Category Archives: accomplish

Q & A with Nutritionist on Increasing Intelligence

Having smarts is beneficial in anything that you do. Here is another Q & A with nutritionist Leslie Mallow, but this one aims to keep strivers ahead of the intelligence game:

1. What foods and/or other things make you smarter?

Cold water fish such as salmon are high omega 3 oils, which are a component of cell membranes in the brain, but as of now, [there is] no definitive proof that this makes one smarter. One study on premature infants showed a slight increase in IQ later in life when fed breast milk with omega 3’s over formula without; [this] still needs mote studies. Foods with Choline, also part of cell membranes, may help memory if one is deficient in this vitamin. Eating a wide variety of foods containing all essential nutrients is the best thing one can do for the maturing brain.

2. What increases retention as in the memory?

…DHA and EPA in fish oil support brain function and some preliminary research shows they may help prevent dementia. Ginko has shown to increase blood flow to the brain and may improve memory; Choline, if deficient, may help memory; and vitamin B 12, if low, can affect memory.

3. What, if anything, stunts capacity in the memory?

Low vitamin B 12, low Choline, and being deficient in most B vitamins, especially Thiamin, may affect memory.

4. What is the deal with vitamins?

I believe that taking a multiple vitamin/mineral is a good thing as most people do not eat well enough to obtain the DRI daily.  The less expensive ones are fine (One a Day or Centrum) and sometimes the high potency ones from the health food store contain toxic levels of some nutrients. Some supplements are a scam and I would not insist that a resistant individual take them.  Many supplements are a waste of money and show no efficacy. I tell people to do research or e-mail me to do it for them.

a)      Are taking vitamins equal to eating a good meal?

No, taking vitamins is not like having a meal as there are many other phytochemicals in foods such as antioxidants and fiber that may have a synergistic affect on health. There are many antioxidants that still have not been discovered, etc.

5. What is the role of exercise regarding the brain?

Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and helps it to create new neural connections.  It has been shown to be helpful in preventing dementia.

6. How important is education to intelligence?

From what I have read, using the brain throughout life helps memory and helps to prevent dementia.  Complex thought is necessary, so education may be correlated, for those who continue to take classes and think critically throughout their lifetime. I have read that crossword puzzles and computer games help also. [Increasing intelligence] does not have to be [from] a formal education.

7. What is the significance of thinking patterns to intellect?

…My view is eat well, control stress, have close interpersonal relationships, have work that has meaning, and keep challenging yourself throughout life.

Want more? Check out Malloy’s website, this article, and this one.

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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.

Enjoy!


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

Be sure to also check out this post on shoes.

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

Two.

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).

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

Learning How You Learn

With work, personal, and many other demands, it is critical to be as productive as possible; and understanding learning styles can help maximize efficiency. Below is an outline inspired by a class so you too can learn how you learn—to most effectively tailor to it.

Note: this is a recap of Learning Styles and Strategies by educators Richard Felder and Barbara Soloman and is reproduced with permission.

  • Active and/or Reflective
    • Active learners learn by doing things such as discussing or applying it
    • Reflective learners learn by thinking things through first
  • Sensing and/or Intuitive
    • Sensing learners tend to prefer facts, details, practicality, real world connections, and established methods
    • Intuitive learners tend to prefer discovering relationships and possibilities and tend to work faster and with more innovation
  • Visual and/or Verbal
    • Visual learners do well processing information through diagrams, sketches, photographs, and so forth
    • Verbal learners do well writing summaries, outlines, and listening to and explaining information, and the like
  • Sequential and/or Global
    • Sequential learners like linear steps that follow in logical order
    • Global learners like more random larger jumps to suddenly “get it”

Still not sure which style you are? Take this questionnaire to find out. Then become a part of the discussion, by relaying your learning preferences and what mediums teach you best.

Want More? Check out this article on “Technology as a Learning tool,” this index of “Seven Things You Should Know About” technologies and the like, and this three-part series of “100 Web Tools to Enhance Collaboration.” Just be sure to return and share your knowledge.

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Q & A with NYOF Founder Olga Murray

A few days ago I had the good fortune of doing a Q & A with Olga Murray. Soon before her retirement from practicing law in San Francisco she was trekking the Himalayan Mountains when she broke her leg. A local porter carried her for days, which significantly touched Murray, and then she was moved again by the countless children at the hospital with such terrible disabilities and bleak resources. So soon after her fall—in 1984, she started to work with children in Nepal. In 1990 she founded the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation. NYOF’s mission is to empower the youth of Nepal—and already their successes include freeing over five-thousand girls from bondage. But even after around two decades of service, Murray says she believes that there is still much work to be done. The eighty-four-year-old Californian volunteers full time to lead her causes forward, even living much of her time in Kathmandu, where she was when I interviewed her. Below is her insight:

When and why did you get into service work? Because I was approaching retirement, always had an interest in children, and wanted to do something to help them.

Before NYOF how did you picture retirement? I thought I would work as an advocate for a child in court or tutor at a community center, but I fell in love with the children of Nepal when I came trekking here in 1984, and decided that I would work with impoverished children here.

How did you start the nonprofit? NYOF developed organically, driven by the needs of children in Nepal. We started out by giving scholarships to orphans, but expanded to other programs when we encountered children in dire circumstances who really needed help.

How did you obtain support? At first, through friends. Later, we became more organized, wrote grant applications to foundations, and increased our donor base through publicity.

Is the work what you expected? Why or why not? The work has far exceeded my expectations both in scope and [in] the amount of satisfaction I get every day from knowing that we are providing a better life to thousands of Nepali children.

What were the needs you were originally filling? At first, we started by giving college scholarships, but eventually [we] increased our scholarship base to disabled children, those whose parents could not afford primary school, those who had no homes, and poor children in villages so that today we support thousands of youngsters in school, from kindergarten to medical school.

How have those needs evolved? They evolved from our observations about the needs of children in Nepal. When many children were dying or became stunted because of malnutrition, we began a nutritional rehabilitation home to restore them to health and educate their mothers about child care. [Today NYOF has restored the health of more than five thousand children and has educated thousands.] We now have ten such facilities all over the country. When we learned that little girls were being bonded away for fifty dollars a year for labor, we began a program to eradicate the practice, which is now on the verge of success. [Estimates are that around 1200 girls, which is twenty percent of the former total number, still need to be rescued from bondage.] When we discovered children who had no homes and no hope for an education, we established two homes for children—one for boys and one for girls.

What are your largest setbacks? Lack of funds. We could do so much more if we had more money.

What, if you can distinguish one, is your most touching experience in Nepal? My relationship with the children at our children’s homes is the most touching experience here. I see them come in as neglected, malnourished little waifs and leave to go to college as confident, happy young people ready to give back to society.

What is your typical work day like? I spend a good part of the day on the computer keeping in touch with donors and our office. In Nepal I also do this, but I also spend time with the children at our children’s homes and visit our projects.

Who are your idols and why them? The usual caste of characters—Nelson Mandela, Ghandi, The Dalai Lama, because they have found a way to encourage people to live in harmony together.

What are your future goals? To expand NYOF’s activities. So much needs to be done in Nepal, and we have a local staff and organization that is able, passionate about children, and could provide for their needs.

What advice do you have for people who want to get involved? Go to our website and find a program they are interested in. If they wish to do so, they can donate money to help the children of Nepal.

Want to help Murray but don’t know where to begin? Go here. For additional nonprofits click here.

Need more information about NYOF? Read on here.

Concerned about legitimacy? Be assured NYOF is authentic by contacting them here or visiting their newsroom here.

Photos are reproduced with permission from Gregg Tully of NYOF.

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Filed under accomplish, Advice, Altruism, Giver, Helping Youth, Insider Insight, Inspiration, Interview, Leader, Learning, mentor, Nepal, nonprofit, NYOF, Olga Murray, Opportunity, Overcoming, Service Work, Social Justice, Success, Working Hard

How I Set a Sales Record

In high school I was fortunate enough to earn the opportunity to work at a respected insurance agency. While there I set records in scheduling financial and insurance review appointments—enabling the agent to reevaluate client needs and make more sales. Here’s how I did it:

1. I knew what I was selling

Yes I had a script but I knew enough about the review and its significance to communicate script-free with clients. The result was that I exuded more confidence, had better responses to questions, and therefore clients felt more secure.

2. I listened to clients and then articulated value based on their individual needs

Usually when I asked to schedule the review responses were along the lines of being too busy. However, by listening to when those times were—along with their needs, I could respond with other times and also explain the value of the review to their circumstances.

3. I remained polite

Once in a while people responded to me rudely, but I always reacted with politeness. Occasionally, even this solution did not prevent a client from requesting to be taken off of the list, but more often than not the result was a call me later—which I always nicely did.

4. I asked for what I wanted

Letting the conversation go organic is great… for a little, but I always stayed in control by bringing it back to what I wanted: the review. Only the people who ask get, and from exercising this and the above tips, I usually succeeded.

5. AND I followed up

Follow up is key. This is because appointment times need to be reminded of so people show up; those who request a call back are usually impressed when it happens; and when clients finish an appointment (or any sale) then ensuring that they are happy keeps them returning for more.

These are just some of the basics to selling—there are tons of other related advice pieces at About.com, Entrepreneur, and Eyes on Sales.

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Exclusive Audio Featuring Physician Michael Rokeach

Yesterday I caught up with Dr. Michael Rokeach at California Pacific Medical Center where he works as an emergency room doctor, director of medical transport, and chief of staff–when he is not busy being president of the San Francisco Medical Society. After following him on urgent care rounds—where one patient even granted exclusive access into his treatment, Dr. Rokeach was nice enough to spare a few minutes for an interview. Included in it is how he came to be a doctor and advice for strivers.

Enjoy!

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