Monthly Archives: April 2010

Video Interview with Law School Grad turned Leather Repairman Misak Pirinjian

The other day I was fortunate enough to catch up with Misak Pirinjian of Tony’s Shoe and Luggage Repair in Mill Valley, California. Over two decades ago, after attending law school and then working in the field, he left for the leather repair business and has become the go-to man. Bonus includes advice for maintaining goods.


Want more on this leader? Check this, this, and this out.

Be sure to also check out this post on shoes.


Leave a comment

Filed under accomplish, Advice, Being Unique, Entrepreneurship, Insider Insight, Interview, Law, Leader, Rerouting, Shoes, Success, work, Working Hard

Q and A with Nutritionist on Boosting Energy

Energy plays a major role in success in any field. To keep you pumped at healthy limits, here are four quick answers to burning questions from board certified clinical nutritionist Leslie Malloy, Ph.D.:

1. What are the best ways to obtain more liveliness and what’s the deal with vitamin B?

Cellular energy or ATP is created from eating calories of carbohydrate, fat, and protein. The B vitamins act as co-enzymes or vitamin helpers that help the body convert the calories we eat into energy or ATP.  If B vitamins are low, symptoms of fatigue may occur. Since white sugar has no B vitamins, it places a burden on the body to convert it into ATP; it is more difficult.  I do not think that B vitamin supplements are necessary unless the person is taking a medication that interferes with B absorption (anti seizure) or drinks more than 2 drinks a day (alcohol blocks absorption of B vitamins). Breads and cereals have been fortified with B vitamins, so they are easy to obtain in the diet.

2. What do you think of Rockstar, Five Hour Energy, and the other energy drinks?

I do not like energy drinks such as Rockstar as they are filled with stimulants like caffeine which boost the feeling of energy but do not actually supply one with energy.  Although the sugar can be used for energy, some have too much sugar which can cause stomach cramps.  Usually there will be a blood sugar crash an hour or so after consumption which leaves the person feeling nervous and fatigued.  Caffeine (small amounts) has been shown to help increase fat burning when consumed before an aerobic activity such as running.

3. What is it about health drinks like Odwalla and the like that are good or bad for increasing energy?

If Odwalla has sugar in it, the sugar may be converted to energy or stored as fat if energy is not needed. I tend to have my clients limit juice as the calories and lower fiber can be a negative.

Sports drinks that replace sodium, potassium, and that have less than 5% glucose in them are necessary for some high level athletes, especially if they are exercising in the sun for long periods of time.

4. How does exercise enhance performance?

…Training the body aerobically and anaerobically help to build more muscle and increase lung volume and thus increases endurance. The increased endurance helps people to function throughout the day with less fatigue. If exercise is over done, the immune function decreases and one can feel tired throughout the day.

Want More? Check out Malloy’s website, this energy drink nutrition breakdown, and this energy amount in food calculator.

Leave a comment

Filed under Success

Four Lessons for an Effective Business Card

Even when you are a student and/or are looking for a job, it is critical to carry a business card because you must be prepared for all encounters. Here are four tips for creating an effective one even when your path may be a bit murky:

  1. Limit your strives to three in one to two words each. If you are not yet sure which pathway is your primary, consider alphabetically ordering them. For example: “Interior Designer, Journalist, Marketer.” The key here is for you to present yourself in a clear, organized, and concise fashion.
  2. Include as much contact information as possible. Email is so common these days—and should absolutely be on your card, but nothing replaces verbal conversation, so your number(s) should be on there also. If you do not have an office or postal box, then do not worry about an address.
  3. Consider including your picture. Particularly if you are really into networking then you probably meet many people; chances are that the person you are handing your card to does also. Make them remember you even more by being able to see you long after your meeting.
  4. Stay practical. Some people use shiny paper and have a mosaic or other details on the back of their card, but that is costlier and can prevent you from having a clean writing space. So be sure your card is in line with your pocketbook and style.

Ready to make your cards? You can do so for free if you have a program like Microsoft Word or software like Business Card Factory Deluxe (although you still must pay for printing and paper like from Avery). Websites such as Vistaprint and FedEx are also great resources.

Want more? Check out this post or this article.

Leave a comment

Filed under Advice, Business Cards, Getting In, Goals, Insider Insight, Life Coaching, Opportunity, Positioning, Rerouting, Rising, Success, Vertical, Working Hard

Insight from Tech Entrepreneur Mathieu Thouvenin

The other day I met with Mathieu Thouvenin, a tech entreprenuer who’s accomplishments range from starting GSM Online, one of the first French portals about mobile phones to launching iPhone applications like Voila. He is also the three time recipient of a scholarship to attend Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference. Today he is a project manager at Seesmic, a social software company. The Bay Area transplant from France has much insight, so I have cut the interview down to the version below that includes his successes and advice for strivers.  Although I urge you to read the full version–which features valuables like his talk about social media, by clicking here.

Either way, enjoy!

You received a scholarship to attend one of Apple’s conferences, the Worldwide Developer Conference, three times—how did you do that?

I don’t know. When I was doing programming I subscribed to the program that Apple is doing, it’s basically a membership to get access to special resources to code for Apple and it’s cheaper because it’s for students and then that year I received an email they were like “oh you can apply, tell us why you are motivated and why we should invite you to go to the conference.” And I just filled out the form and explained why I was motivated and I guess it worked–I got invited the first year and then it was pretty easy to go the next years.

How many applications have you launched for the iPhone?


And can you tell us a little bit about them?

Yeah. The first one is called Voila and it allows you to share your location with your friends online so it seems pretty basic right now because all those apps like Four Square or Twitter allow you to share your location, but a year and a half ago there wasn’t much applications to share your location and that’s why I decided to create that. And it was a great opportunity for me to learn how to code for the iPhone, so that was the first application. And the second one, it’s called Serenade, it [launched] almost a year ago and it allows you to share on Twitter and Facebook the song you are listening to right now on your iPhone, from your iPod. And so it gives you a link to your friends so you can say “hey I’m listening to that song and I really like it” and your friends can click on that link and immediately listen to a preview of the song and buy it if they like it. And we give you the lyrics for the songs too, so you can sing on the bus, if you want.

And did you launch those by yourself or did you have some friends you launched them with?

Yeah I worked with some friends that did the design, the logo, and the website. I was focused more on the code of the application and I worked more with other people who were great designers.

How did you launch GSM? And would you say it was the foundation for all you’ve done?

Kind of. When I first got a computer with internet I started to play and see what was happening and quickly I really wanted to be part of that and create a website myself. And so at the time you could create a website with Microsoft Word and export it as a website and so I started with that and I thought it was limited and I learned how to code webpages and it’s kind of how I started. And so I created that website for mobile phones, like ringtones and stuff because I liked that at the time. I’m still really involved and passionate about everything that is mobile and that’s my job right now, so I guess it helps.

How did you get the job at Seesmic?

I knew the CEO because I did an internship at his previous company when I was in Paris so it was like three years ago and so I knew him and in the meantime he left that company that he founded and created a new company here so when I arrived here for my internship I just talked to him and I pinged him and we stayed in contact. And when I said I wanted a change of job he proposed to me the job.

So what is most challenging about being in your field?

It’s really interesting because lots of things are happening all the time and also in our field at Seesmic we have lots of applications and it’s really interesting because we all go really fast, we adopt ourselves into the market, and to what customers want, and so you don’t know what you’re really going to work on in a few months. You can’t really plan ahead because you have to adapt to that real time so it’s really interesting and really challenging.

What is most rewarding about what you do?

Working in a startup is really cool because since you usually don’t have a lot of people working with you, you have a lot of responsibilities–you can work on pretty much anything you want–and that’s what I like the most because if I tell my boss I want to work on that project and there is benefits from that and it makes sense then I can get that project and work on it and take care of it. So, it’s not like you’re always focused on the same thing compared to I guess if you work in a big company–I have never worked in a big company but I hear that you do pretty much the same job all the time and that’s definitely not the case in the startup.

So what is your typical work day like?

So when I arrive in the office I catch up with the teams that are pretty much all over the world: we have engineers in Europe, in Singapore, all over the U.S., so in the morning everyone usually is up so it’s the end of the day for Europe, beginning of the day here, so we catch up on the work that has been done during the day, answer any questions they have, ask them questions, then I answer my email, have meetings, etcetera. And then in the afternoon everyone, all the engineers, are pretty much offline so I can work on planning, planning the resources, and specs and mockups for new features on products. So the morning is more social with the teams and the afternoon is more thinking.

I’m going to segway and ask: what is the role of money in your definition of success?

The role of money, I don’t know… it’s just, I don’t think it’s that important. I mean, it’s a nice reward but I think it’s not as rewarding as liking your job and working on patience and being with your friends, your family, I think that’s the most rewarding. Money is nice to have, of course, but I think you can be really happy without having that money as a main reward for your job.

So what advice do you have for strivers?

I would say follow your passion, whatever you like, whatever is your passion, just work on it, do stuff  around it, create a blog, do videos about it, create a podcast, that kind of stuff–and show the world what is your passion. And ultimately, you will find people who have the same passion or that are interested in your passion and based on that you can maybe do a live-in or get a job or get hired by a company that is working that field–I think it’s really important. And feel free to just do it, whatever you like–just follow your passion, I think that’s really important.

Want more? Check out Thouvenin’s blog here, his Mac OS X dashboard widget Time Machine Launcher here, and his About Me here (which includes links to more of his work).


Filed under accomplish, Advice, Entrepreneurship, Insider Insight, Inspiration, Interview, Leader, Learning, Mathieu Thouvenin, Positioning, Rising, Success, Tech Field, Technology, Vertical, Voila, Working Hard

Career Services in San Francisco

With unemployment rates at the highest they have been since the records started being kept, choosing and finding a career that best suits you tends to demand much more effort and resources. Here is a map that lists some places in San Francisco that can help strivers stay ahead of the curve:

Want more? Check out Marie Claire’s Career & Money Blog, Penelope Trunk’s “Four Tips For Being Your Own Career Coach,” and this nationwide service list.

Leave a comment

Filed under Career Services, Getting In, Life Coaching, Map, MyMap, Opportunity, Overcoming, Positioning, Rerouting, Rising, Staying In, Success, Vertical, work, Working Hard

Guide to Getting the Most Out of Shoes

Whether it’s regarding quality, quantity, or something else, everyone wants to maximize the benefits of their purchases. To help strivers do so in the footwear arena, here are five tips for maintaining a healthy collection and financial budget:

1. No duplicates

Unless you are buying multiple colors of cute, comfortable, and versatile ones like from Joan and David’s luxe series for seventy-five percent off, stick with one of each pair. The logic: with the unlimited supply of new styles there is plenty to buy that are unique enough to have you wearing them a long time and never missing out when you want more.

2. You must see everything

There is no point to having something if you cannot easily spot it. That means see through containers are necessary—or at least have labels on each shoe box with the model, style, and color. You may do this as easily as through affixed post-its, but be sure your writing is bold enough to read and also that all of the shoes are easily accessible.

3. Venture into Repair Land

There was a time well after the dinosaur age when we had an instinctive response to fix things rather than buy anew. With the economic downturn and environmental concerns, reverting back to the shoe maker is becoming more attractive—and is a great way to rescue favorites. Just choose a merchant wisely and consider even testing a sample first.

4. For every one in, take one out

Many people stuff their closets with an unhealthy amount of footwear. So unless you have realistic sparing room—as in all are neatly in boxes or at least are in separate spaces, then for every new purchase give one away. Note: making space for new items by taking over your spouse’s closet is not an exemption to disposal.

5. Know your market

Chances are you never need another pair, but when you do likely get one, be smart. This means invest in line with both your budget and the occasion for use. Staying with Joan and David’s as an example, only purchase them if you a) will still have enough spending and savings money, b) will get multi-use from them and c) you absolutely demand them.

Want more? Explore these relevant links: eHow’s How to Prolong the Life of Your Shoes (and be sure to scroll down for more parts to the series), About’s How Do You Organize Your Shoes? and HGTV’s Organization Tips.

Also, what strategies work best for controlling your shoe collection? Help the community by sharing your ways below.

1 Comment

Filed under Advice, Insider Insight, Learning, Organization, Overcoming, Shoes, Shopping, Success