and do-it-yourself tools.

Tools you can use:

4 – Presentation

Posing your resume as a presentation is not a terrible idea if your future job may include presentations. It may be a good ally to your current document résumé. You could mention near the top of your resume that you also have a presentation version of your resume so that people have the option of looking at your presentation instead of being forced to look at it.

You can try the Slideshare.net website and the tools on there to create your presentation. The better, though more expensive, option is Microsoft PowerPoint creator with which you may create a very high question presentation and email it to your future employer as a ppt file.

Tools you can use:

5 – Turn your resume into an epic

The whole one-page resume is just for people who have lived a life that can be described with one page. If you are as talented and fantastic as you want your future employer to believe then create a resume full of your skills, experience, attitudes and achievements. If you have met the mayor then have a full page with you shaking hands with him and a short story underneath of what happened that day. Trying hard on your resume and putting lots of time and money into it is going to show how much you want the job. Just make sure it doesn’t look as if you have created it like a brochure in a way that suggests you are frequently unemployed or that you have been unemployed so long that you are printing leaflets. You are simply creating visually stimulating content but more than a page because you have a lot to and a lot to give.

Jess Millis, experienced writer, editor and copywriter. She works as an educator in James Madison University (writing classes) and at EssayMama.com as a freelance essay writer.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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How to Use a Business Plan Template as a Resume Writing Tactic http://under30ceo.com/use-business-plan-template-resume-writing-tactic/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=use-business-plan-template-resume-writing-tactic http://under30ceo.com/use-business-plan-template-resume-writing-tactic/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:00:36 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38992 Young professionals, with an entrepreneurial mindset, like us, should take advantage of traditional business management tools as tactics in our career planning strategy. I believe professionals should start implementing a “business management” framework to assess their career goals and define objectives with one clear end in mind: a tailored resume that highlights your top talent […]

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resume

Young professionals, with an entrepreneurial mindset, like us, should take advantage of traditional business management tools as tactics in our career planning strategy. I believe professionals should start implementing a “business management” framework to assess their career goals and define objectives with one clear end in mind: a tailored resume that highlights your top talent potential.

How to put together a resume that reads as a business plan?

The writing real estate that your resume provides should be well utilized to communicate your authentic and consistent message. The first step is to think of yourself as a start-up or business venture, rather than another employee in the bunch, and charge your resume with an inspiring vision.

In this article, I will go over some sections of a basic business plan and the ways to implement them to give an innovative twist to your resume writing process.

A Business Plan’s Cover Page Becomes Your Cover Letter.

The first section of a business plan is the cover page, which includes the business’ contact information. For you, this is the crafted message, with specific and updated contact details, you send along with your resume. No email should be sent without a proper introductory message to grab the recruiter’s attention. When writing this message think about your target audience (whom are you speaking to?) as well as your marketing plan (how do you want to promote yourself?) In 2-3 short paragraphs establish consistency and credibility, while picking the reader’s interest.

A Business Plan’s Competitive Analysis Becomes Your Resume Objectives.

Your competitive advantage is the unique value you offer to the organization or team. This includes knowledge, skills and perspectives. If you don’t state this yourself, others may fill-in the gaps. Brag about yourself a little. Which competencies make you the best candidate for that position and an asset to their teams? Remember to be creative and highlight your personality. Be brief and to the point (The interview will be the time to elaborate). Mainly, don’t shy away from your achievements, but talk about them in a humble, honest way.

A Business Plan’s Company Overview Makes up Your Resume Education and Experiences.

At which places have you worked at? What is your professional background? What degrees or certification have you received? What have been your major personal and professional accomplishments so far? The answers to these questions will be introduce to your resume as the list of your formal education and continuing education efforts, as well as past and current positions.

A Business Plan’s Executive Summary Bulks up Your Education and Experience.

What is it that you can provide in terms of knowledge and expertise? What innovative ideas do you bring to the table? What will make your professional journey successful in the long run and how would you impact your organization and team? By thinking about and answering these questions as you write your resume you’d be preparing yourself for the “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” scenario. A great strategy is to focus on the elements that must be there in the future in order for you to be fulfilled. Use the executive summary perspective to include your participation in initiatives and projects, and the results you helped generate. This is similar to the section above, however in this case you assign projects to individual positions and highlight results. Your main objective should be consistency.

What other sections of a business plan could help guide your interview and networking efforts?

The business plan sections below will help you gather and create value that attracts and connects you with your industry; peers, colleagues and influencers.

Industry Analysis.

You must showcase knowledge of your field or the industry you want to grow you career toward. Get familiar with relevant information and updates about your industry. Use the information you gather and create to add value to your online profiles and face to face conversations with colleagues. Current or Prospective employers will take notice.

Customer Analysis.

Assess who your target audience is; a specific group of influencers within your industry, prospective employers or colleagues, and organization or non-profit. Also, identify problems they currently face and strategies to solve them. This will prepare you for an interview or presentation. It would also help you decide if the field is the right fit and what you may want to contribute.

Taking the time to implement a business plan template to write your resume gives you an opportunity to assess and evaluate your goals and clarify your vision. I encourage you to think strategically about your career.

Take action now! Start developing your new and improved resume! Want some feedback? Send me a copy for a peer to peer assessment!

Gabriela Gotay, founder of entrespective.com, a blog for millennial professionals looking to expand their careers and talents, generating self-empowerment by implementing entrepreneurial perspective. She has over five years of experience as a HR Manager, Training and Organizational Development Coordinator. Find more about her at about.me.gabriela.gotay. References: Business Plan Structure found @Forbes.com on 03/06/14.

 Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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5 Reasons Your Job Application Didn’t Get a Response (And What You Can Do About It!) http://under30ceo.com/5-reasons-job-application-didnt-get-response-can/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-reasons-job-application-didnt-get-response-can http://under30ceo.com/5-reasons-job-application-didnt-get-response-can/#comments Sat, 12 Apr 2014 19:00:10 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38854   In the midst of an arduous job hunt, you will find that many of your applications and resumes are not getting the response you expected from employers, let alone a response at all. More likely than not, you won’t even get a rejection letter from 90% of the places you are applying to. Why […]

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job application 

In the midst of an arduous job hunt, you will find that many of your applications and resumes are not getting the response you expected from employers, let alone a response at all. More likely than not, you won’t even get a rejection letter from 90% of the places you are applying to.

Why is this?

1. Competition/ATS

One of the most prominent reasons that you didn’t get a response to your resume is that you’re facing dramatic competition. Remember that the Human Resources Department or the screener for the hiring manager, might receive hundreds, maybe even thousands of resumes weekly.

In order to deal with this, the HR departments and recruiters have turned to ATS software or Applicant Tracking Systems. These automated systems are looking for very specific keywords in your resume that match the keywords in the job description or offering.

What You CAN Do About It

Do your homework and research. Have some industry related keywords in your resume. Be sure to follow-up with an actual person who has either screening or hiring authority and pursues an answer on your resume.

2. Sloppy Resumes Filled with Mistakes

Sloppy resumes that are disorganized and have spelling or grammatical errors will either be thrown out by the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) or rejected by the actual hiring manager.

If your resume is 5-7 pages long you can expect it to not to be read at all.

What You CAN Do About It

Make sure your resume is processed through a spelling and grammar check even, if the resume wasn’t produced in Word. Copy it to Word and make sure there are no additional errors in the resume. You could have another person proof read it for you as well. An extra set of eyes always helps.

In addition, remember that the length of the resume counts. If your resume is 2+ pages, there’s a good chance it won’t even be considered. Hiring managers do not have enough time as it is, nor will they make the time to read and understand your lengthy fluff filled resume. A one-page resume is ideal. Consolidate and highlight your most profound and applicable skills.

3. Resume and Cover Letter Not Targeted

Did you cut and paste your resume into the application from this specific company and did you fire off your generic cover letter? Once again you might be dealing with an Applicant Tracking System that is looking for keywords in your application and/or resume.

What You CAN Do About It

Take the time to get it right. Do not cut and paste a generic resume or cover letter. Go to the job description and find your skills that match the company’s needs. Make sure the language in your resume is exactly the same as the language in the job description as it relates to those skills.

The same is true of your cover letter. In fact the cover letter might be more important than the resume because a person will be reading it not a computer. The cover letter should show how your skills in past jobs relate directly to what this company needs.

Look up information about the company and include it in the cover letter. Be sure to ask for the interview in your cover letter in an assertive but not aggressive way.

4. Delivering Your Resume Without Following Instructions

Send you resume to a real person who can respond to it. Don’t send it to HR@somemail.com or to jobs@thiscompany.com. If the job ad and description do not give you a person, then take the time to do some research and find the name of the HR Director or even better the name of the head of the department the job is in,

What You CAN Do About It

Follow the instructions that are given with the ad and/or job description.  If the instruction says only complete the application than only complete the application and do not attempt to send a cover letter and/or resume.

On the other hand if the instructions call for a cover letter, a resume and a completed application, make sure you send all three. If they ask for salary requirements give it to them. If you don’t your resume might just get passed over. The company might want to see if you can follow instructions. So do what is asked.

5. Not Qualified/Holes/Job Hopping

First of all, are you qualified for this job? Make sure you are before you send in the application. Do you have gaps in your job history or a history of job-hopping? Without explanation these two items will cost you an interview.

Most hiring managers will just bypass those types of resumes if the Applicant Tracking Center doesn’t do it first. Even if there is no ATS used, an HR screener or recruiter will place your resume in the “no” pile.

What You CAN Do About It

As previously mentioned match up your skills with the requirements of the job description. This will tell you if you are qualified for this job or not. If you cannot match up most of your skills then don’t apply for the job.

Use a functional resume that doesn’t call attention to the holes and the changes in jobs as much as a conventional resume does. Also even with a functional resume, explain at the end of the resume any gaps or job-hopping.

Be sure to note any layoffs, acquisitions, mergers or company conditions that caused any gaps or job-hopping.

There are a number of ways to make sure your resume and application are noticed. Yes it can be a pesky economy for positions, and yes the competition is certainly stiff. However, if you follow the advice given here under “What You Can Do About It”, you should be able to defy the odds and find more success on your applications.

What common resume or application mistakes do you typically make? Share with us in the comments below.

Gerald Buck is the editor of http://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 email at buckejobapplications@gmail.com.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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6 Warning Signs You May Need a New Job http://under30ceo.com/6-warning-signs-may-need-new-job/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=6-warning-signs-may-need-new-job http://under30ceo.com/6-warning-signs-may-need-new-job/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 17:00:42 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38735 Trust your instincts. If you suspect that things are not going well at work, you’re probably right. Some clues are blatant, such as having a subordinate promoted above you or having your office — or your parking spot — taken away. When that happens, you know you’re in trouble. Other indications are harder to assess, […]

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new job

Trust your instincts. If you suspect that things are not going well at work, you’re probably right. Some clues are blatant, such as having a subordinate promoted above you or having your office — or your parking spot — taken away. When that happens, you know you’re in trouble. Other indications are harder to assess, because they may seem accidental, such as being excluded from meetings or denied essential information. But the clearest indication of all that you should look for another job is the situation identified by headhunter Jean Allen, a partner in the search firm Heidrick & Struggles.

I asked her, “How do you know when it’s time to leave a job?”

And she answered, “You’re miserable.”

That is really all you need to know. If you are miserable, it doesn’t matter how perfect the job might sound on paper. It doesn’t matter if you are the envy of everyone you know or if your colleagues feel as if they won the lottery every time they clock in. If you don’t feel the same, if you dread Mondays and can barely stand to breathe the same air as your boss, it’s time to move on.

Other signs include the following:

You’re not learning.

This might sound minor — after all, you’re not in school — but it’s actually a huge issue. If you’re not learning, you’re not growing. And if you’re not growing, the job is becoming routine, and boredom is sure to set in. A fulfilling job, a job you can stay in, offers challenges. It requires you to master new skills, to try new techniques, to absorb new information, to meet new people. If none of that is happening, you’re stagnating.

You can’t seem to get an even break.

When you make an error, no matter how inconsequential it may be, your boss jumps all over it. Meanwhile, your contributions go unacknowledged. You haven’t received a raise or a promotion in a while, although others at your level have, and the perks that other employees enjoy somehow never come your way. Although you try to rise above it, you can’t shake the feeling that you are unappreciated.

Your work isn’t valued.

The projects you are asked to do are clearly not on anyone’s list of priorities. You feel inundated with busywork, yet you can’t seem to get assigned to anything else. Or perhaps you don’t have enough to do, and you worry that you’re being sidelined. You’d like to contribute more, if only they’d let you. Your efforts seem futile. Your confidence is being eroded.

You’re suffering emotionally or physically.

Maybe you’re angry and frustrated and taking it out on your friends and family because you can’t express those feelings at work. Maybe you’re developing physical symptoms that your doctor ascribes to stress or anxiety. Or maybe you have what feels like a bad case of the blues. If you suspect that your anger or hopelessness stems from your job, it could be time to move on. (It might also be smart to find a therapist to help you sort through it all.)

Your values are not in sync with those of the company.

Maybe the company plans to expand into foreign markets, but you believe that profits should be plowed back into the community. Or the company wants to invest in oil and gas, but you, as an advocate of greener forms of energy, such as solar and wind power, object. It doesn’t matter what the specific issues are. The point is this: If you often find yourself thinking, “That’s not right,” the fit between you and your job is no longer beneficial for either you or the company.

The business is in bad shape.

Professionally, you’re doing great, but you can see that your industry is in trouble. Now you’re hearing ominous rumors about your company. There have already been layoffs — and to your relief you’ve made it through. But a steady stream of cost-cutting measures is alerting you to the company’s continued downward trajectory. You are certain that sooner or later the ax will fall.

No job is perfect in every respect, and there are always going to be occasional rough periods. So you could probably learn to live with one or two of these factors. But if the problems are piling up, or you have the feeling that things are getting worse, it may be time to take the next step in your career.

Excerpted with permission from the publisher, Citadel Press, from The Critical First Years of Your Professional Life by Robert L. Dilenschneider. Copyright © 2014 

Robert L. Dilenschneider is the founder and Chairman of The Dilenschneider Group, a global public relations and communications consulting firm headquartered in New York City. He is the author of many books, including the best-selling Power and Influence and newly-released The Critical First Years of Your Professional Life. For more information please visit http://www.dilenschneider.com and http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/24146

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How To Balance Ambitious Career Goals With Your Love Life http://under30ceo.com/balance-ambitious-career-goals-love-life/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=balance-ambitious-career-goals-love-life http://under30ceo.com/balance-ambitious-career-goals-love-life/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 13:00:51 +0000 danieldipiazza http://under30ceo.com/?p=39284 Today, I wanted to write about something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time, but haven’t had a chance to discuss with anybody outside of my “inner circle.” I want to talk to you about how I’ve learned to balance the increasing demands of my career — writing, consulting, building products, flying places, […]

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Today, I wanted to write about something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time, but haven’t had a chance to discuss with anybody outside of my “inner circle.”

I want to talk to you about how I’ve learned to balance the increasing demands of my career — writing, consulting, building products, flying places, etc — with the real life responsibilities involved in maintaining a happy long-term romantic relationship.

To be clear: I’m not an expert. I’m not going to write about the 5 Love Languages or tell you that everything is always perfect. I don’t claim to have figured everything out. Not by a long shot.

But over the past year, I’ve definitely gotten better.

In fact, my girlfriend Sara would agree:

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 12.51.46 AM

This is written proof I’ve gotten better. If I ever need it later.

I think the unique challenges that come with having a girlfriend/boyfriend while still trying to hustle hard are worth talking about — and although this is an issue many of my ambitious friends struggle with, I don’t hear people making any good suggestions to improve their results beyond “try harder.”

So I’ll shed a little light on what’s working for me. I hope you find it helpful!

Please leave a comment at the end if you find this info useful — and if you know somebody who could use this type of material, please pass it on.

*******

On Monday, I showed you some of the pictures and video from a mini-vacation that Sara and I took to Vegas last weekend. I got a lot of sweet feedback via email. Thanks guys :)

This year (November) will mark our 4 year anniversary and I’m really happy in the relationship right now. We’ve been through a LOT of ups and downs, but for the past year, definitely more “ups.”

Coincidentally, the past year has also been my busiest year ever.

This is a topic for an entirely different post (or maybe even a book!), but what I’ve experienced in career growth, earning power and opportunity over the past 12 months has been nothing short of mind-blowing. Many people would call this type of exponential improvement a “discontinuous leap” — meaning that improvement skyrockets in a wildly unpredictable, positive growth.

4 years ago, I was a server making $2.13/hr + tips— and many of my previous co-workers are still at that restaurant!

 

I started a series called “The Server Chronicles” to document my struggle at the restaurant

These days, I’m flying all over the world, averaging about 2 trips per month, working on interesting projects and having a lot of fun doing it.

 

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With my friends Rishi and Cesar in Nicaragua on an Under30Experiences trip

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In Boston, getting tattoos with my friends Maneesh and Nicole for our new startup, Pavlok

I’m having a GREAT time. But damn, sometimes I’m getting 3 hrs of sleep/night. It’s the hustle!

 

Why am I telling you about me? Isn’t this post supposed to be about relationships?

I’m making these points not to highlight my own achievement, but to pose a question: If I’m doing so much traveling/working/creating these days…how can I afford to spend time building a meaningful relationship with someone else?

Well, let me start by telling you what DOESN’T WORK.

I used to think of time in business vs my relationship in a 1:1 manner.

I’d desperately struggle to spend equal amounts of time with both. 80 hours of work meant 80 hours with Sara.

This was a benchmark that I’d set for myself, and I could never hit it.

I always felt guilty.

On one hand, I knew that the only way I’d be able to grow my business was to work at it tirelessly.

But on the other hand, working at it tirelessly left me with nothing to contribute to the relationship — and as understanding as she is — you can’t check out for 2 weeks to work on a big project and expect there not to be any consequences.

I always felts like I was playing catch up with my relationship — and I never felt like she was truly satisfied with my attention, even when I was there.

 

Then, I started to play with the “formula”…

One day, it occurred to me…

I’d been so stressed about trying to divide my time 50/50 — but what if I’d gotten the formula all wrong?

What if it wasn’t about quantity, or spending as much time with my girlfriend as I did on my business?

What if it was all about quality?

Over the past 12 months, I haven’t had as much physical time to spend on my relationship as I’d have liked.

But what I have realized is that the ratio doesn’t have to be 1:1 if when you do spend time with someone, you’re completely present.

Think about it. How many times have you been with someone you care about, but at the same time you’re:

  • Scrolling endlessly through your Facebook newsfeed
  • Thinking about what you have to do tomorrow
  • Half listening to them
  • Talking incessantly about your projects, and neglecting to ask them about their day

We’re all guilty of it.

Try this: Next time you’re with your boyfriend/girlfriend, be completely there. Completely.

If you’ve worked for 10 hours, and you only have 3 hours to give them before you pass out, really give them those 3 hours.

And be transparent about it. Say, “Hey, I’m working on a zillion things right now, but I really want to give you my undivided attention now for a few hours.”

Make sure they KNOW that they’re getting all of you (so that you get credit :p)

Then, make a genuine effort to show you’re serious about your time together.

For instance, leave the laptop or cellphone at home when you go out.

I left my computer at home when we went to Vegas. It was terrifying and weird, but I felt free.

And Sara knew I wasn’t there to work. I was there to have fun with her.

It’s not always easy to balance a relationship with a hustle — whether it’s your own business, a demanding job, or school.

But it can be done if you emphasize the quality of your together time, and make it clear on both sides what the focus is.

Am I always perfect with this philosophy?

Hell no.

But this outlook has helped me immensely over the past year. I hope it’s useful to you, too. :)

 

*******

Free for Under30CEO Readers: The Startup Series.

I love the Under30CEO community, so I wanted to give you something special as a “thank you” for reading this article — and also give you some useful tools to help you get started on your dream projects TODAY.

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Parts of this post were originally published by Daniel DiPiazza at Rich20Something.com

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5 Entrepreneur Courses To Boost Your Skills http://under30ceo.com/5-entrepreneur-courses-boost-skills/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-entrepreneur-courses-boost-skills http://under30ceo.com/5-entrepreneur-courses-boost-skills/#comments Wed, 26 Mar 2014 15:00:25 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38406 So you’ve decided to become an entrepreneur. Great! You probably already have plans to become the next Silicon Valley giant, giving Mark Zuckerberg or Sergey Brin a run for their money. Maybe you want to build the next WhatsApp you can sell to Facebook for a mind-boggling $19 billion. Maybe you just want to be […]

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Mark-Cuban-Entrepreneur-Picture-Quote-For-Success

So you’ve decided to become an entrepreneur. Great! You probably already have plans to become the next Silicon Valley giant, giving Mark Zuckerberg or Sergey Brin a run for their money. Maybe you want to build the next WhatsApp you can sell to Facebook for a mind-boggling $19 billion. Maybe you just want to be really, really, rich.

Being an entrepreneur, though, is much more than just wanting to make a huge pile of money. It’s about taking the initiative to be in control of your destiny and making things happen on your own terms.

Building Your Own Dream

It’s been said time and again that if you don’t work toward building your own dream, somebody else will hire you to build theirs. Nowhere is this more true and more currently relevant than in the case of Brian Acton.

It was 2009 when Acton’s job at Yahoo ended, where he had filled various engineer roles for over 11 years. In his now-famous tweets, he shared how both Facebook and Twitter turned him down when he asked them for a job. He was composed about it, too, saying it was okay, the commute to Twitter HQ would have been long, and that his Facebook experience was a great opportunity to connect with people.

Acton didn’t just let the rejections put him down: he turned the whole thing around on its head by deciding to put up his own company with a former Yahoo colleague.

WhatsApp was a replacement for sending SMS. Basically, it allowed you to send text messages over the Internet, avoiding texting fees, and letting you message people even when you didn’t know their phone number. Conversely, it lets you get in touch with other people while keeping your phone number private.

Over the course of four years, WhatsApp was able to penetrate many markets, but most importantly, India. It’s available for download even for feature phones like the Nokia Asha, which requires very little or almost no data fees. In a third-world country like India, a service like WhatsApp that lets them avoid texting fees is sure to become popular, which it did. As of last count, it had 450 million active users.

What makes it so valuable to Facebook is that WhatsApp is well on its way to getting more than a billion users. This is crucial to Facebook’s Internet.org project, whose mission is to provide Internet access to the other two thirds of the people on this planet who aren’t still connected. This is expected to happen in developing markets like India.

This week, Facebook bought the app for a staggering $19 billion, breaking Silicon Valley records and putting it on par with Hewlett-Packard’s acquisition of Compaq in 2002.

Making a Difference

Mark Zuckerberg himself, founder of Facebook, has one of the most relevant entrepreneurial stories of today. We all know the details: Zuckerberg co-founded the social-networking site out of his Harvard dorm room, and had to leave after sophomore year to concentrate on running it.

Today, Facebook is the world’s largest social network with over a billion active users, and Zuckerberg is a billionaire. Working on his goal of connecting the world through Internet.org and WhatsApp might not have been possible had he been working for someone else.

Financial Courses

The simplest, fastest, and frankly the best way to become an entrepreneur is to simply start. Facebook lives by the mantra “Done is better than perfect.” Just start doing, know why you’re doing it, and you’ll learn along the way.

That being said, the next principle you should live by is to keep educating yourself, and one of the most important areas you can learn about is finance.

Several schools offer financial courses and options on different careers to become a full-time entrepreneur.

The Financial Times cites the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business as a good start. In the past 15 years, 65 companies started by Booth’s MBA graduates have collectively raised $239 million in funding and created around 1,000. To give you an idea of how significant this is, consider the statistics: every year, only about 1,000 companies in the U.S. get their first venture funding.

Booth strengthens this thrust through the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship. The school had started focusing on dotcom businesses during the technology boom, but prides itself on maintaining that interest.

Stanford University offers Launchpad, a class designed to build tolerance for risk. Students incorporate within the first two weeks of class, and try to keep their companies afloat as they navigate a series of hurdles. Students stage a trade show midway through the semester where “venture capitalists” walk around writing fake checks.

Perry Klebahn, who designed and teaches Launchpad together with professor Michael Dearing, says that being an entrepreneur doesn’t require a high level of intelligence. The important thing, he says, is to be able to fail, learn, and move forward.

The Harvard Business School, whose graduates are the likes of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and NYC Mayor and Bloomberg LP founder Michael Bloomberg, offers Entrepreneurial Finance. It’s designed to help managers make better decisions in terms of investment and financing, whether they plan on being entrepreneurs or investors.

The financial courses guide students through the whole life cycle of a venture, from startup to exit, and what kind of funding to provide at each stage.

MIT’s Sloan School of Management also ranks highly. Business students can enter the $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, which has already successfully launched more than 130 companies that has collectively raised more than $770 million in financing.

Sloan MBAs can work on getting a certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation as part of their graduate business coursework.

The Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley also prepares students for understanding the structure and rationale of venture investments. Their entrepreneurship and venture capital education provides would-be entrepreneurs with invaluable knowledge of deal structures.

Cristina Beltran is a writer, blogger and online marketing specialist at Compare Hero, Malaysia’s leading online comparison portal. Tina is also a freelance writer she worked as an information researcher before she pursued her writing career.

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Corporate Event Planning: It’s Not All About Weddings http://under30ceo.com/corporate-event-planning-weddings/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=corporate-event-planning-weddings http://under30ceo.com/corporate-event-planning-weddings/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 17:00:29 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38428 People say all sorts of things about the Millennial generation, and not all of it is kind. However, lots of those things are generalizations, and they’re based on statistics that don’t necessarily reflect the reality that plenty of young professionals are driven to succeed, and to not only meet expectations, but surpass them. Professions, like […]

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corporate event planning

People say all sorts of things about the Millennial generation, and not all of it is kind. However, lots of those things are generalizations, and they’re based on statistics that don’t necessarily reflect the reality that plenty of young professionals are driven to succeed, and to not only meet expectations, but surpass them. Professions, like anything else, go through trend cycles. When the Baby Boomers were hitting their professional stride, the “hot” professions were in medicine and law. Now, the world has cracked wide open with opportunity and one of the things we’ve learned is that you can have a great, prosperous career that’s far outside the “traditional” jobs.

One of the smartest ways to advance your career is through event planning.

If you are under the impression that “event planner” is really code for “wedding planner”, well, I’ll just say it: You’re wrong.

I can tell you what event planning isn’t: It’s not all about food tasting and choosing flower colors. What event planning does involve is so much more — it’s budgeting, scheduling, acquiring permits, coordinating bus charters or other transportation, courting and arranging speakers, lining up alternate speakers, configuring location support (like electricity, wifi and other utilities), arranging decor, establishing emergency contingency plans and much, much more. The skills and talents that an event planner must have go far beyond knowing whether peach goes with mauve (which is debatable). Instead, the event planner must have, first and foremost, excellent communication and organization skills.

How is corporate event planning a good career move?

Corporate event planning is stressful, fast-paced, demanding, and often requires long hours. As well, it can be a fabulous career move, even if event planning isn’t your long-term goal. It could open doors for you in ways that almost no other professional move can. This is because if you do a good job as an event planner, it’s a great way to get noticed by the people at the top rung of an organization or business.

During an actual event, you’re likely to be behind the scenes as the event planner. However, in the months leading up to the event, you’re having near-constant interaction with the thought-leaders and decision makers in the company. As well, you’re working alongside executives from every other company or agency involved with the event, including representatives of any high-profile or celebrity speakers who are scheduled to appear.

There are a few ways to build a career by being an event planner. One is to be the in-house event planner for a large business or organization. There are lots of companies that need in-house event planning for conferences, trade shows or other large-scale events, that you may not have even considered: chambers of commerce, government organizations, nonprofits, cruise lines/entertainment venues, hospitals, universities, pharmaceutical companies, professional associations, PR firms, trade associations, and plenty more.

If you’re more into the “party” scene, you might choose to be an event planner for a hotel, restaurant, resort or other venue so that you would work with the clients who come in to have their events at your location. Or, you could be a private event planner (think Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner), but like any business; it’s hard to start from scratch unless you already have a reputation in the industry. Which of these methods you choose really should depend on what you want your end game to be. In other words, if you’re using event planning as a stepping stone to gain recognition, network and cultivate contacts within a particular industry, going in-house for a business or organization in that industry would be the best way to do so. If you’re looking to build a career as an event planner, working for a hotel or other venue would be great experience because you would be building a resume of events and would likely have events in various stages of development all the time.

How can I leverage my current skills to be a great event planner?

Perhaps the four most important traits for an event planner to have are (1) good communicator, (2) organized, (3) attentive to detail, and (4) ability to think quickly (aka “conduct damage control”).

By using these qualities, you can translate them into skills that someone would look for in an event planner. Communication is key: Not only do you need to communicate with the heads of the company, who ultimately need to approve decisions you make and be happy with the result, but you could also be dealing with event guests. If you’re planning a corporate meeting or conference, you might be bringing in high-profile speakers or panelists. One event planner recounted a story where his celebrity panelist became locked in a bathroom while wearing a wireless mic. Oops. What if you’re coordinating a $10,000-per plate fundraising dinner for a big-time politician and your keynote speaker shows up with six people in his entourage whom you didn’t expect? You need to be able to act fast to diffuse a situation in a way that’s going to avoid hostility on the part of the guest, and also to be sure that your boss is happy. Or, you could be planning a major industry conference and need to schedule shuttle bus rentals to get hundreds of people from multiple airports to multiple hotels, all at different times in a 24-hour period. And, that’s just step one of the event’s coordination — getting everyone safely into town and where they need to be happens before the event even takes place!

Whether you’re working in-house for a company, for a venue, or on your own, the aspect to planning an event that is as important as the event’s execution is the budget. Without doubt, you want to show that you can pull off a classy event, and add as many little touches as you can, while still staying within the client’s budget. No company or client wants to be a few weeks away from its signature annual or other major event, only to find that the guests’ charter buses haven’t been paid for, or that you forgot to add in the cost of the audiovisual equipment. A spreadsheet or other budgeting and list-making app is an event planner’s best friend.

It may sound like a lot of guts and little glory, but that doesn’t have to be the case. By tweaking each event, finding out what would give it that extra splash that would make it unique to your company or client, and being prepared to deal with any situation that might arise, you can set yourself apart from the average event planner. The executives and decision makers will definitely notice and appreciate if you’re someone with whom they like to work, and who gets things done efficiently and correctly. Once you have a portfolio of events under your belt, that’s when you make your move… by then, you’ll have the experience and proven skills to get the job you want, and you’ll have the contacts who can help you do it.

Glenn is the CEO of Metropolitan Shuttle, a company that provides shuttle and bus charter services for every major metropolitan area in North America. Glenn has years of experience in the event planning industry in addition to coordinating the transportation for groups and events of all sizes through his extensive network of vendors.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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6 Tips to Balance Wedding Planning and Your Career http://under30ceo.com/6-tips-balance-wedding-planning-career/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=6-tips-balance-wedding-planning-career http://under30ceo.com/6-tips-balance-wedding-planning-career/#comments Sat, 22 Mar 2014 17:00:44 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38240 Planning a wedding is an enormous undertaking that can be exhilarating for some and daunting for others. Add a demanding career on top of planning for your big day, and the task can be downright exhausting.  If you aren’t careful, it’s easy to let the whirlwind of excitement distract brides-to-be and, unfortunately, performance in the […]

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wedding

Planning a wedding is an enormous undertaking that can be exhilarating for some and daunting for others. Add a demanding career on top of planning for your big day, and the task can be downright exhausting.  If you aren’t careful, it’s easy to let the whirlwind of excitement distract brides-to-be and, unfortunately, performance in the office can slip. Fortunately, there are ways to balance both without sacrificing your wedding day or your career.

Start planning as far in advance as possible.

Like many things in life, last-minute changes to your wedding plans are inevitable. However, give yourself plenty of time to plan out the basics so you can minimize stress when these bumps in the road occur. Keep in mind that almost every engaged couple underestimates how long it can take to make seemingly minor decisions; entire weekends can be spent debating stationary, coordinating floor plans and more. Allowing some wiggle room in your timeline also gives you some space to tackle any unexpected projects or meet demanding deadlines that sneak up on you at the office. Plus, by setting your date far into the future and taking your time with the planning (not to be mistaken with procrastinating), you can take advantage of sales on wedding supplies that might be available during the “off-season.”

Know your limits.

To best manage your time and keep your sanity intact, use a personal planner or web calendar to write out brief wedding to-do lists at the beginning of each week. Real Simple has an ultimate planning guide that shows the bride and groom what tasks should be completed from 9 months prior to the wedding all the way down to the week of. Prioritize these tasks around your workweek demands to ensure you don’t over-burden yourself. On weeks with high demands at work, plan a lighter load on your wedding to-do list; on weeks with fewer pressures at the office, see if you can tackle an extra wedding task or two. One common mistake couples make is staying up into the wee hours flipping through magazines and registry options; never sacrifice eight hours of sleep or else your work will suffer.

Don’t micromanage.

You don’t have to make every tiny decision yourself in order to have the wedding of your dream. What’s helpful is to make a list of priorities that you truly care about. Chances are that you care about the wedding dress a lot more than you worry about the napkin patterns. A major decision that will serve as the foundation for the rest of the wedding is your colors. By having specific hues picked out, you can let other people make selections on your behalf without making the overall décor seem jumbled; if you simply provide your florist with a specified palette and budget, the professional can probably wow you; the venue can worry about the lights and, let’s face it, probably have a more practiced eye than yours; and major wedding dress retailers like David’s Bridal will allow your bridesmaid to browse by precise swatches (so you don’t have to worry about featuring varied interpretations of “tangerine.”)

Don’t invite the whole office.

Deciding which of your coworkers to invite to your wedding can be tricky business. Just because you invite one does not mean you have to invite them all. If you have a few colleagues that you consider yourself to be close friends with outside of the office, feel free to add them to your guest list. Do not, however, invite the entire workplace. Your wedding should be a joyous occasion spent among family and friends; do you really want to look back on your wedding photos and not remember who your guests were? If you’re confronted about it by your boss or colleagues, simply explain that you want to keep your invite-list small. Ask those coworkers that you did invite to be mum about it in order to not rub salt on any wounds.

Break down big projects into bite-sized tasks.

When an important work project and a big wedding task collide, the result can be overwhelming. To prevent this stressful conflict, break down your high priority projects into smaller, bite-sized actions. For someone with a career, it is not often that you come across several spare hours of unobstructed time. Utilizing those brief windows of time on your lunch break, during your commute, or while you’re waiting for a meeting to commence can really add up and help you accomplish those big, daunting wedding projects in a few small and easy steps. 

Enlist help where you need it.

Many career-oriented individuals tend to be wholeheartedly dedicated to accomplishing any assignment put before them. By singlehandedly taking on every task in your wedding planning, however, you are setting yourself up for a lot of stress and added responsibility. Why not let your groom pick the DJ, your mother-in-law coordinate the wedding favors and your sister send you suggestions for the registry? Don’t let your pride or pickiness be the source of stress and suffering performance at work.

Wedding planning can seem like a job in itself, but it doesn’t have to be as overwhelming or burdensome as you imagine. With these tips, any career-focused man or woman can easily manage their time, minimize stress and handle any unexpected change that is thrown their way. Planning a wedding and maintaining your professional composure should not be a juggling act. Expect the unexpected, maintain a positive attitude throughout the planning process, and have fun with it! The only thing you should have to think about on your big day is spending the rest of your life with the man or woman of your dreams.

Mariko Lamb is a former San Diego newspaper reporter. She has covered myriad topics and won multiple awards for her stories on education, gardening and arts and entertainment. Lamb is now a creative business professional and co-founder of Nashville-based digital branding company, Huckleberry Branding.

Image Credit: http://thegospelcoalition.org/

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It’s Okay To Prepare For Your Dreams http://under30ceo.com/okay-prepare-dreams/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=okay-prepare-dreams http://under30ceo.com/okay-prepare-dreams/#comments Thu, 20 Mar 2014 13:00:14 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38304 Do what you love. Take risks. Fail. Skip the MBA and start your own business.  These are common themes among today’s young professionals. For every one article that promotes a traditional path to success (hard work, getting an MBA, climbing the corporate ladder, remaining loyal to one company) there are 10 articles that promote dropping […]

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Do what you love.

Take risks.

Fail.

Skip the MBA and start your own business. 

These are common themes among today’s young professionals. For every one article that promotes a traditional path to success (hard work, getting an MBA, climbing the corporate ladder, remaining loyal to one company) there are 10 articles that promote dropping out of school, doing what you love regardless of money and skipping an MBA because it limits your creativity.

stressed

I read these articles, and it stresses me out because I’m not giving in to the pressures of today’s expectations.

I work for a background screening company where a lot of the “hot topic words” include “compliance” and “accreditation.” Am I following the wrong career path because I don’t passionately love background checks and drug tests?

Would I be more successful if I started a fantasy football focused business?

What if I opened a gym?

Should I continuously look for new jobs, each paying a few thousand dollars more than the last?

Should I pass up an MBA because the structure it would provide me may hinder the next big idea? 

Some people take huge risks, and others are very conservative. Others aren’t at a place in their life where they feel comfortable making a huge change. I fall into the later. I have chosen to work for a great company with great people. I have chosen to stay at one company, and I have chosen to pursue my MBA. I believe all of these things will enhance my career and my future.

I wrote this article, not to discourage young people’s dreams, but to comfort those who find themselves in the my current position. It’s okay if you don’t drop what you are doing right this instant to pursue your “dreams.”  It’s okay to pursue an MBA.

It’s okay to do whatever you personally need to do to prepare for a rewarding life.

What could be worse than removing yourself from a good situation only to fail, go bankrupt and have your dream crushed because you weren’t adequately prepared. Don’t listen to people who use Steve Jobs or Bill Gates as reasons to drop out of school. These amazing leaders were and are once in a generation minds who just happened to be in the right place at the right time in history.

I encourage you to grow by whatever means is the best for you. If an MBA is right for you, then try to get into the best program possible because it will make you a better business person. Consider finding a company with great people and stay with that company regardless of pay, not because you love what the company represents necessarily, but because you will learn so much about yourself and how a business operates. If you jump around, you will never be able to witness the cycles every business encounters. The experience you’ll gain from seeing leadership change, completing projects and growing within one company is one that you cannot get if you job hop.

I encourage you to network in your industry and to travel. Observe the failures of others and take note. Why not learn on someone else’s dollar?

To those who want to hit it big with an idea: work hard, network, learn and gain experience. It will pay off. When the time comes to make the leap, you’ll know.

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Sean Chalmers is a business developer and marketer for CertifiedBackground.com, a background screening company (sounds awesome, doesn’t it?). He works to bring new products, services, and partnerships to CertifiedBackground.com. When he isn’t reading, working or writing business plans, you can find him at the gym or at the beach. You can connect with Sean on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.

Image Credits: Shutterstock.com, creativationspace.com

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