Category Archives: Rising

Income in the United States by Age

Even before the economic downturn, young strivers averaged a salary that was much less than more established people–and this phenomena is still occurring. Check out the below chart with information provided by the U.S. Census that breaks down the average income in the United States by age range:


Be sure to comment regarding your thoughts on this ongoing trend.

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Filed under earnings, Positioning, Rising, Staying In, Success, work

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.

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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?

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

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.

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

Five Must Read Job-Related Pieces

While I am flattered you are reading this—and I urge you to stay ahead by continuing to do so, please also explore other posts from other places. With job talk in such high supply, I am compiling five of my favorite pieces on the subject. See them below:

  • These tips target teen job hunters, but Schwartz Communications outdoes itself to benefit any job seeker. Some of my favorite advice is work in areas similar to your favorite classes—but this can be applied to activities too, and utilize your network. Discover more recommendations here.
  • Starting a business can be full of complexities, but Under30CEO has compiled ten steps to make the process much simpler. Reduce the stress of working towards your dream by reading their insightful guide here.
  • The blogosphere provides many interviews with insightful people, but Jun Loayza’s with Gail Cayetano, the founder of the PR firm Starfish Events, is worthwhile because it sheds light into the workings of successful entrepreneurship—and it does so through both video and a text recap. Check it out here.
  • This Ms. Career Girl post spurred from one of Sherry Argov’s books targets women, but nevertheless reminds everyone of the importance in developing healthy habits AND exercising them consistently. Read on here.
  • Once you land a job, you likely want to maintain it—such as by meshing well with colleagues. Of course, to do so you probably will steer clear from gossip, but Emily Bennington shares nine more points for avoiding becoming a “nuisance.” Stay in by clicking here.

Have more referrals for great tips, posts, articles, studies, or anything else regarding jobs? Please share them below.



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Filed under Advice, Getting In, Insider Insight, Learning, Positioning, Rising, Staying In, Success, work, Working Hard

Insight from Leader Jim Fraser

On Saturday morning I met with Jim Fraser, a former president of Levi Strauss and Company, a top 25 realtor, and a councilman. The audio will be posted very soon, but below is a summation so that you can hit the ground running with five lessons that make him successful.

1)      Be an Energy Giver, Not Taker

Fraser says he believes energy plays a big role in success, and he hypothesizes that there are two types of people: givers and takers. The takers suck your energy by dragging you down with negativity. So what you want to be, Fraser says, is a giver, which is a person who exudes positivity. If you have ever been told you brighten up someone’s day, you are probably already a giver… keep it up! But people who have never earned that compliment should try and become more happy and hopeful. This way you will both emanate attractive energy and cherish more of your own worth.

2)      Get In and Go Vertical

Fraser also says he believes strivers must earn a position in the company leading your field. The idea here is that you want to be around the innovators and industry-setters, not the followers. This is because your objective is to learn from the best—to become the best. And starting at the bottom is actually a common pathway to success because it ensures that you hone your understanding and skills of what is required to excel at each step of the ladder—to most effectively direct it.

3)      Work Hard

It sounds so cliché but Fraser also emphasis hard work as necessary for achieving potentials. In Fraser’s case he is military trained which certainly helped gain that ethic, but with motivation anyone can coach themselves into healthy work habits. Such was the case after his service time when he was earning his business degree at University of Southern California while becoming a top fashion district salesman. His continuous commitment to work secured him a job at Levi’s. Once there, that same dedication then led him to become the President of the Asia Pacific Division.

4)      Opportunity, Not Failure

Everybody has experienced a setback, but instead of letting rejection tarnish your confidence you must remember that striving is breaking barriers but when barriers are not breakable there is still opportunity. Therefore, when you do not reach your anticipated destination ensure that you maintain your work ethic and positive attitude. This way you will continue to radiate alluring energy to help you latch onto the leaders of your field who can teach you the ropes. This is what Fraser did after being rejected from a real estate company (which he applied for as a new licensed agent after a brief time as a retiree from Levi’s). And this rejection led Fraser to a new agency where he grew so successful as a realtor that the firm who previously denied him employment then offered him that dream job.

5)      Follow a Route, but Take Unexpected Turns

The last point strivers should remember is that having goals is important, but you must always be flexible. This lesson also comes from Fraser’s own life, but I have seen it happen time and time again. In Fraser’s case he wanted to be on the Planning Commission, but was instead offered a spot at the Parks and Open Spaces Department. Though it was not his planned route to helping his community, Parks and Open Spaces led him to an environment that he grew with and that watched his strides as well. Members came to believe so strongly in Fraser that they suggested he run for councilman, and from following this unexpected turn he secured a seat with the town of Tiburon in November where his success is again going to shine.

Remember, there is much more to leader Jim Fraser’s interview! To be among the  first to hear the audio of his insider insight, which includes bonus material like advice for young strivers, be sure to subscribe to this blog!

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Filed under Advice, Energy, Getting In, Giver, Insider Insight, Interview, Opportunity, Overcoming, Positioning, Rerouting, Rising, Success, Working Hard

Luck in the Realm of Success

I know someone who was out one day, caught the eye of a casting agent, and quickly began a new life of auditions and then a move to Los Angeles. Within a few years she was already appearing on shows like 90210 and last I heard she was even starring in a low budget film. Okay, so she is not at the Emmy’s yet, but likely her talent and beauty will soon earn her star status. And then will it be fair to say luck opened up Hollywood to her?

Yes and no. Destiny, faith, an angel, whatever you want to call it–it only takes you far if you have the goods. And once you actualize your potential in what Abraham Maslow called the Hierarchy of Needs, which is security in physiology, safety, love/belonging, and esteem, then you should unconsciously attract the right kinds of people. And since you are reading this I assume you are a striver, which should make you confident in being yourself. This is because people want to be around goal oriented, detailed, passionate, hard working, and clear communicators—like you. So continually show how you possessing these traits can help fulfill the needs of others. If you are lingering in any of these areas, set an action plan to improve yourself. Include checkpoint days to monitor your progress, and be prepared to ask for advice from people who you feel excel at these capabilities. This will increase your chances of success, along with positioning yourself for lucky encounters.

Another tool for your striving toolkit that people often forget: patterns that are not yielding success should be halted (unless possibly tried under different circumstances). Contrarily, applications that are successful should be repeated. Most of us know this means staying organized and being around positive people, but some of the more specific ingredients are not so obvious. So, again, this commonly requires asking for help, which, again, can leverage you even more benefits due to the increased exposure. For example, consider suggesting  that you and an adviser or boss meet together on a consistent basis to brainstorm effective approaches to learning. More often that not he or she will be flattered for the offer, and will likely say yes because strivers know in meeting together there is much more to gain than to lose. Plus, he or she probably has feedback desires that this environment will nurture… and, of course, maybe he or she just likes the idea of spending more time with you. Whatever the reasons, I am sure you can see how such relationships are critical to success: they increase connection, knowledge, and, suitably, occurrences of luck.

WANT MORE ? Check out this Smart Bear blog post, this Boston Globe article, this Huffington Post piece, and this Career Builder One.

ALSO, what are some strategies helping you earn success? Please share your insight by posting a response.

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Filed under Advice, Fame, Goals, Hollywood, Insider Insight, Luck, Opportunity, Rising, Success, Working Hard