The Surprising Contradiction of Motivation

Motivation comes in many different forms. If you’re like me, when I’m stuck in a rut or just need a pick me up, I will go to YouTube for inspirational videos or look at Pinterest for some motivation. If you’re like me, you’ve also probably found yourself digging around for motivation for hours behind your computer screen. Seems a little counter-productive right?

We all need to find our own motivation. That means getting away from our computer (unless you are reading my blog.. then by all means, carry on). Most motivational posters and quotes are contradictory these days anyways. Take a look at these for example:

Good Things Come to Those Who Work     Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

 

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See, now aren’t you feeling conflicted?

These are just a few examples. The point is.. for every motivational quote there is an equal and opposite motivation quote it seems like. We have to find out how to motivate ourselves with our own advice. We are the best indicator of what works for us and what doesn’t.

Happy Thursday Everyone!

How to Know When It’s Okay to Quit

We were always raised to “try our best” and not to be a “quitter.” Well, society, thanks for setting us up for failure with your terrible advice.

It’s OKAY to quit.

Many of us spend our time trying to overcome quitting on a day to day basis. I’m not saying you should go out and quit your job, school, marriage, kids, etc. But there are some situations in which it’s best to quit and move on. I have outlined some of these circumstances when you should just raise up the white flag.

Skills (or lack thereof) and Talents:

“You can do anything you put your mind to.” —– Wrong.

I, for one, could never be an Olympic sprinter. For those of you who have seen me run, you know my legs don’t work that way. I could never be a flame thrower. Sure I could try and try and maybe, just maybe, I could get good at it one day. But am I going to keep trying knowing my lack of coordination? No. I don’t particularly think I would like being set on fire. Obviously these are very dramatic examples, but the same applies to sports, singing, acting, and even day to day activity. I can understand trying to stick with certain activities as a child, as you’re still developing mentally and physically. But I don’t think there are any 8-year-old little league players reading this blog. So for YOU, if you are miserable doing something that you are god awful at, and it is getting you no where, just quit. Move on to something that will be a more appropriate use of your time, and much more fulfilling.

Your Job:

Many people (myself included in this category) have been afraid to quit their job for a better one, or even look for new opportunities, because they are afraid of disappointing their current boss. You have become a valuable asset to them, and they spent time and money training you. You think, “What would they do without me?” I’ve learned after moving a couple different jobs for new opportunities that when it comes down to it, you boss does not care about you. At the end of the day, they need to run a business. They WILL replace you. If you can better yourself by leaving for a new opportunity… Do it. Don’t hesitate. No one ever got anywhere by standing still.

Your relationship:

When you have a commitment to someone, usually there is a lot invested in it. Sometimes people get married just because they have a joint loan payment, or they bought a puppy together. They get sucked into this world that they don’t want to be in. It’s no shock that divorce rates are sky rocketed. If some couples just quit on each other before they get married, the world would be a much happier place. Ya dig?  Relationships aren’t meant to be easy, and you shouldn’t give up on “the one” if things are a little rocky. But if you know deep down that they are not right for you… Welllllllp, see ya later.

Life isn’t made to be easy, and you shouldn’t quit every time something get’s tough. But be realistic, have a back up plan if you are determined to stay with your flame throwing or other far-fetched passion, and always be true to who you are (not who everyone else wants you to be).

“Quitting law school was the most difficult decision of my life. But I felt this great relief that this is my life and I can do what I want with it” – Carly Fiorina

The 10 Worst Things About Job Hunting

No one likes searching for jobs. I’ve been fortunate enough in the past to fall into jobs or get referred to apply by someone I knew. Not that I didn’t work hard or have to interview for them, but it always helped me to have connections. But now, I am on the real, legitimate, resume-pushing job hunt. It’s awful. Throughout my process of looking for a gig that will benefit me in some way, shape, or form, I have created a list of all things that are terrible about job searching. job_hunt

  1. Changing your resume and cover letter for every single job. I’m not talking about just inserting the company name differently every time. For those who are really serious about getting a job, they should change their resume and cover letter so that it relates to the job at hand. This sounds like common sense, but as someone who has been the hire-er and the hire-ee, I’ve seen it all. And not to mention most job applications ask you the questions about employment, education, skills, etc. that are ALREADY ON YOUR RESUME. Like, they ask these questions as if they expect to open your resume attachment and find a blank piece of paper. There are only so many adjectives I can use to describe my duties at previous jobs.
  2. Talking about yourself. I can sincerely say I hate hate HATE making myself sound like the greatest person that ever stepped foot on the earth. I mean… if the shoe fits. But doesn’t mean I like talking about it. Personally, I just find it uncomfortable when an employer says “Tell me about yourself.” Seriously? You already know my street cred from my resume and your endless questions. Now, something I’ve learned from interviews in my day is that employers can generally tell when you’re bull shitting. So unless you totally suck and have zero skills or experience to talk about (which if that’s the case maybe reevaluate your life a little bit), then just be honest. Most employers are looking for someone who is down to earth anyways.trash-can
  3.  The Circular Filing Cabinet. Any time someone sends out a job application or resume (in particular for a posting listed online), there is no telling if someone is actually going to look at it. See number 1 for the reason why this is especially frustrating. It is proven (I think) that companies generally hire within or hire somebody through a connection they have. I stand by my claim that networking is the most important thing a person can do in an attempt to move up in the world.
  4. Condescending people. I absolutely hate when people are condescending. Like, oh, you don’t have a real job? (insert concerned look here). In my case, I’ve worked since I was 14 or 15 years old. I’ve had great jobs that I could have turned into careers. Just because I don’t want to be a corporate robot for the rest of my life doesn’t mean you should feel bad for me and talk to me like I’ve never had a job before. I feel bad for you for hating your life and the job you do have. So there.
  5. Skype Interviews. Okay, let’s talk about awkward. Do I look at the screen when i’m talking? Do I look at the little camera up top? Do I have to wear pants? So many questions.
  6. Inaccurate Job Descriptions. Every job description I see I’m like oooooh, aaaaahh that’s perfect! They all sound so glamorous. Some of them should really say: “Job Description: You will be our Bitch. Required Skills: Ability to be okay with hating your life. Salary: Hahaha. Good luck eating ramen noodles for the rest of your life.”
  7. Looking for work while you are still employed. It never fails, they always ask for the contact person at your current job. And all you want to do is write a little side note saying “Please don’t call.” You don’t want your employer to know you’re looking. If they are evil, which a lot of them are, then they will make your life hell until you finally escape.
  8. Desired Salary. Well, my desired salary is a million dollars, but that probably won’t fly huh. I used to always put “negotiable” on all applications, but some are now actually requiring an amount. WTF. You don’t want to put an amount too high because then they will throw away your app in a jiffy. You don’t want to put an amount too low because they will pay you that, and let’s be real, that’s not really your desired salary. You are trying to step up in the world and avoid Cup of Noodles for lunch every day. 9-utterly-insane-job-opportunities-on-craigslist

  9. Craigslist Ads. Many companies these days put ads on craigslist for jobs they have available. I get that, it’s free for them to post, unlike some of the other job search engines. HOWEVER, I do NOT want to be an “adult” model or a maid for your free candy van. C’mon man!

  10. Getting job offers. I know the thought of getting multiple offers at one times is absolutely dreadful. But seriously, no one wants to be that person that tells a company no after spending countless hours interviewing with them and telling them how much you would love a job there. I’d say just apply for one at a time, but that would be highly inefficient and you might be 80 years old by the time you finally find someone to take on your poor self.

 

If you are like me, and searching for a quality career opportunity… good luck! I’m sure you’ve experienced these things as well, and feel free to add more. Make sure to subscribe and follow me on twitter @NelsonKati

 

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”
– Milton Berle

Why Hello There…

Okay so I know I have thousands of followers who have been desperately waiting for my next post (AKA my Grandma). I haven’t written in quite some time and I don’t know why. I think about posting all the time so that has to count for something right? Naturally, I was just waiting for the beginning of the year to start my resolution of writing every day. That’s just a lame excuse. I suck, I know. However, I really am going to make a valiant effort in writing every week. Even if they are just little motivational tips I pick up along the way.

So what’s new with me? Well, I moved back to Reno from sunny Southern California just recently. I had written before about scoring a dream job right out of college. I worked hard to get where I was, working for an ESPN College Basketball tournament. I learned more than I could ever imagine, and met some incredible people (See Me with Mike Brown below… I still respect the guy even though he didn’t quite get my Lakers a lot of tallies in the ‘W’ column).

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I also learned that sometimes companies really, really suck. I went from working at a place that cared so much about me, to working for people who put me in the worst of situations and couldn’t even pay me on time (or at all for that matter). It opened my eyes to the brutal reality of the business world. I questioned every aspect of what I was doing. Sure, I had a really cool job which from the outside seemed glamorous. In reality, I was working two other jobs to make ends meet and running myself into the ground. I talked about it like I loved it, and I worked my ass off so that only those closest to me knew how I really felt. Then my job ended, the tournament was over. My choices were to stay with the company and go to another event, find another opportunity in LA (or elsewhere) , or just go back to Reno. Well, I decided that I would rather live in the fiery core of the earth than live in LA. Seriously. At the same time, I didn’t like the thought of “going back” to Reno. I felt like I was giving up, like I was failing. What would I tell people when I got there? I had just been doing my dream job and now I’m going home to do who knows what. And honestly it took me this long to even find the courage to write it down for the fear that people might judge my actions or make me feel like I was giving up. But it came to the point where I just had to decide what to do.

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So I did it. I came back to Reno. Sure, it was a decision I had to make financially (that whole not being paid thing really threw a wrench into living the So Cal life), but in reality it was something I wanted to do for me. I realized that I need to stop doing things for other people and start doing things for myself. I need to find out what I want in life, and then go for it. All I’ve ever wanted is to do something remarkable, and I will, but I’m going to do it on my terms now. The only person I have to prove anything to is myself.

So here it is. I’m on a new journey in life and I’m sure I’ll be posting way more often. Make sure to describe and follow me on twitter @NelsonKati for all my latest updates.

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”  ~ Dr. Seuss

How to Make Yourself Competitive

The single most important trait one can have in a changing economy is the ability to be adaptable. That’s what will put you ahead of the others. All too often we hear people excusing others, “Oh, they are just stuck in their old ways.” Well move over traditionalists, you better clear the path for the modern thinkers.

Let’s face it… The world is changing. I watched this speech by Gary Vaynerchuk recently and it really opened my eyes. It is a long one, but I highly recommend it.

I can remember when Facebook first came out. I was NOT having it. Perfectly content with my MySpace account, I wanted nothing to do with this new social media approach. It looked different, it was confusing, and I didn’t want to take the time to learn it. Finally when I entered college, I gave in. EVERYBODY was doing it (that makes it cool right?).

There are a lot of things we do because other people are doing it. Facebook was one of the many things I said I’d never do, but then gave in because others were doing it (wearing skinny jeans and drinking Starbucks coffee are on that list as well). Since then, I’ve realized the benefit of jumping on trends before they become the norm. I’m not talking about fashion here, unless you’re a fashion entrepreneur, then you can relate this to skinny jeans all you want.

What if we had the ability to see what would be popular in a matter of weeks, months, or even years? Well, we do! Although it’s not full proof, we have the technology to see what people are talking about in real time. With the use of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and all the other social media sites, we can see what people like, at the instant they like it or talk about it.

If we want to grow in society, we have to be forward thinking. The other day, I heard someone talking about how Facebook finally forced them to have the new “timeline” profile. Welcome to 2012, lady. I hated the idea of the timeline at first, it was weird. At the same time, I knew that Facebook was heading in this direction and that eventually everyone would have this profile. So I voluntarily got the new profile while it was still an option, and I adapted to it. Sure, I could have waited until now when Facebook forced me to have it, but then I’d be behind the curve. Everyone would already be used to it, while I was still learning it.

We can apply this same scenario to the business world. Employers want adaptability. I have always said there is only so much we can learn by reading a textbook, but the ability to be creative and forward thinking is a skillset that will put you ahead. It is a gamble trying to anticipate what will be the trend in the future, but risk often equals reward.

“If life is moving slowly… Run faster!” ~Jordan D. Ulmer

What I Learned In College

Two weeks ago I put on my very fashionable cap and gown, and I walked across the stage at the University of Nevada (The TRUE University of Nevada). In an attempt to get the some-odd 2000 graduates through the ceremony, we were herded through the line, our names called via a small slip of paper we held, with not even a breath in-between. I couldn’t believe that my four years of college (five if you count my victory lap) we’re finalized within seconds.

I still vividly remember my high school graduation. At the time, I believed that single event was (seriously) the high point of my life. I cracked my shell in high school. No more shy girl who didn’t speak to anyone. I mean, just check out the video of my keynote speech. I literally had sunshine and rainbows coming out my you-know-what.

Looking back on this speech and seeing what I’ve become over the past five years is truly amazing. I have taken my life in a direction I never thought was possible. I’ve worked hard, made important life decisions, gained amazing new friends and connections, all while having a grand ol’ time. In the 2.5 seconds I walked swiftly across that university stage, I tried to think (quickly, I didn’t have much time) about what I had learned in my college career that will help me in the future. Just as I won’t remember what I learned in my high school trigonometry class, I probably won’t remember what I learned in the majority of my college courses. With the exception of the following:

  • Social Business – The single most important class I’ve taken. Social media is the key to success in new age business. Thanks to Bret Simmons who was a great teacher and got me started with this blog (and much more).
  • Accounting – I hate it. I’ll always hate it. It gives me a headache just trying to remember anything other than debits and credits.
  • International Management – Learning a second language is a must. I better get to work on my goal of becoming fluent in Spanish.
  • Economics – I figured out that I can successfully fall asleep in class with my eyes open. I don’t recommend it. It makes learning that material really difficult.
  • Astronomy – The world may end at any time. Seriously. Asteroid sneak attack? That totally could happen with mere days’ notice.

What I legitimately learned in college is that it’s not about the classes you take and the grades you get (unless you want to go to medical school/law school then good luck and study up). I learned more about myself and what I want to do from the experiences I had. I got involved by joining the business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. I joined clubs, did community service, put on events, and more. If I had one recommendation for anyone going to college, it would be to get involved in any way you can. Network as much as possible.

I recently was offered a position with ESPN and PMI in California working for the Anaheim Classic. This would have never happened if I hadn’t put myself out there not only in person, but in the social media world as well. Who you know will get you in the door, and how hard you work will keep you there. If things aren’t going your way, if you can’t find a job… push harder, work harder, and do whatever you can to make you stand out in a crowd. You won’t regret it.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own.
And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss

Sticks and Stones Have Nothin’ on Words

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. That’s a load of crap if I’ve ever heard one. We all have been in situations where people say hurtful things. This phrase suggests that we should just brush off insults because we are strong, confident individuals and we don’t care what people think, right?

In reality, we should try to learn and grow from anything others say about us. It’s true, sometimes people say nasty things with no basis at all, other than being just plain mean (you tell ‘em Taylor Swift). But often, we can learn a lot from what people say. There are different kinds of insults I have experienced in my day:

The Haterade influenced insult – Like I said, sometimes people are just not nice. I’m a strong believer that when people are insecure, they tend to bring others down. So what can you learn about yourself from a random insult that someone gives you? Well, a lot. First thing is first, process the insult. If someone calls you stupid, and you are doing something stupid, then you should probably reassess your situation. Now if they call you stupid while youre sitting in a classroom learning about quantum physics, they should probably reassess their situation. Regardless, you can still learn about yourself in the way you react to the situation. Don’t get defensive and throw some punches when someone insults you. Put on your big boy pants and take it like a champ.

The “I’m not trying to be rude” but…  insult – Don’t you love when people preface their insults like that? Yeah, me neither. These insults are generally intended to be constructive criticism, but they lack the constructive aspect. The key is to not get offended by the way in which they tell you this information. For example, someone might say, “I don’t mean to be rude, but you stink.” So instead of crying, take a shower perhaps. Tears won’t clean your smelliness away.

The constructive criticism insult – Okay, so here is where you need to decide if you are being a sissy or not. Often times in our life we get criticism about ourselves that we may not agree with. People have different opinions, and it can be an amazing eye-opener to get insight into what people think about you. Hey, maybe you think you are God’s gift to earth, and everybody else thinks you are an arrogant jerk. In this case you should jog backwards for a few minutes until you cross back over that line between confidence and cockiness. Unless you’re into that whole “being lonely forever” thing, then keep caring about yourself more than anything around you. Taking constructive criticism and learning to deviate from our norms in order to better ourselves, is a key to gaining success in whatever you do.

 

Sticks and stones can break our bones, and words will just break down our spirit. We have to be confident enough in ourselves to take insults in the best way possible. Either we take the advice of the person who has said hurtful things, or we build our characters by being the bigger person. There is no need to get all depressed and lock yourself in your room for the rest of your life. Instead, learn to make yourself better at every opportunity you get.

To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it. – Wilson Mizner

Follow me on twitter @NelsonKati and check out Alltop (They recently featured my blog on this site!)