My Top Experiences & Lessons Learned in 2016 (Written for Millenials)

2016 has been the best year of my life. I invested a lot of time into learning about myself and took the most action towards achieving what mattered most to me. This is the way I determine the success of … Continue reading

How a Group Of Cows Taught Me About Team Work

Holstein cows at pasture, grazing. Staffordshire.

It was an average Tuesday morning on my way to work when I saw a sight on the side of Highway 75 that made me question everything I knew about team work.

Let me tell you the story.

I woke up for work around 6:30 AM and brushed my teeth just like every morning. Next, I threw some gel in my hair, got dressed and headed to the kitchen to make breakfast. After eating my omelet I walked out of the door at 7:30 AM.

I took my normal route down 75 where I would then take exit 131 in order to make it to work by 8 AM. Normally I would see nothing too exciting on the highway, usually other cars, birds, trees and the occasional heard of cows here and there.

But on this morning the cows surprised me; that’s right, the cows stole the spotlight for the day.

Let me explain further. You see, the night before it had rained heavily (as it often does in Florida) and as a result I could see the fields in which the cows would usually roam were severely flooded. I imagined the cows wouldn’t like to sleep wet and was wondering what they do and where they go during times like this. My question was shortly answered as I cruised down 75 in my Honda Civic.

On my right hand side I saw the cows. What they did left me amazed.

Out of their entire roaming area which was covered by stagnant water, there was one small hill. It was almost like a little mountain; about 10 feet wide and 5 feet above the normal roaming grounds.

There were about 15-20 cows standing on it together. At the same time. Collectively, they resembled one massive cow standing on this platform to avoid the water. It reminded me of human assembly and how humans gather together in times of support and need. It was truly amazing to see them work together like this.

From adults to calf’s these cows came to the understanding that they did not want to stand in the water.

In addition to this understanding, the cows also had to physically get every other cow on this hill successfully. How they managed to do this and how long it took, we will never know, but they got it done.

The cows acted as one based on a mutual agreement. Everyone agreed, everyone acted in the best interest of the group and everyone stayed dry as a result.

Great, but don’t humans do this all the time? Isn’t this why C-Level executives spend a third of their day in meetings with their teams? Sure this is true but often when humans are on teams we have to deal with the issue of every team member putting in equal effort, don’t we? I can recall many school projects and even work assignments that everyone did not place the same level of importance on. This is an issue and led me to ask this questions:

Is the real issue not finding team members who work hard, but finding a goal that all team members actually care about?

Do we need to challenge ourselves and wonder, maybe our groups need to be comprised solely of people who want to do this, people who truly support this cause, have desires to reach this goal and wouldn’t tolerate anything but success?

What do you think?

In conclusion, the cows taught me that anything as a team is possible so long as every team member wants to achieve the end result and gives it the same level of importance. The cows served as an excellent example of how goals are achieved when all team members are on the same page and want the same results for the same benefit. Hopefully as humans we can take something away from this to make sure our teams continually reach success.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the content. Please like, share, & comment if you found the content valuable and worth sharing. 🙂

 

6 Reasons Why You Didnt Secure A Job After College

A lot of people blame the economy or say that the jobs they want aren’t out there. Some people blame their situations or environment. Some even say that no one is willing to give them the experience in order to get the job they want. I don’t believe any of that. It is all, 100% on you. THIS IS WHY YOU DIDNT GET A JOB.

  1. Your lifestyle never changed from freshman to senior year.

As a college senior graduating in less than a week I will be the first one to say that the majority of your sophomore & freshman year WILL be spent socializing and attending parties followed by waking up in strange places wondering what the hell you did last night.

That’s okay. It’s going to happen. But your focus and your lifestyle should change with each year in school. For me at least, it looked something like this.

  • Freshman year-
    • Meeting people, hooking up with girls, partying, maybe I’ll study.
  • Sophomore year-
    •  Meet different people, more girls, more parties, go out to new places, actually study because I did terrible last year.
  • Junior year-
    •  Begin thinking about a job, apply to internships, stay in more, less party, less girls, more school.
  • Senior year-
    •  Secure or working to secure a job for after graduation, party way less, drink wine at home with a small group of friends, focused on graduating.

If you are still a senior glorifying beer pong or having a consistent presence at house parties, realize that time of your life is over with. If your lifestyle is the same in your senior year as it was freshman year, then you are not spending your time wisely and more importantly not growing or maturing.

  1. You didn’t use your school’s resources.
  • Job fairs.
  • Internship fairs.
  • Center for Career development services.
  • Networking events.
  • Professors.

If you never used any of the above resources, you are at a huge disadvantage.

Career development services literally supplies the student body with internships, even paid ones! So why not hop in that persons office to discuss opportunities, you have all to gain and nothing to lose.

Professors also know a ton of professionals in various industries who are looking for fresh new grads with talent, but if you fail to meet with them and ask…well then u missed out.

Job fairs and networking events are huge! They literally allow you to meet employers on a face to face level and give you the opportunity to market yourself and tell them why they should choose you. Skipping out on these is a giant missed opportunity.

  1. You didn’t surround yourself with the right people.

If you are future minded, ambitious and consistently working to achieve your goals that is excellent and I commend you for it. But if everyone you hang out with is not, then you need to start looking for a new group of friends more like you.

Surround yourself with people who recognize your talents and celebrate your success. Not with people who are content with where they are or celebrate being good enough or achieving the bare minimum. You owe it to yourself to be surrounded by the best and if you believe that you are, you should seek into surround yourself with it at all times.

  1. You were unemployed during college.

Put yourself in the shoes of an employer. Would you want to hire a stand out student who never worked while in college? Some of you might say “sure why not, they have a great GPA and tons of service hours.” I can see that point of view. But I know that experience is 100 times more valuable than anything written on paper. 

Apply it to any other situation. Would you let a lawyer represent you in court if he had zero experience but finished at the top of his class? Or would you pick the lawyer who’s done 100+ cases? I’ll leave you all to answer that one.

And by the way, if you WERE NOT a stand out student AND you were unemployed….then you will face even tougher obstacles.

The next concern might be, “well how will working a meaningless part time job that doesn’t apply to my major be of any help?” Don’t sell yourself short! That “meaningless” part time job means a lot more than you think! Here is why working while in school makes you a better job candidate.

  • Displays ability to manage time.
  • Demonstrates commitment and prioritization.
  • Shows work ethic

All of these traits are considered when employers evaluate candidates for positions and if you were unemployed for 4 years, it doesn’t make you as attractive.

Another point that I must add is that, your part time jobs can hand you golden opportunities where you can do the following:

  • Network and meet potential employers
  • Get promoted and gain valuable experience
  • Get letters of recommendation
  1. You didn’t take accountability.

If you are one to still blame your professors or group members for the grades you received, grow up and take accountability.

Making excuses might have been okay during freshman and sophomore year but if you are STILL blaming other people for your current situation, then chances are you haven’t matured into adulthood.

You must realize that we are all equipped with the same resources and an identical 24 hours in each day to make use of them and achieve our goals. You are the reason for where you are in life and only you can change it.

Know that.

  1. You have a sense of entitlement.

Everyone who has a job or is in the position that you wish to be in started just like you did. FROM THE BOTTOM. No college graduate is going directly to the top of whatever field they find passion in.

Every industry has a set of stairs and they need to be climbed. I’m sure you are all familiar with the quote “the elevator to success is out of order; you’ll have to take the stairs.” It’s true, and you do have to take the stairs just like everyone before you did.

Also, just because you have a degree you think you DESERVE something? WHY? So many people have identical or superior credentials compared to you but for some reason you deserve more? You need to differentiate yourself and determine why you deserve things if you feel that you do so badly.

But it’s never too late. Even if you have already graduated. Reach back out to your school, work part time and build up contacts, stop partying and take accountability for your situation and you too can reach your goals.

Why Failure is NECESSARY for Success

You Will Fail Before You Succeed Failure is the pre requisite for success. It would be a difficult task to name a few people whose first attempt at anything was a wide glorious success.

  • Michael Jordan didn’t start off being able to slam dunk a basketball let alone make his high school varsity team.
  • I’m sure tiger wood’s first shot was not a hole in one.

For anyone into video games, when u start at level one, how long do you last before your character gets destroyed by a rival? Usually not too long, then you get better as you learn the game.

Why?

Why do we often fail? BECAUSE WE ARE SUPPOSED TO.

It’s normal. I wouldn’t expect anyone who drives a car for the first time, to possess the skill of a Nascar driver. That principle applies to any task/profession you can think of.

How We Currently Perceive Failure.

Failure has a negative connotation but it is actually the best thing we can experience, especially while you are young. When you think about failure, you probably think about storm clouds, defeat, and a feeling of inadequacy. Those emotions are okay to experience because they are temporary! However, in order to accept failure, we need to change the way it is perceived.

Failure doesn’t mean you lose, that you can never be great at anything. What it means is that you have eliminated a possibility. You are now one step closer to finding the answer. There are many ways to skin a cat and by failing, we eliminate one of those possibilities. So failure is actually an exciting thing because guess what? WERE CLOSER TO THE CORRECT ANSWER.

If there was a map with a circle that represented your starting point and an “x” identifying the destination. All of the space in between represents failure. Failure is what you must do In order to learn the correct way. In order to reach a finish line.

So without this “failure” we never learn. You can read about someone’s success and you might hear a great story but what will you learn? Now if you read an individual’s tale about failure, I can guarantee there will be a lesson to be absorbed.

Reacting To Failure

But There is more to failure than the act itself. More important than failure is HOW WE REACT TO IT. After you fall, (because you will at some point) will you stay down? Will you blame your environment or your circumstances for your position or will you own your failure, absorb all that it has to teach you and get back up to try again?

Too often people let their failures create a fear of failing again and again. It is often this fear that holds us back. Instead of fearing the same mistakes, recognize where they were made and how they helped you (or can help you) achieve what it is your seeking out to do, the correct way.

Don’t let failure hold you back, use failure to pave your way to success because each time you fail, by the process of elimination, you narrow down the possibilities of selecting a correct answer and get that much closer to success.

The importance of asking your self “Whats Next.”

Asking yourself “What’s next?”

As humans, we are creatures of habit. But we must understand that habits are highly poisonous. Did he just say poisonous?” Hold on, relax. I know what you’re probably thinking, “what about my morning routine?” “Or going to church with my family on Sunday’s? Are those habits poisonous too?” Let me explain before you exit this window. When I say, “Habits are poisonous” what I mean is that habits make us comfortable.

I am not saying that you should stop brushing your teeth every morning or quit the job you have been working at for 2 years now. That would be silly. What I want people to do is to ask themselves one question. “What’s next?” This habit will allow you to make changes in your routine life and achieve the goals you have, faster. In order to do this, it’s best to set up short and long term goals. Once you reach them you ask, “What’s next?” You can see how this forces you to make a choice on what to do, your next move has to differ from what you did to get there because your past moves have already been made and you can’t repeat them.

The same principle can be applied to working out. If a person is doing the same series of exercises month after month, there is no new challenge and with no new challenge comes no new results.

Never settle for “Just good enough.”

These habits that we form are the same as settling at just being “Good enough” and most of the time we even get praise for it. We have a job to be our worst critics because we are the only ones who know what we are capable of and only we know when we can do more.

As a student I have always done well in school, networked my way into jobs/internships and even secured a full time offer before graduation. I did this by always asking myself “What’s next”. I can’t tell you the amount of praise I get for my “Successful endeavors” from family and friends but I simply look at those accomplishments as things I “was supposed to do”. Isn’t that the point of college essentially, to secure a job afterwards?  I hadn’t done anything extraordinary and I knew that I could do more!

We have another responsibility of not letting the comments of others inflate our egos in such a way that we get comfortable and feel as though we have accomplished enough to cease the challenging of ourselves. Knowing that there is always room for improvement and new ways to challenge yourself is the key at never settling, this is why asking the question of “What’s next” is so vital.

The stepping stone concept

I have a picture that I like to paint for people when I illustrate this concept verbally and this it’s called “The stepping stone concept”. Hopefully this will make it clear for anyone who is in question on how to follow this methodology.

Picture a series of stepping stones; these stones are close enough to where you can walk from one to the other without much difficulty. The stones start off being rather large in size but as you progress and each task gets more difficult, the stones become smaller and smaller, requiring more strategy and planning for how exactly you will make your next move. You carefully travel from one stone to the next but you can never go backwards because as you leap from one to the other, the previous stone disappears. Now this leaves you with one option, to move forward and keep going on to the next goal or challenge. This way you keep growing, you get exposed to new things and people, you evolve as a person and this, my friends is how you accentuate your life. It is when people stay on a stone that they have found comfort on or when they feel as though they have crossed many stones and have no need to continue jumping that they feel this comfort; consequently becoming stagnant in every aspect of your life.

Not only will this accentuate your life by consistently sharpening your mind and body, but you will be able to help others get past the same stones that you once had to leap on. So in turn while you accentuate your life, you return the favor to another; and trust me when you’re able to give advice as a person who has been in their shoes you will notice that they will place more value on your words. So imagine if we all asked ourselves “What’s Next” and never settled, we would constantly go forward, always help others move forward and progress together. We need leaders in this world and if you can get through all of the stones that’s great, but you minimize your impact if you can’t teach another individual how to get to the same place as you.

-Danilo Vuk Capric.

5 Ways to make people like you instantly.

  1. Talk about THEM, not what you want.

When you meet someone for the first time, be inquisitive. Ask them about what they like, their interests, hobbies and goals in order to show that you are genuinely interested in them and what they have to say. Everyone loves to talk about themselves so the more listening you can do, the better. When you see an attractive person and wish to contact them in the future, do you just walk up and ask for precisely what you want? No, you need to talk about them. When people show a genuine interest in us, we relax, we are no longer under the impression that this person wants/needs something from us and consequently are more willing to offer something if indeed there is something we can help them with; but only after they express a true interest in us first. This is effective because we all lookout for ourselves before considering anyone else, so when a stranger approaches and considers everything about the other person and nothing about themselves, the result is a sense of importance created within the other party. Once that is established you will be able to acquire what it is you were initially looking for.

  1. Praise and recognize the work THEY do.

Do you know of anyone who doesn’t enjoy being congratulated or told they did a good job at something? If so please contact me immediately because I would love to meet that person.

Acknowledging people and their efforts, letting them know that they don’t go unappreciated, is one of the best ways to make people like you. Isn’t that why we have award ceremonies?

If one of your friends is trying to lose weight and constantly hits the gym, changes their entire diet and life style to complete a goal. Praise them for it! Acknowledge that you see the sacrifices they made and you realize how much will and determination that it took in order to make those changes. Not only will you help that person continue to pursue that goal but you positively reinforce their behaviors as well. You also become a great friend.

  1. Smile

The following benefits of smiling have been scientifically proven:

  • Increased speed in stress recovery
  • Release of endorphins
  • Causes others to smile (contagious)
  • Considered more attractive

With the following facts presented, failing to smile is a huge disadvantage that could be the difference between a great first impression and a not so great first impression. Another question you might want to ask yourself is, don’t I enjoy myself more when I’m surrounded people who smile? People who laugh? People who radiate positive energy? A common prerequisite to all these things is the act of smiling.

  1. Deliver on your promises

People don’t like being let down. Ever. If you say something, be sure to commit to it.

If you purchase something online with an expected delivery date and it does not arrive by the promised date, how does that make you feel? Most people would agree on a feeling of frustration or being let down, disappointed…etc. When you don’t keep your promises people may take it personal or feel as though you don’t find them to be of much importance. Once trust is lost, it is extremely difficult to get back.

  1. Remember their name

Nothing can be more insulting than forgetting a person’s name. No matter how inspiring your connection with them may be and how much common ground you can uncover, by the end of the conversation, if you have to ask “what was your name again?” It almost destroys all of the rapport that you just spent precious time building up. Compare it to building a log cabin for 5 years and just before you put the roof on it…a land slide demolishes the entire structure.

3 Giant Reasons Why You Should Be More Outgoing

1.Outgoing people gain access to more resources

Most outgoing people love to meet and surround themselves with new people. This is an advantage that most introverts will never know. But there are such great benefits to this that you can’t afford to not do it.

In order to illustrate this example, let’s look at people like they are individual nations with precious resources. What if each new person that came into your life was a precious natural resource that you could gain? And the more people you met, the more resources you had.

What are some of the things that determine the power of a nation?

  • A strong economy.
  • Military presence/Alliances
  • Population
  • Technology
  • RESOURCES

If every person was a nation, wouldn’t you want to gain as many resources as possible? Naturally the weakest nations would be the ones with the fewest resources who failed to seek out and acquire them. This is why it is so important to constantly surround yourself with new people; to obtain those new resources. What are these resources that these people have? Resources could range from any of the following:

  • Knowledge & know how that you wish to possess.
  • A person who knows another person that has the information your need.
  • Ability to get you a job or get you in the door for an interview.
  • An extensive network that you want to also be a part of.

When the resources of other people become yours and vice versa, it creates a mutually beneficial relationship where both parties gain. The Individuals you came into contact with who benefited from your resources might even tell other nations (people) about you, thus creating a positive brand associated with your country (yourself). This could lead to even more nations (people) wanting to exchange resources with you, adding to your power and status as a nation (person).

  1. The world doesn’t favor a shy personality

Society has conditioned us to believe that it is unnatural or not normal to be secluded. This explains why in grade school everyone had that “one kid” in class who was “Weird” or “odd” because he sat away from everyone or didn’t play with the class at recess. So at an age before we even learn what introverts and extroverts are, we’ve already created a negative stigma and looked down on those who are not as outgoing.

In addition, don’t you like to be around people who are friendly and always having fun or doing new cool things? Maybe not 100% of the time, but certainly we can agree that the majority of people enjoy the presence of someone who is fun and pursues actions that accentuate their life as opposed to another individual who keeps to him/herself and is never or is hardly bringing excitement into his/her own life.

This makes extroverts and more outgoing people more favorable candidates for:

  • New Hires and Promotions
  • Party & social gathering invitees
  • Awards and achievements
  • Romantic relationships

Not to say that introvert’s or less outgoing people cannot achieve these same things however I am saying that those who are more outgoing (more times than not) have an edge.

  1. Outgoing people create opportunities

There are two types of people in this world, people who watch things happen and people who make things happen. We’ve all heard the saying “When opportunity knocks, answer the door”. But what about those nights when you just sit at home to a quiet house and never hear knocks?

These “Knocks”, or opportunities, don’t just show up out of thin air and success isn’t a result of luck, but more so preparation and action. ACTION; that is the key. Here are some simple actions can create excellent opportunities:

  • Approaching people and introducing yourself.
  • Attending open houses and networking events
  • Applying to leadership roles
  • Following up on promises and obligations
  • Making your work or passion known to the public

Introducing yourself to someone can be HUGE. I have a short story that illustrates how introducing myself to someone, in addition to acting on a few of these other bullet points, changed my life.

I work in retail. At Cole Haan. It’s an upscale shoe/leather goods store.

One day a gentleman came in looking at a rather pricy duffle bag, I approached the man and asked him where he was from. (Opportunity created. Approaching people) It turned out he was a local who was looking for a bag for work/travel. As I began explaining the features of the bag, we started talking more casually until he asked me if I was in school. “Yes” I replied. “What’s your major?” He asked. “Marketing” I replied. It turned out he was an alumni from my university and was also a marketing major.

I asked him if he had a hard time finding employment after graduation and he said “No, it wasn’t too difficult.” I then had to ask, “So where do you work?” “I work at Gartner.” He said. I had heard of the firm but I didn’t know they were a fortune 300 company, had the 4th most difficult interview process in the United States and made some good money. He told me I should apply for their internship next summer and gave me his business card. That was an opportunity, created by approaching him. Next I had to follow up, so I did.

I ended up applying for a full time position despite not having the credentials, in order to speak with someone and get a better idea of what the firm actually did. The next move was attending a career open house 3 months later where I met the recruiter for Gartner’s summer internship. (Introducing myself again and creating the opportunity).

I followed up with everyone I had met that day with a simple email.

At the end of that year, I had been selected as an intern for Gartner and by the end of that following summer, they offered me a job. ALL BECAUSE I INTRODUCED MYSELF TO SOMEONE. You never know who anyone could be so please, this really pay’s off, get out there and shake hands with some people!