*The definition of a poodle (find out if you are one)

June 30, 2008          Comments (4)

Last week, in a post, I wrote “I’ve met plenty of poodles* that can hardly talk about anything besides their bags, nails and dog.”

So here is my definition of a poodle. I can’t take credit for this term though. My wonderful mother coined this.

A poodle is: A girl (or guy) that believes that looking good is all they need to do. That is their contribution to society.

A poodle could care less about what’s going on in the world, her job (if she has one), her goals (wait, what are those?), how she earns money (Daddy!), how she pays for things (Oh, you mean, like, my credit card bill that my parents pay?), or anything else besides things that involve helping her (or him) to look good.

Now, let me clarify, there is nothing wrong with looking as good as you can. I’m all for it. In fact, that’s what I help people do. That is my biz. I help people feel and look as good as they can. Because when you feel good, you do good. But the doing good part is the key here.

Also, for some reason, these poodles believe that they are God’s gift to the world. They truly believe that because they are good looking they are better than other people. Fascinating. You do realize that you’re mostly born with your looks. Either you got ‘em or you don’t.

Well, that’s not entirely true. Make-up (and sometimes surgery) does work wonders.

But no big deal, if you don’t have looks. After all, they are just looks. For the most part, you didn’t do anything for them. (Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to look as good as you can or you shouldn’t try to have the best body you can.)

It’s what’s behind those eyes that really matter. Most of these poodles (male and female) have been spoiled silly their entire lives. So they are used to getting whatever it is they want; without working for it.

Which breeds confidence. Getting what you want by working for it (or, not working for it) is one sure way to increase your confidence. After all, that feels incredible. No wonder business moguls, actors and politicians sleep around. They feel like they are on top of the world.

And of course, confidence, and being comfortable in your own skin is by far the sexiest thing in the world. (Precisely why Melania said she is so attracted to The Donald!)

There’s nothing wrong with being born with a silver spoon in your mouth. It’s not your fault. It’s to your advantage, really. The problem with never working for anything though is that you’ve never strived for anything.

And that my friend, is really boring. People always say, “I wish I was a trust fund baby or the people who are given everything will never have to worry about money anyway, so what’s the difference?”

That’s a pretty pathetic way of looking at it. That means all you care about is money? I don’t believe life is about money. Life is about doing what you love. Life is about the journey. Life is about the pursuit. If you have enough courage to find what you love doing (along with some brains) you’ll wind up making a lot of money.

The hugely important difference between poodles and the rest of us are 4 things that can never be bought, no matter how much money your parents give you, that make all the difference in the world:

Strength. Depth. Character. And perspective.

Instead of being a perfect poodle (which is really boring) try being more like a lovable and interesting George!

Related post by Christine Hassler with awesome comments: Cutting The Financial Cord

[Check out the conversation over at Brazen Careerist.com!]

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Inelastic sports pricing and why movie theaters will always be around

June 26, 2008          Comments (7)

As a diehard Michael Jordan fan, I still get the chills when I watch this intro. It reminds me of the good ol’ days when becoming a professional athlete, more so basketball player was still a career option.

Or so I thought.

The reason why companies like Stubhub and ticket brokers continue to make so much money is because of experiences like this.

Sure, I can watch the game on TV but it’s just not the same.

Same reason why movie theaters will always be around.

Many people go to movie theaters to see films on the opening night, where they will pay a large price to see a film that later will be available for free, or almost free, via rental or download.

Sooner or later you can find a free copy of whatever you want, but getting to see a copy the moment it is released by its creators (and actually being there) is priceless.

Like watching Jordan play.

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The only business where it’s acceptable (actually, encouraged) to brag about how much money you make

June 23, 2008          Comments (5)

I’m listening to 50 Cent’s “I get money” right now and it got me thinking. When can a rapper go from rapping about how he used to kill people and sell drugs to how much money he is making?

Rappers are typically limited to a few select topics. They are either rapping about how they used to kill people or how they will kill people (and maybe even you), how they pushed the highest quantity of drugs from wherever they’re from, how every girl on this planet wants them and how they don’t want them, or, how much money they make and how they spend it.

I find this very interesting because this is the only industry where the person/company selling goods can actually flaunt to their customers (who are affording them their lifestyle) how much money they’re making. And it doesn’t turn off the customer. Actually, I think the customers like it.

You’re certainly not going to see Howard Schultz (Starbucks) on MTV Cribs anytime soon showing off his ridiculous cars and houses. You’re not going to see Shelly Hwang and Young Lee, founders of the highly popular Pinkberry (still boggles my mind), flaunting their newfound fortunes, either.

In fact, if they were flaunting their money it would most likely turn you off from their company. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t enjoy the finer things in life, either. These people had big ideas and brilliant execution. They deserve their success. But they definitely shouldn’t have commercials promoting their products while deliberately showing off their Bentley’s and other ridiculous cars and houses.

However, for rappers, it’s part of the gig for some reason. It’s part of their image. Seeing 50 Cent get out of a Toyota Prius just wouldn’t do it.

I think a huge part of what rappers are selling is fantasy. And that’s what music does. It makes us dream. It inspires us. Hence, why I want to be a DJ.

But for some reason, rappers are all about the Benjamins. The hotter they are (in terms of popularity), the more money they make…and the more they’ll rap about how hot they are and how much money they make.

Are there any other industries where this is the case?

Of course there are. It’s just not so blatant.

Do you want your heart surgeon driving around in a ’88 Chevy? No. You want to see (if you do see) him driving around in his brand new SL 600. You want the best in the World.

It also works the other way.

Do you want to see your cleaning lady that you pay good money driving around in a yellow Ferrari?

Do you want your sweet and innocent insurance agent driving around in a nice car? Sure. But not too nice because then you’re going to wonder how he makes all of his money.

(Your commission!)

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The 3 major questions we all have to answer in life

June 18, 2008          Comments (3)

I’ve received a lot of email in the past few weeks about my post regarding marriage. My ‘does marriage serve any purpose these days’ post has 85 comments and counting. Obviously, it’s a topic we’re all interested in.

In fact, I’m fascinated by it. The number one question I got is, “Why are you writing about marriage?”

Here’s why:

Because I think it’s remarkable when someone finds the person that they want to spend the rest of their life with. I mean, it took me months and months just to find a web designer/developer I liked and that didn’t even work out. I can only imagine how one must feel when they find the person that they want to spend the rest of their life with.

And that is exactly why I don’t understand why marriage makes sense. However, one day, I truly hope to feel what you married folks do. But until then, I’ll keep it real.

Whenever I’m with a married couple, I often wonder if they are each other’s soul mates or if they settled? Did they really try to find the person that would make them the happiest they could possibly be? Did they try to find their best possible match?

As one reader said, “You need to choose your partner out of love and respect, rather than convenience and security.”

But some people are willing to fight for their happiness way more than others. Most people aren’t willing to risk comfort and security for excitement and thrills whether it’s for love or a career. I happen to believe that settling in any facet of your life is a sure way to be unhappy. That’s unforgivable.

Certainly, telling someone you think that they settled is not something for you to do. It’s their life and if they are happy then that’s all that matters. But how happy are they is what I’m really curious to know. Because as we know; happiness is relative.

There are 3 major questions we all have to answer in life:

How you spend your life, who you spend your life with and where you want to do the first two.

I’m going to leave the third question alone for a while because that’s highly influenced by who you choose to spend your life with. I think who you choose to marry obviously says a lot about you. Actually, it says everything about you (along with how you choose to spend your life). Sometimes, you may wonder what in the world does she/he see in that guy/girl?

Or, you may see a couple that is very unbalanced looks wise. One partner might be a lot more attractive than the other. But of course, looks aren’t everything. I’ve met plenty of poodles* that can hardly talk about anything besides their bags, nails and dog.

But then you always see the fat wealthy business men with their trophy wives. I once read an interview with Melania Trump, and they asked her if she would have married Donald Trump, if he wasn’t so rich. She replied, something along the lines of, “Would he have married me if I wasn’t so beautiful?”

As they say though, “A ten never marries a one.” Which is to say that you get what you are.

Love is blind, of course – but usually for a reason.

*Future blog post

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Close but no cigar (Dude, where’s your new website?)

June 17, 2008          Comments (3)

There’s a great story about a young man who goes to a very prosperous older man to ask for advice:

“What’s the most important thing in life?” the young man asks.

Good judgment,” replies the older man.

“And how do I get that?” the young man continues.

“Experience,” replies the old man.

“But how do I get that?” persists the young man.

“Bad judgment,” concludes the old man.

To say I’m on cloud 9 is an understatement. Last February, I created for myself a dream business. I launched my homemade site with huge hopes and dreams.

Only 3 months after launching, I was in North Carolina with my buddy Ryan, as he was helping me take my site to the next level. Quickly after that, I realized that if I really wanted to go for it, I was going to have to invest serious money into my business.

I believed (and continue to!) believe in what I’m doing so my quest for a designer/developer began. Finally, I found a fully equipped professional design/development firm with amazing talent located right here in NYC.

It was very important to me to be able to meet with the team so they understood me, my business and also because I’m slightly a perfectionist (which I have always insisted was a good thing!).

Well, after many months I’ve realized it’s just not working out as much as I want it to. We were really close to launching the new site but ultimately, I just can’t risk waiting any longer. Enough is enough. I rather not get into the details but for all of my loyal readers who were curious to know the deal – I thank you.

The main reason it didn’t work out was a major difference in attitudes. Their attitude was ‘will it matter in 3 years if the site is done tomorrow or in 4 months?’ Their CEO said that to me on numerous occasions.

That was back in January when I was fuming that the site wasn’t ready for the New Year. His mantra for me was ‘patience, Adam, patience.’ And although there’s some validity to that, I really don’t have patience for certain things, especially in business with things that ARE (and should be) in my control.

I don’t know one successful person who has a ‘will it matter in 3 years from now if this is done tomorrow or in 4 months’ attitude. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have liked it if I said, “Will it matter if I pay you today or in 4 months from now?”

We’re coming back stronger than ever. I’ve already hired a firm that was highly recommended by Seth.

And as much as my blood is boiling, it is what it is…and as they say, “It could always be worse!”

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17 fabulously easy tips and tricks to stop mindlessly eating

June 13, 2008          Comments (1)

1. Finishers: We love finishing things! That’s why it’s so hard to leave things on our plates; like that last bite we don’t even want. Our clue that we are done eating is that our plates are clean. Try always leaving a piece of food on your plate.

2. Perception: In a study when people thought they were drinking “cheap” wine, they ate less and stayed at dinner shorter. But the group with the “good” wine (they were the same exact wines) stayed longer and ate more and said the meal was better.

3. Eating: The first bite is always the best so just reduce the portions. Out to dinner? Tell them to pack up 1/2 of your food for home even before they bring out the plate to your table. Say no to bread. This way you don’t even have to look at it. If you have to constantly look at it, you have to constantly ask yourself the question, “Do I want a piece? Do I really not want a piece?” Save yourself.

Put food in the back of cupboards. Make it harder to get to. Thank God for places like Costco. But take Costco size things and put them in smaller containers (then hide them in large bins.) In general, when food is out of your site – it’s out of your mind.

4. Awareness: Are you really hungry when you eat? If you’re not hungry but choose to eat anyway — say out loud, “I’m not hungry but I’m going to eat this anyway!”

5. 20 percent: Try adding 20% more veggies to your plate and take away 20% of the entree.

1/2 plate: Try making half of your plate veggies. I find that eating veggies and salad with each meal really helps me to feel full.

6. Forgotten: There was a great study where 1 group of people ate chicken wings and their bones were kept in front of them. In the other group, the plates were cleared every 15 minutes or so.

Who do you think ate less? The group who saw all of their bones.

Bonus: You can do the same with wine. Always serve new glasses of wine and be sure to leave the old glasses out and the bottles too!

*Bonus – bonus: This actually applies to anything.

7. Just cut it: Mindless eating is when you eat and are no longer hungry. The “I’m full but I can eat more.” Be satisfied and just say, “Done!”

8. See all you can eat: Like the chicken wings – serve yourself in the kitchen and try to eat in another room. With snacks always pour or put the snack into something. Otherwise, the hand always reaches into that bag.


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Is there really such a thing as soulmates? Really?

June 9, 2008          Comments (2)

Last week I wrote a post entitled ‘Does getting married serve any purpose these days?’ With 70 + comments (and counting) from people either for or against marriage, it is truly fascinating to read all of the view points. This post generated a lot of buzz and rightfully so.

After all, relationships are what life is about. As Adriana says, “the best things in life are free but not many people realize that.”

Ironically, I never said whether I was for or against marriage. But I certainly don’t believe ‘it’s something you just do’ is a good enough reason. And as one reader said, “I do however think that it’s not a decision to make lightly. You need to be comfortable in your own skin and choose your partner out of love and respect, rather than convenience and security.”

Unfortunately, I think many people do just that. “Wow, we’re 30 years old, we’re dating…I guess we need to get married now…”

A lot of people (for marriage) kept saying ‘marriage is the ultimate commitment.’ It’s something you want to do for the other person because you love them so much.

I understand. I get it. But how do you know when you find the person?

Is there really such a thing as a soulmate? (I have to laugh because as I write this I feel like Carrie but it’s something I’m obviously intrigued by.)

I’m going to assume most people’s idealistic definition of a soulmate is that there is one person on this Earth that is meant for them. I’d love to think so.

Unfortunately, right off the bat, I’m going to have to disagree and here’s why:

I’m going to assume anyone that’s been in an ‘exclusive relationship’ with someone that’s no longer in the same relationship was really into it at one point. Even if it was just for a few months or weeks (or maybe even days) of being totally into that person. And even if the rest of the relationship was you tying to convince yourself that you were. Let’s face it – at one point you were very much into that person. Otherwise why bother?

Or, what if you met the person of your dreams? Your…’soulmate’? It was lust at first sight. (How can there be such a thing as love at first site anyway? It would only be your mind convincing yourself that you loved that person, no?)

But eventually they broke your heart.

I don’t think we should ever regret anything in our lives that has made us happy – at one point.

But we’ve all heard people when reflecting back on a break up, that they were initially distraught over, years later say, “That was the best thing that ever happened to me.” Again, your brilliant mind playing tricks on you – and rationalizing.

But thing is, it really may have been the best thing that ever happened to them. In their dark days they learned a heck a lot about themselves. But you can only get hurt by people who mean a great deal to you.

But then why do people always say, “How I dated that person is beyond me, what was I thinking?” Again, your mind partly rationalizing.

In reality, the only people who can truly believe in soulmates are those that truly believe they found their soulmates. But can’t that just be your mind convincing yourself that you did?

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Does getting married serve any purpose these days?

June 3, 2008          Comments (5)

Lately, I feel like people left and right are getting married or engaged. In fact, one of my boys (and old roommate) recently got engaged. Congrats again bro.

But is marriage a natural thing?

Are we supposed to be with the same person for the rest of our lives?

The divorce rates are alarming. 50% is the latest number. 1 out of 2 couples are going to wind up marrying their ex-husband/wife. That’s insane and divorce is certainly not something to be taken lightly; especially with kids.

My parents got separated when I was 4 years old and divorced soon after that. I remember being the only kid in my elementary school with divorced parents. But then as I got older it seemed like more and more parents were getting divorced and I was no longer in the minority.

So what is the point of marriage if 1 out of 2 happy couples are choosing to ruin their perfectly good relationship?

Let’s explore:

Social – security: Meaning whenever you’re bored, you always have something to do. But what happens if you’re never bored?

Financial – security: If you marry someone who will be rich, or is rich, or both, you will certainly be rich. A lot of people will do crazy things for money, unfortunately. But what if you have your own money?

Caring – security: You have someone who will do anything in the world for you. Nice. But there are plenty of single people who have friends/family who will do anything in the world for them too and plenty of married people who don’t.

Sexual – security: You always have someone to be intimate with that you hopefully truly care about. That’s cool. Not much I can say about that, however, there are plenty of single people who don’t have to worry about that. And there are plenty of married people who still do.

Children: I’m starting to believe that there is no reason for ‘marriage’ unless you are going to have children together. What’s the difference between a non-married couple living together and a married couple living together?

Nothing! My sister and bro-in-law lived together before they got married. Nothing changed…except my sister’s last name.

So what does marrying someone actually do? Some might argue that it provides security. You always have someone and they just can’t pick up and leave.

Here’s my counter. The type of person that’s living with their significant other and is willing to move out of your apartment and start all over again…is definitely the same type of person who’d divorce you. And why the heck would you want to be with someone if they don’t want to be with you anyway?

I think marriage is just a contract. Like any contract there are pros and cons. There are exciting parts of the deal and not so exciting parts of the deal.

And ultimately, I think marriage is something people just do. It just happens. Like becoming a cog in a wheel.

Except in a nice way.

[Update: Join the awesome debate on BrazenCareerist.com!!!!]

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