An NFL player

October 19, 2015

By  via   Article

Why NFL player Ryan Broyles lives like he made $60,000 last year, and not $600,000

“His goal is to spend $60,000 a year, so his monthly budget is $5,000. The budget, which he says is post-tax money, is allocated like this: 50% on fixed expenses like mortgage and car payments; 30% on variable expenses like food and gas; 20% toward savings. He read that a mortgage should be 28% or less of income, so his is $1,600 — about 30% of the $60,000 budget.

He keeps track of his spending on a piece of paper, and has also started using the budgeting website this year. ‘I love it,’ he said.

Here are some specifics of his monthly budget:

  • Groceries: $500
  • Gas: $300
  • Phone bill: $190 each for his cellphone and his wife’s.
  • Car payments: $800 total for 2 cars — a Mazda 3 for him, and a Cadillac SRX for his wife.

He also has a Trailblazer that’s fully paid for. Add in insurance and a few other expenses, and he’s at a little over $4,000, which gives him some wiggle room in keeping his spending under $5,000 a month. …

It was clear after we spoke for a while that his wife is a big part of the reason they are so smart with their money. ‘Sometimes I think, ‘let’s just pay full price for something,’ but my wife talks me into finding a deal,’ he said. …

‘Agents and advisers come after you’ when you’re a top collegiate athlete, he said. ‘I interviewed four or five guys and knew the type of investor I wanted to be and adviser I wanted to work with.’ … He said initially he was ultra conservative, but his adviser coached him. ‘As I got more comfortable, I understood P/E ratios and things like that.”



Sound and look smarter

October 12, 2015

By Jason Demers via   Article

How to Sound (and Look) Smarter in Meetings

Come Prepared

… understand the true purpose of the meeting and come prepared with a handful of possible talking points, suggestions, or statistics related to the topic. … if even one of your pre-researched facts enters into the conversation, you’ll appear smarter and better prepared.

Speak Up

… So many people show up to meetings and just sit there and listen. … You want to show your team that you’re an active participant in the dialogue, and that you have ideas of your own. …

Play Devil’s Advocate

… Announce in advance that your position is one of curiosity, not of dissent, before expressing your concerns over any opinion. You’ll seem like a more critical thinker and a more invested member of the meeting.

Sit Still

… Many modern workers now break out their cell phones or tablets in meetings, possibly attempting to multitask but more often looking for a break from the attention of the meeting. Doing so can harm your reputation, even if the action is generally accepted. Similarly, using those comfy office chairs to spin around, bounce, or rock back and forth will make you look like a restless toddler. …

Lean Forward

… lean forward throughout the majority of the meeting. This will show that you’re paying close attention to whoever’s speaking, and will force you to keep your back straight. … Keeping your hands folded, or at least on the table, will add to your ‘interested’ positioning and help keep you from any nervous jiggling or movement.

Take Notes

Taking notes in meetings, even brief ones, shows your commitment to the topic at hand. Not only are you willing to spend extra time and effort in the meeting to pay attention, you’re also suggesting that you’ll be reviewing the materials later (even if you never do). …

Ask Good Questions

Finally, be sure to ask good questions of the other people in the room. Don’t make up questions for the sake of making them up, but do ask for more details and for elaboration on points you feel were glossed over. This gives you a bit of ‘participatory credit’ while showing that you’re paying critical attention.”

Gender balanced teams

October 12, 2015

By Steve Blanks via   Article

Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show

Chris Shipley is executive producer of MIT’s Solve initiative, through which business, technology, policy and philanthropic leaders work together to identify and solve to some of the world’s biggest challenges. A former tech journalist, Chris has built a career identifying innovative startups that create markets and drive positive and disruptive change. As the executive producer of the DEMO conference from 1996 to 2009, she helped more than 1,500 companies make their market debut.

Her 30-year career gives her keen insights to the startup world, how it works and what has changed.

Among the topics she addressed was gender bias in startups:
All the data point to the fact that gender balanced teams outperform imbalanced teams, whether they’re all men, or all women. …You have to be an idiot as an investor not to demand that the team be balanced because that will put your company in a better place.

I think it’s easy to say, ‘These are my friends from college, and we’re going to start a company.  … These are the women I was in a sorority with … We’ll start a company.’ Neither of those teams is going to be optimized for success. When you bring different perspectives to bear, I think you start to have a better company, and a better culture.

… It’s (not just about gender but about perspective generally. I know that there are a lot of … ‘fill in the blank”’and technology, or ‘fill in the blank’ and startups. It’s women and technology, and women and venture, women and entrepreneurship. I think it’s just entrepreneurs. It’s just startups. It’s just business.

I have not made my way through 30 plus years in this industry by being a woman and an entrepreneur. I’ve done it by being an entrepreneur, by being a journalist, by trying to be a thought leader. I think that you just have to do it. I think that you have to demand, the respect, and part of that is by earning it, and working hard.”

What you have is “nothing”

October 12, 2015



How to work a conference

October 5, 2015

By  via   Article

“1) The goal of a conference is to LEARN and to CONNECT with people. … When connecting with people, the goal is not to tell your life story … or to immediately hand over your business card. The goal is to make a good impression, to learn something about and/or show you know something about the other person, and get permission to follow up. The goal of a conference is to learn and connect.

2) Read up on all the speakers – You should have an idea what you’d say ask to each if you get the chance to say hello. For me, right about now I’m pouring over the TED 2013 program guide.

3) Read up on all the attendees– this list is often a harder list to get, but well worth it if you can. … try to get a list at the event from the registration desk. The basic idea is to circle/mark the people you want to talk to, and have an idea of what you’ll say. …

4) Get there early. Show up early, but at least show up on time. I knowsomeone who started a 30-year business relationship with Peter Druckerbecause they both showed up on time for a conference and were the first and only ones in the room.

5) Sit in the Front Row. There is ALWAYS a seat in the front row, and you should walk right up to the front and take it. If you arrive late, you should walk past all the people standing around the wall in the back barely listening and head right up to the front. Sitting up there forces you to pay attention and makes you less likely to get buried in your iPhone. …

6) Don’t get buried in your iPhone – Be in the present, and be actively looking for opportunities to connect with people – that’s the reason you’re there.

7) Stand where people pass by – there is usually an obvious choke point of people, where every speaker and attendee will converge or pass through, and it’s a good place to stand to get to meet the people you want to connect with. It might be the registration desk, it might be the entrance to the main room – but you have to stand/chat somewhere and that’s as good a place as any. …

8) To connect with speakers, walking up to the podium after their talk can work but has low probability of a quality connection. For a more advanced approach, look for the line between the green room or the A/V setup area and the stage – that can be a better place to meet speakers.

9) Asking a question from the audience – basic. Most conference sessions have a Q&A section at the end, and most of the time there is silence for a few moments before the first question. Assume there will be Q&A and have a great question ready, and state your name and company so that other attendees know you’re there too.”

Words that damage your credibility

October 5, 2015

By  via   Article

Four Types of Words That Are Unintentionally Damaging Your Credibility

“Deborah Tannen, professor of linguistics at Georgetown University and author of Talking From 9 to 5: Women and Men at Work, says by paying attention to the words we use when speaking with others at the office, we can boost our credibility. Here are the top credibility-destroying words and phrases, according to Tannen:


Hedging words and phrases such as sort of, maybe, and kind of are often used when we’re trying not to say something outright. Rather than saying, ‘I’m certain,’ for example, hedgers may say, ‘I’m pretty certain.’ Tannen says people often use hedge words because they don’t want to come across as being so authoritative, but these words can damage your credibility, making you seem unsure about what you’re saying, like you’re plagued by self-doubt.


Throwing words such as just into a sentence—’I just want to say . . . ‘ — downgrades the importance of what you’re about to say. ‘It’s minimizing the imposition of you saying it,’ says Tannen.


… We all have an impulse to fill in gaps when we’re speaking, Tannen says, but using too many of these ums and ers can make it seem like you’re trying too hard to find the words to explain your point, and give the impression that you lack confidence in what you’re saying. Simply pausing to gather your thoughts will make you sound more authoritative than a string of filler words.


Tannen says we need to stop apologizing before making a point: ‘I’m sorry, but you’re late for the meeting again.’ Apologizing hurts your credibility and gives the listener a reason to disregard what you’re saying. Plus, it puts your audience in a position of power, unfairly tipping the authoritative scales in its favor.”

Don’t seek validation

October 5, 2015

By Pascal Finette via   Article

Customer Research

“By now you surely have heard this a gazillion times: You need to get out of the office and into the real world. You need to develop customer empathy. You have to practice design thinking (as a refresher – here’s Stanford’s’s excellent Virtual Crash Course in Design Thinking).

And yet – this is often easier said than done. During this summer’s Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University I had numerous participants come to me and ask about the best way to conduct user interviews and studies.

The problem is: If you are not uber-careful you can very quickly get into a pattern of asking leading questions (such as: ‘Wouldn’t you prefer to do task x in y way?’) and/or only see behaviors which support your hypothesis.

We typically go into these exercises with a specific set of expectations, believes and hypothesis which we, ideally, want to have validated. Sadly this also typically screws up our research as we look at the problem through the lens of our solution.

Like the best student – don’t seek validation but, rather, insight.

Put aside your preconceived notions of how to solve a problem (and even what the problem is), get into the ‘beginner’s mindset’ and become infinitely curious. The best solutions will reveal themselves to you when you make space for them to show up.”