Happy Weekend! This week's post on How I Work with my Virtual Assistant got a big boost on Thursday thanks to one Ms. Internet Auntie Pamela Slim (thank you Pam!). If you haven't already, check out my detailed show notes — these will help optimize your systems and workflow even without bringing on an additional person.
Now, grab your cup o' joe and cozy up!
- Interesting commentary on how we have over-subscribed meaning to the infamous Marshmallow study on behavior and delayed gratification. From the New York Times: We Didn’t Eat the Marshmallow. The Marshmallow Ate Us.
- Fantastic post from Rebecca Fraser-Thill on When the Dream Falls Apart
- Don't miss Ben Casnocha's "Interesting People Fund" idea in 10 Creative Rituals You Should Steal
- Great for speaking engagements, meetings, and interviews, here are Ten Techniques to Build Rapport
- Tough love and great reminders: 10 Phrases We Should Always Say -- No Matter How Crazy Our Lives Become
- Turns out Facebook and Twitter aren't the paragon of honest, selfless discourse. Who knew?! Wink, wink. The Atlantic on How to Spot a Narcissist Online
- Combat preen-fatigue (a word I just made up, haha) by going deeper with your work and writing. Here's Monica McCarthy on why you should Go Deep Or Go Home if you want to stand out online.
- I loved this New Year’s Advice from Epictetus: Don’t Get Started (via Cal Newport), on being discerning with your time, effort and habits. When you choose what you really care about, then "go to war" for it:
"In every affair consider what precedes and follows, and then undertake it. Otherwise you will begin with spirit; but not having thought of the consequences, when some of them appear you will shamefully desist.
…conform to rules, submit to a diet, refrain from dainties; exercise your body, whether you choose it or not, at a stated hour, in heat and cold; you must drink no cold water, nor sometimes even wine.
When you have evaluated all this, if your inclination still holds, then go to war."
—Epictetus, via Cal Newport
- I've said it before, and I'll say it again! Read-up on why sleep is more important than you might think (via Boston Globe)
- Cool article from SF Gate on the powers of meditation in unexpected places. Here's how Meditation transforms roughest San Francisco schools
- In my post Stuck? 6 Ways to Approach Your Career Like a Caveman, I talk about the importance of understanding your evolutionary physiology in the midst of making a big transition or decision.
- Simon Sinek takes a similar tack in this 45-minute 99u speech: Why Leaders Eat Last — the evolutionary biology behind trust, teamwork and a sense of safety at work. Though I'm curious to hear your thoughts: shouldn't leaders (and parents, etc) put their oxygen masks on first?
- Holla! You know I'm always looking for articles to support my coffee crack habit. Two this week: Coffee as a Memory Booster and Coffee Fiends, Rejoice: Java May Hydrate Just as Well as Water
- Yowza: Why You Should Never Buy Disposable Water Bottles Again (an infographic)
- Apparently there's a difference between Cities Where People Walk The Most and The 10 Most Walkable Cities In America.
- Top four where people actually walk the most (college towns): Cambridge, Columbia (SC), Berkeley, Ann Arbor.
- Cities with the greatest potential/convenience for walking (while running errands for example): Manhattan (woo!), San Francisco, and Boston. Followed by Philadelphia, Miami and Chicago.
- NPR on Why Sugar Makes Us Feel So Good. Here's a GREAT 5-minute TEDed video that accompanies the article:
"The takeaway is pretty clear: If you're sensitive to sugar and inclined to indulge in a supersugary treat, do it rarely and cautiously. Otherwise, there's a pretty good chance that your brain is going to start demanding sugar loudly and often. And we're probably better off without that extra voice in our head."
- The New York Times revisits a common conundrum. What to say when someone asks, Can I Just Pick Your Brain? In my case, I am legitimately booked with strategic business planning (and doing) — so I've set-up 60-minute strategy sessions as a way to still be helpful and deliver value for both sides.
- Good advice from Fast Company for Freelancers: How Not To Get Screwed By Clients
- Standing ovation for The Dangerous Rise of "Entrepreneurship Porn"
- Today's tangent: A few years ago there was a huge wave of "quit your job and work from Thailand!" articles, but not nearly enough talking about the realities of self-employment or the intensity of start-ups. I can vouch for the fact that I am fiercely committed to my business (don't regret quitting for a second), but as it turns three years old soon I can also say that during a building phase (which for many businesses lasts five years), the rollercoaster highs are much higher, and the lows are much lower than many people talk about.
- Tips after my own heart — Death To PowerPoint: Speak Like A Pro Without The Slides
- And while you are on stage, beware of these 10 Phrases Great Speakers Never Say
- If you need a nudge, here's How to Send a Professional Thank You Note.
- Want me to send you a handwritten postcard? Send me your address through my Say Hi form — I love snail mail and often send notes to anyone who has the courage and time to reach out through my blog as a thank you for reading. :)
- Yikes — a dismal outlook on the potential ramifications of net neutrality being shot down. A VC: VC Pitches In A Year Or Two (the big guys will win out over smaller, more innovative disruptors who don't have the cash to incentivize the big cable companies)
- Stay in the tech-know with Frog's 15 Tech Trends That Will Define 2014 and the Weirdest Gadgets CES Consumer Electronics Show 2014
- Fascinating Fast Company profile on business and brand genius Troy Carter: Fired By Lady Gaga And Loving It:
"You gotta know what it feels like to be up at night, worried about a problem. You gotta know what that feels like in your stomach," Carter says. "Getting terrible sound at clubs, playing to audiences that heckle, to venues that are half empty, so you know how to adjust to it."
Resilience, he says, isn't something he can teach them. Everyone has to experience their own Eve, their own Gaga. Only then do you know how to get back up.
—Troy Carter, Fired By Lady Gaga And Loving It
- I can relate to much of how Shane Parrish answers the question, "How are you able to read so much?!" His "secrets" to Finding Time to Read.
- Love me some Buffet wisdom. Parrish summarizes The Buffett Formula — How To Get Smarter (hint: it involves a lot of reading!) and Why Great Partnerships Succeed (on Buffet and Munger)
- Holy cow. Did you know 42% of Americans own a tablet or e-Reader? Though I still read paper books too, my iPad Mini is one of the things I credit for a rapid increase in my reading capacity last year. Yet despite the increase in e-Readers, many still read print though; only 4% of Americans are e-Reader only. (h/t Dave Pell for these great stats)
Just for Fun
- Say whaaaaaat?! Mountain Dew-flavored Cheetos actually exist (and you can order 'em from Japan). Stop it right now.