8 Productivity Tips from Louis CK

Louis C.K. is smart guy. He’s won multiple Emmy awards, writes an extremely popular televisions show, and basically upended the comedy business. The thing I like about him is that even though he’s insanely successful, he still acts like my uncle. He’s surly, down to earth, and will give you a straight answer on things.

I think Louis C.K. would probably hate this slideshow. He’s say something like “I’m just a guy with a bigger microphone. I’m nobody special.” However, I think he espouses a lot of good, no BS advice.

On success:
“You’ll be fine. You’re 25. Feeling [unsure] and lost is part of your path. Don’t avoid it. See what those feelings are showing you and use it. Take a breath. You’ll be okay. Even if you don’t feel okay all the time.”

A lot of young professionals forget this. Stuff takes time. Success takes time.

Would You Airbrush Your LinkedIn Profile Pic?

Image from WSJ.com

I didn’t even know that was a thing….but apparently, people are using air brushing tools and photoshopping their professional pics on LinkedIn to be more attractive to potential employers. It makes perfect sense that people naturally gravitate to things/people that they find attractive, but if you manipulate your LinkedIn pic, and then show up to the interview your true 30 pounds overweight, bad skinned self aren’t you just setting yourself up to look dishonest?

Image from WSJ.com

From the WSJ post:

… a little light airbrushing could go a long way for some job-seekers. Smoothing out a few lines, while leaving your appearance broadly intact, might help older job hunters look young and energetic, Schawbel says. For seniors struggling to find work — some 52% of those aged 55 and older are unemployed versus just 38% of those under 55 years of age, according to the American Association of Retired Persons – the extra touch-up may help, experts say. LinkedIn connection director Nicole Williams says an “appealing” picture catches the eye of recruiters: “There’s no denying that attractiveness gives you an advantage over the competition.”

Would you alter your LinkedIn profile pic?

(via WSJ.com)


Five Things Young Professionals Can Learn From Kevin Garnett

Guest Post by Nick Hansen. Nick writes, watches basketball, and loves strawberry jam. Follow him on Twitter @nickhansenMN

I hate the term “young professional.”  It’s cheeky, condescending, and it makes me seem like I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. The Heat have a young professional bent to them. Their stylish, exciting, and they’re in it to win it.

That’s all well and good, but they’re down 3-2 against an older Celtics team.

Kevin Garnett has been the Celtics emotional leader and most important player during their current playoff run. Young professionals in the “real world” could learn a few things from the Big Ticket.

Here are five things you can take to your workplace today:

1. Be passionate about your work. Garnett is always yelling and pumping up the crowd during games. Some fans think that sort attitude is annoying, but I think it makes for great basketball and for a more enjoyable work place. A whiny, apathetic workplace brings morale down. Don’t be the whiner at your job. Pump up your co-workers, bring the energy, and do whatever you do with heart. Passion is infectious.

2. Back up your talk. I hate it when people make a big stink about themselves. The often maligned Miami Heat coming out party is the perfect example of this.  I know KG is one of the biggest trash talkers in the NBA, but that’s part of his game. Off the court you don’t hear too much from him. Do your thing, celebrate, and then get over yourself. There’s always another game.

3. Keep the team together. One image from Tuesday night’s game that will stick with me is KG grabbing Mickeal Pietrus’ hand to do the traditional all hands in huddle break. It’s easy to get frustrated in a high pressure situation and let the team get fractured. Keep everyone on the same plane. You never know who might have to take that last shot.

4. Give credit where credit is due. Garnett had another huge game on Tuesday, but Paul Pierce made a clutch three that helped close out the game for Boston. He gave a shout out to Pierce in his post game interview with Doris Burke. Remember to give a shout out to everyone who contributed to your success.

5. Have some fun out there. Keep your sense of humor. Young professionals have the tendency to take themselves to seriously. Loosen up.

5a. And remember… ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!!

Nick Hansen writes, watches basketball, and loves strawberry jam. Follow him on Twitter @nickhansenMN

YouTube Beauty Queen Gives Tips on Going Viral

Boston-born Michelle Phan was only 25 years old in this video and she absolutely owns YouTube. Her beauty tip videos have been viewed more than 550 million times and her YouTube channel has nearly 2 million subscribers. Her model is simple, but she has the secret sauce when it comes to engaging with fans. Phan is also in the process of launching a channel for women as she begins her quest to be the next Oprah.

A quick note of warning, people can’t really tell you how to make things “go viral”, but Phan offers some great best practices around the emotion of her videos and connecting with her users.

(via WSJ)


Crowdsourcing is the onset of a new deliberation for companys, startups, and entrepreneurs to add money to their cause.  Finding funding is something that is you can either do by scraping for those pennies in that junker sitting in your driveway to save up for your next million (cause you gave up on your first one).  When you get someone behind you…it makes all the difference.  It gives you instant customers and instant funding.

I have to give credit to  for her pre-made list of optimal crowdsourcing sites.  This cuts the work of finding money…in half!  Who can pass up half off of anything…not ME.

Check it out.

Venessa Miemis, Evolutionary Agent, Provocateur

here’s a few i came across during my research for the future of money project. they’re separated into categories for creative/artistic projects, & for business development/investment. [DIY examples]

  • crowdfunding – creative

- kickstarter http://www.kickstarter.com/
- Indiegogo http://www.indiegogo.com/
- crowdfunder http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/
- peerbackers http://peerbackers.com/
- chipin http://www.chipin.com/
- fundable http://www.fundable.com/
- citizen effect http://www.citizeneffect.org/index
- revenue trades http://www.revolutiontrades.com/
- rockethub http://www.rockethub.com/
- sonicangel http://www.sonicangel.com/
- startnext http://www.startnext.de/
- ulule http://www.ulule.com/
- cofundos http://www.cofundos.org/
- buzzbnk http://www.buzzbank.org/
- biracy http://www.biracy.com/
- investedin http://invested.in/

  • crowdfunding – open business investment
- 40billion http://www.40billion.com/
- appbackr http://www.appbackr.com/
- capangel http://www.capangel.com/
- cofundit http://www.cofundit.com/
- crowdcube http://www.crowdcube.com/
- crowdfund http://www.crowdfunding.co.za/
- digital garage http://digitalgarage.co.za/
- globeforum http://www.globeforum.com/
- growvc http://www.growvc.com/main/
- innovatrs http://innovatrs.com/
- investiere http://www.investiere.ch/
- podium ventures http://podiumfunds.com/
- profounder http://www.profounder.com/
- raisecapital http://www.raisecapital.com/home…
- seedups http://www.seedups.com/
- seedmatch http://www.seedmatch.de/
- trampoline http://crowdfunding.trampolinesy…
- vencorps http://www.vencorps.com/
- venture bonsai http://www.venturebonsai.com/
- wealthforge http://www.wealthforgeonline.com/
- wiseed http://www.wiseed.fr/wicket/web/…
- FriendsClear http://www.friendsclear.com
- 33needs http://33needs.com/

You can find some more great responses to options to crowdsourcing here…


Need some more advice or options? Reach out…

Louis Vuitton’s Art of Packing

Louis Vuitton launched a new section of their website to help you step your game up when packing your bags for business travel. You don’t need to have Louis Vuitton bags to take advantage of some of these tips. The app itself is very cool as it’s not pushing Vuitton product as much as it’s a fun way to add value to consumers and website vistors.

They developed the app in Flash though so it’s not viewable on your iPad. Seems like it would make a cool touch screen app as well.

Second Impressions…Protecting Your Awesome

Yeah…cause first impressions are so overrated.

Second impressions are ALWAYS the hardest.  Yeah it’s easy to be yourself the first time around and show off some talent, but what if you have to do it a second time or third…or for life?  This post is entirely focused at that second impression phenom.

So you have an idea, you’ve worked on that idea, and maybe have already built your prototype.  People around you are telling you how awesome your new invention is and that it’s the best thing since sliced bread.  These warm-hearted embraces and accolades from your buddies may be as awesome as kittens falling from the sky – your heart shudders a bit and your knees go weak from these cute and cuddly critters falling into your lap.  What isn’t coming in…is the greens.  Yeah your idea looks good on paper, but what are the next steps…because that second impression (the one to ACTUAL stakeholders) is crucial.  The first step…protect your idea from prying eyes.

Log Everything About Your Idea

While you are coming up with a way to build George Jetson’s spacemobile – you should probably take a minute to write all of this stuff down.  If you are like me (the artistic type) your brain is in about 400 different directions.  Your mind captures all of the information down in a mental note and then it stays there and eats your brains.  After a while though – those ideas stop being so hungry because you have work, family, school, parties…  What you NEED to do 100% is to write your ideas down!  Get a notebook (no not those loose leaf notebooks or even the ones with the perforated edges) and start writing that stuff down.  I actually recommend that you either go to Wal-Mart or Target and buy a “Composition Notebook” or if you are a little more trendy and wear those hipster jeans, skate on over to Barnes and Nobles or some trendy bookstore in your area and grab a Moleskin notebook.  Not gonna lie – probably the best notebook ever.

Alright well you have your idea…you have a book…I shouldn’t have to say this but did you grab a pen right?  Alright…Alright…I’ll wait…

So what do you need to write down?  Well I’ll tell you…and it’s not all writing mind you.  Be as detailed as possible.

  • What is your idea?
  • How did you come about thinking up this grand idea?
  • What does it do?
  • What does it look like? (This is that writing/non-writing part)
  • Does it help to solve anything? (Process, design, etc.)
  • Draw a picture…

When you draw the picture, people get so wrapped around the axle with statements like – “I can’t draw” or “Are you serious…I know what it looks like!”.  Seriously all you really need to do is draw a line/pen drawing of it.  Even a rough sketch that proves what it conceptually looks like.  If you can’t connect lines or know how to draw a box – try finding someone at a local college looking to do some extra work or something for a college project.  Could be free…could be really cheap.

Having this notebook and keeping it updated is your new-found purpose in life.  Your idea is now the boss of every pen stroke.  Log everything.  Updates to your idea, conversations with people about your idea, and anything else you can think of.  I would suggest to stop eating those chicken nuggets with that ketchup dripping off of them around this notebook.  Keep it clean, keep it professional.  It could come in handy not only as a log of everything “idea” related, but it could come in handy as a legal document if your neighbor has been using his binoculars – stealing your ideas.

Social Media vs. SEO: What Matters Most?

Whenever we put our digital marketing hats on for our companies or projects, the question comes up: What should I be focusing on? Social media marketing or SEO. Both are considered low costs ways to drive much needed awareness for your business. Both are crucial. Your time is limited. So where should you be spending your time?

A great info graphic by the guys at MDG Advertising helps with your consideration of both activities.

A couple of quick nuggets to glean from the graphic:

- SEO wins for lead generation
- Social Media wins for brand awareness
- SEO is king for local business

There’s A Website That Shows You 50 Ways To Get A Job

50 ways to get a job. Sounds like a Vince Vaughn movie. Only this movie is real.

Dev Aujla and his pals started the website 50 Ways To Get A Job after three years of extensive research. You tell the website a little bit about yourself and where you are in your career, and they take care of the rest through a series of exercises.

It looks like this:


But you should try it for yourself.