New Challenges: Food, phone, booze, and more????

•June 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Food: A buddy of mine made it his goal to not eat out for an entire month and see how much money he could save. I just came back from Pittsburgh and I’m pretty sure I ate out atleast 75% of the time I was there. This is pretty abnormal considering I love home cooking and I don’t get it that often. So I’m hoping that if I can eat every “meal” at home I’ll accomplish a few things:
–    Learn how to cook new meals (so I don’t get bored)
–    Save money
–    Have more dinner parties with friends

Every “meal” means breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’ll be hard for me to keep up considering I snack pretty much all day long. And sometimes given my schedule between work and working out I may need to give in just to fulfill the basic needs of a healthy diet.

Phone: Forever I’ve been talking trash on the iPhone and AT&T. Mainly because the service sucks and I’m in love with my crackberry but also because I’ve been spoiled for way too long. Over the past weekend I realized that I’ve been seeding of the “family plan” for too long and its time for me to quit sucking on the teet of unlimited minutes, text messages, data, and mobile twitter updates. Verizon has been a great service provider and I can’t complain except that their data plans are kind of expensive and I wouldn’t be able to have mobile access with them if I wasn’t on a family plan.  I’m now learning that the AT&T plans are no better so I decided to take the plunge.

I crunched a few numbers, to make sure it’s a somewhat-half-assed financially-sound-ish decision for me to give AT&T a shot and see what the hype is over the iPhone. The plan here is to buy an iPhone and try the service for a month. If I like it, maybe I’ll get on a family plan with my roommate and if not I’ll need to find another service provider with a reasonably priced data plan. I’ll keep you posted if this one actually gets off the ground.

Booze: This isn’t a new one or a shocker at all. I’m running the SF ½ marathon with a great friend of mine in July and starting on June 26th I’ll be laying off the booze. I’ll probably give in for a day over 4th of July but that’s about it. More than anything it’ll be a total body cleanse so I’m on all points for the race but also because I’ve realized a few things:
–    Drinking really adds very little overall value to my life.
–    My “game” is actually better when I’m not drinking. I guess drinking coffee before I go out gets me more engaged than Jack on the rocks and budlights.
–    I’m saving a shit ton of cash and that’s always a good thing, especially right now.

So yeah a month of no drinking starts on June 26th. Woohoo!

I’d love to say there is more to add to this month’s challenge list but I’ve got a bunch on my plate right now and we’ll see if it all actually goes down. Although down the road I’ll be putting the veggie lifestyle to the test and I’ll be studying for the GMATs so those will definitely be interesting times. So stayed tuned!

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Month in Review: Back in the Game

•June 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Facebook: I predicted the outcome of this challenge before I started and I think I’m pretty close to what I expected. It’s only been a few days now since I’ve started logging back in and I can safely say that it is by no means the first site I check when I login to my computer, if I check it at all.

Upon my not so glorious return I found about 4 messages, 15 event invites, about a dozen photos posted, a handful of pokes, and a few wall postings. Of all that the pictures were nice, one message actually meant something to me, and the events were completely useless. I think I’m turning the events feature off, if that’s possible. Aside from missing a few birthdays and a going away party, I realized how much time I saved myself over the past month. Granted I’m slightly now more busy with work, I imagine I would have checked it once or twice a day but I’m learning now that every minute counts and I have very few to waste on Facebook.

Conclusion: It was good to get away and I’ve now got a newfound respect for Facebook and what it offers. I’ll probably never cut it off completely but I won’t waste nearly as much time as I did before.

New Job: It is now safe to say that I am the new Account Manager at TubeMogul!!! The one-month trial period was a great learning experience that has taught me more about the new media and online video space than I ever would have imagined. My list of responsibilities continues to grow day by day and I love it.

As I mentioned before I’m more busy than I’ve ever been and my life has taken a complete 180 since the day I started but I wouldn’t want to change it for a second. I’ve gained a new appreciation for the “weekly paycheck”, the meaning of “hard work”, and the game of foosball. The one lesson I’ve learned is that nothing is forever especially given what I’ve seen over the past 6 months. Jobs change. Relationships change. Life changes and I refuse to take anything for granted.

Conclusion: That being said I find myself “burning the midnight oil” at least 3 nights a week and I’m actually excited about it all. I’m sure this time will probably pass pretty quickly because from what I’ve been told if you’re not working until 11 or 12 at night you’re not working hard enough. Some would most certainly disagree with that belief but when they see shitty side of the “funemployed” life, I’m sure their outlook will change.

Challenge Update # 4: Staying Busy

•June 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Yes I realize that its been a few weeks since my last post and to be honest I’ve only got one thing to say. I’m really really really busy. Before I used to stay “busy” by working out, looking for a job, scrambling around on facebook, and then working out some more. In the past two weeks the transition from unemployment to employment has completely turned my life around. Here is an around the world look at my life.

Friends: I used to spend all day alone because they all worked. Now I barely see my roommate, come home late, and only see them on the weekends because I’m working late 3 nights out of the week.

Working out: I used to run 3 times a week around noon in GGP and then go boulder for an hour or two. I’ve since quit the gym, joined another closer to work, and started running either at 5:30 a.m. or in Emeryville after work. Emeryville is NOT Golden Gate Park!

Drinking: I used to avoid the casual drink and drink coffee before I went out at bars. Now the casual drink has never tasted better and I’m on a routine 1 large cup of coffee, 1 bottle of water, and a red bull everyday at work. It keeps me going. I like it.

Eating: HA. I was healthy once. I ate at home and made almost every meal. Now I barely have time for grocery shopping and eat out 3 out of 5 days at work and/or when I come home. I’m trying to get better but its not easy.

Facebook: I was addicted to it but now I’m not. A good friend of mine called this whole “facebook exile” thing very douchebaggy of me. I was kind of a offended but f* it he was speaking his mind and so am I. To be honest I don’t really have time for it considering everything else. They always say “you don’t know what you have until you’ve lost it.” I have to disagree in this situation.

So the challenge is up in just a few days and I have to say its looking pretty good. Stay tuned for another update coming soon…..

Ideas for next challenge.

– Not eating out for a month

– Going Vegetarian

– Cutting the cable

Thoughts?

Challenge Update # 3: “Getting Smarter”

•June 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

New Job: day 12

Since I’ve started the new job I’ve heard several people around my office say “lets get smarter” about this. I had heard this phrase several times before and I always knew what it meant but to be honest I’ve never really seen it come to life. All businesses, small and large, need to constantly look for new business practices that will get them ahead of the competition. After all, without these progressive steps your company would stay stagnant and you’ll get left behind, especially in Tech.

When I hear my colleagues, manager, and executive team say, “Lets get smarter”, my ears perk up and I pay close attention to what happens next. This is how a small business goes from simply being a small fish in a big pond to the bully on the block. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what they are doing but I can tell the next time this topic comes up everyone in the room will know 10x more than they did the week before. This is definitely something I’m going to make happen.

Whether it’s a new business practice, a risky proposition, or an edgy new tactic to get a leg up on the competition this is the type of mentality you need to stay fresh and “make shit happen”.

Facebook Exile: day 16

You’re probably wondering how this applies to Facebook. Let’s face it. Unless you’re brain dead, from the stone age, or have a phobia of social networking you know how easy it is for someone to find you’re profile on facebook. If you’re a private person more than likely you won’t post your life for the world to see, but given the sheer size of facebook and its growth over the past year I’m going to assume that you’re in the minority here.

So I’ve decided to post a few tips that will help you “Get Smarter” about your Facebook profile.
–    Don’t post photos or get tagged in photos of yourself in compromising positions. Everyone is watching!!! Dun dun dun!!!
–    Use the privacy feature. Try not to let your boss find pictures of you doing a keg stand from the night before as you stroll in late on a Wednesday morning.
–    Use some good judgement when posting photos of your friends. They probably don’t remember every picture that was taken and would rather not have them see the light of day.
–    Don’t live your life by updating your status message or relationship status. Otherwise, you’ll soon become socially inept when you realize you’ve forgotten how to interact with real human beings.
–    Poking a girl in real life isn’t the same as poking a girl on facebook. It’s not nearly as cute as you want it to be.
–    The surveys are lame. If you’re doing them at work, your time can probably be better spent looking for a new job or reading the news.
–    Don’t add the new “facebook app” to your mobile phone. There is usually something better going on in the world that you can look at on your phone while avoiding the creepy person next to you on the bus.

That being said I think we can all do a little bit more to “get smarter” in every aspect of our lives. Whether its taking more initiative in the work place, of watching what you say and when you say it. I suggest you figure it out sooner than later otherwise get left behind.

Challenge Update # 2: Important Dates

•May 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Challenge Update # 2: Important Dates
Facebook Exile: Day 12

Just shortly before I decided to embark on this Facebook Exile, I managed to sync my crackberry and facebook account. What does this mean? It means that’s facebook had full access to my contacts and was able to sync contact information between my address book and my network of friends.

No doubt was this some sort of an invasion of privacy and “big brother” like but I fully consented to it. And for what? So that I could see my friends Facebook profile mugshots when I received a phone call and so that every single birthday was automatically entered into my calendar.

I once counted that I have about 25 close friends that all have birthdays during the month May, which is higher than the average of 10-15. Needless to say I’ve missed a handful of birthdays and for that I do apologize. But for those that I do remember I’m making it a point to actually call them rather than have my message get lost in the zillions of wall posts that person might receive that day.

New Job: Day 9
For the first two weeks of the new job I was writing every single piece of information down in a notebook and coming back after a meeting only to highlight, draw arrows, smiley faces, and X’s all over the place. It was only yesterday that I was able to convert this blind kid’s coloring book into a finite list of important dates and details that is suitable for the work place.

I find it somewhat odd and refreshing that the key indicator that I’ve got my job on lockdown is that I can organize all my tasks into a spreadsheet and have it make sense. As a result two things came from this, one good and one bad. On the up side my manager was impressed with my organization and thinks it will certainly help the entire team. On the down side I realized its not Friday, I’m going away this weekend, and I’ve got a long ass “todo” list that I need to start NOW!

Happy Friday!

Challenge Update # 1: Connections

•May 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Note: Moving forward I’m going to try my hardest to make these updates as coherent and concise as possible. Sometimes I’ll update just one challenge and sometimes I’ll do both when I see fit. Here is my first attempt at both. Let me know what you think.

Dictionary: con·nec·tion (kə-nĕkshən)

n.

    1. The act of connecting.
    2. The state of being connected.
  1. One that connects
  2. An association or relationship

This week has been all about connections. Fortunately I’ve made more connections than I’ve missed and in the end I think I’ve come out on top.  In the most general sense of the term “connection”, when you make a connection you’ve accomplished something. Whether its connecting the pieces of a puzzle, solving a problem, or meeting someone new, you’ve done something noteworthy. On the flipside, missing a connection could mean a misunderstanding, hitting a road block, or  not meeting someone (new or old).

For the past week I’ve been missing all my connections on Facebook and that doesn’t worry me one bit. Not a day has gone by that I’ve been worried about what everyone else has been doing in their daily lives, mostly because I’ve been so concerned with my own life and the lives the people closest to me. After 5 days of being in Facebook Exile I’ve found myself  calling, emailing, texting, and “tweeting” (yeah I know it’s sad but true), more friends than I have before and I can already see a difference in my life and my cell phone bill (ugh!).

I made a great “connection” during kickball last season and for the first few months of our friendship we communicated primarily online because we were both stuck at work which made Gchat our only link to the outside world keeping us from going insane. After a several months of countless Gchat conversations we decided that it was time to initiate some RLI’s or Real Life Interactions. These RLI’s can be anything from getting coffee or lunch to going for a run or sitting on a couch.

Whether its a phone call, a text, a tweet or an RLI it’s a “connection” none the less and I will forever more appreciate these connections more than I will a status update, a poke, or having a sheep thrown at my face (btw wtf is that about?).

On the flipside I’ve done nothing but make connections since I started my new gig this past Tuesday. After 4 days, I’ve met some of the the most well grounded, tech savy, and intelligent group of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of associating with. Aside from the personal connections, I’ve certainly made a few intellectual connections as well. I learned that the new media industry is only a few years old and very few people can really be considered as experts because of its evolving nature, so I’m no better or worse than the next guy. The interactive ad space is a beast, point blank. If you can understand and control this beast then you’ll be able to swim with in the deep end. Right now I’m in the kiddie pool with my floaties but I’ll be swimming laps in no time. Sink or swim…

This week I was FSO (Figuring Shit Out). Next week I’m going to GSD (Get Shit Done). And the week after that, I’m going to MSH (Make Shit Happen).

These are just a few  of the “connections” I’ve made (or missed) in the past week. What about you?

Challenges #1: FB Exile & #2:Becoming an All-Star (@ work)

•May 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I figured what better way to start this new adventure than to push myself to complete 2 challenges at once.

Challenge # 1: Facebook Exile

I’ve been an active user of Facebook for probably close to 6 years if not more. I can think of maybe one or two things I’ve been able to do for longer than 6 years and of those things nothing has produced so little for me as Facebook has. Yes it is the fastest growing social network that will connect me to friends and family. Yes, I can share photos amongst friends and get involved with social groups to support a cause. And again yes, I can spend countless hours checking status messages of my friends to see who got drunk, who is single, and who is hating work all day long. It’s time to figure out what life is like without a social network that is so deeply ingrained into every facet of my life.

Chances are I’ll just be out of the loop for a while, a few friends will wonder what I’m upto, and I’ll be back on it atleast twice a day in another 30 days. There is also the chance that I’ll find something new, that I’ll keep writing this blog, that I’ll find a good book to read, or I’ll come back and find a whole new appreciation for what social networking does in my life. Only one way to find out!

Challenge #2: Becoming an All-Star (@ work)

I recently got a new gig with a hot new media start-up in the East Bay and today was my first day. I was brought on and chosen over the other candidates because of my enthusiasm, intensity, and my drive to succeed. Unfortunately, as a result of my lack of relevant experience I’m working as a contractor for 30 days to prove to them I’m an “all-star”. Given the state of our economy this is still the best thing that could happen to me. I’ve never really been tested like this and its a challenge I’m really excited to take on. It’s a new company in a new industry where I really do believe anything can happen. I can’t promise that I’ll get the job 1 month from now but I can promise I’m going to work my ass off and make shit happen.

Here’s something I learned today that will be my moto.

“FSO/ GSD/ MSH” translated to mean “Figure Shit Out / Get Shit Done / Make Shit Happen”

If that doesn’t get you motivated to succeed and make it happen on your own then tell me what will?