Changes to Blog!

Hi everyone.  I know I had mentioned this is recent posts, and I’m happy to say that this blog has officially moved!  www.postcollegesuccess.com is where this blog will now be held!

There will be no further blogs written here, but I invite you to check out the link above to see what’s going on.

Thanks for understanding!  I hope to see everyone at www.postcollegesuccess.com!

Dan

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How to Create Opportunities

AHHHHHHHH!! 

Sometimes we look at others and think “man, I wish I had their job,” or “I wish I had that person as my girlfriend or boyfriend.”  But then we think, “there is no way I could do that or date that person because I’m not good enough.  It’s tough… or is it?

First of all, we need to give ourselves a break and not beat ourselves up so much.  With some intentionality and faith, you can accomplish a lot more than you think!  Take my fellow Eastern Iowan Cheyanne Boddicker for instance.  She just finished a swim across the English Channel to raise money!  Click the link to check it out!

But before we go out and conquer the world, there has to be some thought as to how you are going to create opportunities for yourself.  There is no trick here, but I’ll guarantee that if you sit at home watching TV all night, every night, that not a lot of opportunities are going to come your way (These are usually the people who look at successful people and say “they are so lucky”).

So how and where do we create opportunities for ourselves?  I tend to think that I am going to meet people, network, and create opportunities for myself where I hang out the most.  If you spend 40 hours per week in an office cube, your probably going to make a lot of connections at work.  If you spend a lot of time at the gym, you’ll probably meet some people there.

In other words, we need to be doing things to create opportunities!  Say yes to a few more things, especially those things that might get you a little out of your comfort zone.  What is the worst that can happen?  Who knows, you might find some new things that you will really enjoy!

Here are 10 things that just popped into my head:

1.  Attend a cooking class.

2.  Organize a group bike ride.

3.  Volunteer for a pet shelter.

4.  Start a blog about something that interests you!

5.  Take a weekend trip to a new place.

6.  Read an inspirational book.

7.  Learn a new language.

8.  Write voraciously.

9.  Ask to speak at a local conference of interest to you.

10.  Learn to build birdhouses.

Okay, that took me all of 2 minutes to come up with those.  There are a million things you could do.  What should stick is that in all of these examples (maybe minus the reading or writing, which I could argue) you are forcing yourself to be active, go places, and that’s how opportunities are created.   

In Cheyanne Boddicker’s example above, I know that what she accomplished has probably created an endless amount of opportunities for her!  She took some action, did something of interest to her, created a story, which in turn will create opportunities! 

Go create some opportunities.  My friend gave me a quote last week – You miss 100% of the chances you don’t take.  Do we really have that much to lose?

Dan – 9/1/11

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The Thinking Wavelength – Blog #50!

How do you know which jobs may be a good fit for you?  Check the video.

The Thinking Wavelength.  Something very simple, but very powerful.  Where do you think you lie on the Thinking Wavelength?  If you don’t have any idea, how do we find out?

There are a few ways. 

1.  Study Yourself – What do you naturally do?  Do you analyze all situations?  Do you tend to think about outcomes before they even happen?  Do you think artistically and abstract?  How comfortable are you putting ideas into action?

2.  Ask Friends and Family – If you are really struggling to know who you are, ask your friends and family.  You might be surprised with what they come up with.  Often times your closest friends and family will have a decent view of who you are, but only you know who you are at the core.

3.  Personality Tests – Take a DISC Profile.  They cost around $30 but the return to know yourself inside and out is well worth the $30 investment.  After finishing it, your actions will start to make sense to you.  DISC answers, why do I do the things I do?  Here is a link to a DISC Personality Profile. http://www.48days.com/store/personality-profiles/

Now What?

So you have a good idea of who you are.  Now what type of careers are going to be a good match?  If you are more detail oriented you should find a career that lets you analyze and and use this skill to the best of your ability.  Almost all Accounting, IT Professionals, and Engineers are going to be more detail oriented.  If you are more abstract and creative, design work, drawing, and creating may be more of your sweet spot.

Along with understanding your personality traits, we also need to combine your passions, interests, hobbies, and your life’s core purpose to find a suitable career.  By not combining these, you will likely have a tough time finding what it is that will really drive you in the workplace.

Think about your current situation, possibly where you work now.  Do you see evidence of detail oriented people – Those that can put ideas into action, but are not great at coming up with the initial idea?  Do you see creative people – Those that come up with ideas all the time, but aren’t great at implementing the idea into business?

A successful business will have people on both ends of the spectrum.  When you have dedicated individuals working toward a common purpose with the necessary traits, it becomes a very powerful asset!  If you are an entrepreneur working by yourself, get help in those areas that you are not good at.  It will be well worth your time to have someone with the skills to do what you need done rather than struggle through them yourself.

Dan 8/28/11 

 

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Creativity to Earn an Additional $2,000 per Weekend!

Hey all!  I just returned from a long weekend in Colorado where I had a blast.  The fresh air and mountains were a nice break from the midwest humidity.  It also gave me some time for reflection and thought, which is essential for me.

I want to provide an update on this blog and what is upcoming.  I began blogging in February and this will be my 49th post (Almost to 50!).  In the next couple of weeks this blog will be transferred over to an actual website!  I’m working with a web designer to work out the details as of now, but be ready for that change!  This will give me the chance to connect with more people, and hopefully help more people in the long run, which is why I am here. 

Like I said at the beginning, I just returned from Colorado.  One of the things I did while I was out there was a Micro Brewery Tour in Downtown Denver.  What a great time!  Some great beer, and lots of people around with the Rockies playing a Saturday afternoon game.

Our host for the beer tour was Steve.  He took us to 4 breweries in downtown Denver, all within walking distance.  A great set-up to show people some different lager’s available, all brewed in the Rockies.  Here is my official scorecard from the Tour where I was able to track which beers I had enjoyed, and which ones were not my favorite.

The title of this post was about earning an extra $2,000 per weekend.  It’s got to be a lot of work right?  Well yes, initially, but that is exactly what our Micro Brew Tour guide is doing!  He has 4 tours each weekend.  The cost is $25 per person, with a limit of 20 people each tour (all tours fill up and often have a waiting list).  $25 x 20 people = $500 per tour.  $500 per tour x 4 tours per weekend = $2,000!!

Can you imagine?  Each tour is about 2.5 hours long, so for 10 hours of “work” each weekend he earns $2,000… a cool $200 per hour to talk about Denver beer history, and make sure everyone is trying as many different beers as possible.  That is creativity at its finest.  Our guide, who was 24, started doing this when he was 22.  He recognized a need within the community.  He marketed himself and set up deals with each brewery (they give him free beer for his customers, he ends each tour at a different brewery and most people hang around to eat or enjoy another pint).  It’s a win/win for him and the brewery’s.

So what do we do if we don’t live in Denver?

I will say, Denver is set up perfectly for something like this.  But let’s think creatively for a second, or a few minutes.  Are there things you could do in your town to earn a similar income?  I bet there is.  With passion, effective marketing, and a decent product or service I guarantee you can come up with something similar.  Could you rent out scooters, or paint pictures?  Could you re-finish doors, or develop your own line of coffee?

Think about what it is that gives you energy… what are you doing when time flies by?  What would you do if you knew you could not fail?  Write some things down and then get creative.  Is there ways that you could create income while doing what you love?

Hard work pays off, but obviously from the example above, you don’t have to work 90 hours a week to make a good living.  You just need to be creative, recognize a need, market yourself, and have passion.  Make sure you’re having fun too!  If you’re not having fun pursuing something, that’s a good indicator that it may not be for you.

Have a great week, cheers!

O, and if you’re ever in Denver, check out the Micro Brew Tour at http://www.denvermicrobrewtour.com/

Dan – 8/22/11

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Lessons from a Comic Strip

This was the Dilbert comic last weekend.  ENJOY!

Comic2

Hahaha, this gave me a good laugh.  How would your boss react if you asked to work from home 2 days per week?  Most employers don’t understand this idea of working from home.  So let me lay down a few facts about why working from home 1,2, 3, or more days per week is not only beneficial for the employee, but also the employer.

1.  Actual Work Time – This is the first thing I wanted to comment on because those employees that work from home work JUST AS MUCH as those who work from the office.  That’s right, even though they aren’t putting in face time, they also aren’t wasted time on meaningless activities.  Go ahead and walk around your office…. how many employees are checking up on Comics, (haha) or on Facebook?  While putting in face time seems natural and feels like your accomplishing something, it’s really not healthy in the work place. 

2.  Overall Well Being – Who is going to be more ready to work… the person who skipped breakfast, sat in rush hour traffic for an hour, slams a cup of coffee and plops down at her desk exhausted. Or… the person who didn’t have to do that, but instead woke up refreshed and cooked a good breakfast for themselves.  Hell, she probably already has 30 minutes of productive work time before the first person has even got to the office yet.  There is a lot to be said for a person’s well being at their job.  When you think about stress levels, health insurance costs, and keeping your best employees motivated in their line of work. 

3.  Employer/Employee Savings – That’s right, both the employer and employee save money when an employee works from home.  Think if you could actually build a business around having all employees work from home.  What would that look like?  You wouldn’t need an office, but you may need services like Skype Conference, and dial-in calls.  Big time savings.  And the employee saves money on gas to and from work, possibly pet sitting fees, the dreaded vending machine fees, and plenty others.

4.  The Next Generation Wants This – We want freedom from being tied down to one working location.  We want to dial-in from coffee shops.  We truly believe that work is only one part of what it takes to have a successful life – Our health, finances, social relationships, faith, family, and personal development are all integral parts of a successful life.

Let’s take a stab at being in the control group, with less control and more freedom.  If you’re unhappy sitting in an office cube all day, ask your boss if you can work from home 1 or 2 days per week, as a test.  If your boss has a problem with it, tell them you’ll provide daily progress updates to them.  That way they know you are getting work accomplished from home.  We should be paid for our results anyway, not face time in an office.

Dan – 8/17/11

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What do you miss about College?

I hear a lot of my friends talking about the “good ol days” in college and why they miss it so much.  They think it would be a lot of fun to go back to grad school and further their education….Or do they?  What is it about college that you miss or will miss if you are still in school?

1.  Actually going to class and learning?

2.  Freedom and lifestyle?

3.  Having friends around constantly?

4.  Going to the local pub on Thursday nights?

I truly think a lot of people are going to back to grad school right now for the wrong reasons.  They are doing it because they don’t know what else to do and they hope a couple more years of classes are going to clear that up.  The truth is that your goals and ambitions are going to be changing constantly throughout your life.  What gave you energy when you were 18 will probably be a little different when you are 30.  But you also need to realize that while furthering your education is admirable, you need to be going for the right reasons! 

Back to the list above.  If you had to choose one of those, which would it be?  For me, I would say freedom and lifestyle is what I miss so much about college.  Going to class wasn’t something I necessarily enjoyed, but I usually forced myself to go.  

So while it would be fun to go back to college, I would probably go back because of the freedom and lifestyle that came with it, not for the school.  This is the WRONG reason.  What about exploring some other options:

  • How about instead of spending the 30K to go back to school, we spend our money on effective life experiences – those things that give us meaning and purpose in our lives.
  • Create the lifestyle and freedom that you had in college through doing things that you enjoy doing.  Start a business, or do odd jobs on the side to create income.
  • Do something remarkable and dedicate yourself to it.  Train for a marathon, learn to build websites, learn a new language, volunteer your time at something you enjoy doing, help someone else overcome adversity.

What do you miss from college?

Dan 8/14/11

 

 

 

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The Power of going Barefoot

Some people find feet gross.  Some people like feet.  Some people like shoes.  I like being barefoot!

Being barefoot is a feeling of freedom unlike any other.  If you like to run, you are faster when you are barefoot.  You have better balance when you are barefoot.  Being barefoot can also improve your posture, no joke!  It is said that cavemen had great posture and strong backs, most likely because they didn’t wear shoes.  We have shoes that embrace this now.. check them out here. http://www.vibramfivefingers.com 

Recently, partaking in a barefoot recreational activity, I thought to myself, there has to be a correlation between being barefoot and finding success.

I found it, and the answer is FREEDOM.

Freedom:  The ability to make choices, free will.

We all have freedom in our lives and I feel fortunate to live in the U.S. in which we are free to do what we want (for the most part).  Freedom is a powerful tool when you use it to your advantage.  I’m talking about making good choices in your life.  Good choices for your health, financially, socially, and career wise.

Nobody is forcing us to do anything.  The other great thing about freedom is having free will.  I was first introduced to the idea of free will when I was 19 while reading a book by Dr. Bob Rotella.  Dr. Bob is one of the best sports psychologists in the world and has worked with many professional athletes.  Free will refers to the fact that we have control of how we think.  We can choose to think whether we are happy in our lives or not.  We have control over how we view life situations. 

Things will happen in our lives that we don’t want to happen, and we have the free will to interpret these things however we want to.  On the contrary, great things will happen in our lives especially when we believe great things will happen. 

Go ahead and take control of your thoughts and freedom.  Embrace it, go barefoot for awhile.

To being free,

Dan 8/10/11

 

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