An effective and efficient way to get a job

There’s a story of an Italian Billionaire when asked if he had to start over from scratch what he’d do (I searched Google 50 times to find the original without luck). He replied that he’d take any job to make $500, buy a nice suit, then go to parties where he’d meet successful people. The implication being that he meet someone who’d offer him a job, share an opportunity, etc.

I’m almost 40 and of the 5 career type jobs I’ve had in my life (I run my own business now), 4 came through networking. Only 1 came out of applying to a job listing.

But networking isn’t something you just go out and do. It’s immensely more effective if you have simple people skills. And when I say simple, I mean spend a couple hours reading Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Read that and try it out at a party and you’ll be blown away by how effective it is and how after meeting and talking with a few people and asking them about themselves, how they’ll want to help you, without you asking them.

When I asked my old boss who was the most remarkable sales person I’ve met, what he did to improve his sales skills, he told me that right out of college without any skills or pedigree degree, he took a job as a limo driver. He was reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and thought it would be worth trying out. He would ask his customers one simple question when they got in the limo, “So tell me about what you do.” That simple question resulted in a huge increase in tips he received. Notice he didn’t ask his customers, “What do you do?” There’s a subtle difference. If you ask the latter, many people will just tell you in a few words what they do. If you ask the former, it’s an invitation for them to tell you their story. Few people will turn that down.

At one point early in my career, I was doing research in the medical field and realized I wasn’t interested in it or where it would lead. I wanted to make more money and get into the business side of things (this was right after the tech crash in the San Francisco area), so I spent nearly 9 months relentlessly applying to jobs, writing cover letters, researching companies. With no success. I was doing it all wrong.

One night, my roommate asked if I wanted to go to a party. Sure, no problem. We went. I didn’t know a single person there. At one point, everyone did shots. I wandered back to the kitchen to get a beer. There was one other guy in the kitchen and I introduced myself. We talked for a while, I asked him what he did and he said he worked in biotech. I mentioned I was looking to get into the field, and he said his company was actually hiring. My resume got send to the hiring manager, and I was interviewing within a couple weeks. You can guess what my next job was.

There are a million paths to getting rich. And there are countless people who’ve gotten rich who are jerks, tyrants, manipulative, conniving, and all around assholes. When you’re working in different industries, you’ll start to feel that all the  successful people are this way. But in reality, these are only the people who leave the most lasting impression, not because they’re the only people who succeed.

But there’s unlikely anyone out there successful who wouldn’t emphasize the value of people skills in succeeding.

If you would like to become a millionaire, keep on reading the Source


Holiday (spending) mistakes

Ok, it is the season of shopping for your loved ones, you probably would like to give a suprising gift but… What if you made a mistake? Here is where we can help you:

  1. Extravagant gift wrap

Shoppers tend to buy expensive wrapping paper or gift bags impulsively, says consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow, professor emeritus at Golden Gate University and author of “Gen BuY: How Tweens, Teens, and Twenty-Somethings Are Revolutionizing Retail.”

“This is the one that I hear about most often, and it costs people more money than they realize,” she says.

During a holiday season, it’s easy to rack up $100 in gift bags, wrapping paper and wine bags, she says. Reuse instead. Recycling bags and ribbon is “perfectly acceptable today,” Yarrow says.

Recently, a guest presented her with a hostess gift, announcing, “The bag may be recycled, but I assure you the wine is not,” Yarrow recalls.

2. Charging too much

To cut the cost of Christmas, keep the credit cards under wraps.

“Tons of research shows that people spend more money when they charge things,” Yarrow says. “If you can pay with cash, you’ll always be a little more aware of what those gifts cost.”

If you don’t feel safe with greenbacks in your pocket among the holiday hordes, then use a card, but keep a running tally in a notebook or smartphone. That way, you’re less likely to add to your list of recipients or buy impulse gifts, she says.

Rather than adding everything up as you go, set a total budget, then subtract what you spend, Yarrow says. “Dwindling balances tend to be more real.”

Going into debt is a holiday mistake, says Doug Borkowski, director of the Iowa State University financial counseling clinic. “Don’t put Christmas on the credit cards,” he says.

And don’t get “an interest-free, 15-month loan so you can overspend on Christmas,” Borkowski adds. That sort of long-term borrowing sets you up for financial failure.

3. Shopping while guilty

Shopping and negative emotions — guilt, panic or a mob mentality — make an expensive combination.

Many consumers budget more “out of guilt,” Yarrow says. “What people have to remind themselves of is that money doesn’t equal love or affection.”

Short-term sales create an emotionally charged situation. Whether it’s a flash sale, a Black Friday deal or a weekend special, the fear of “missing out” can override common sense, Yarrow says.

Being in a crowd can also change the way we think, she says: “When everybody is grabbing for something, we feel we should be grabbing for it, too.”

Online shoppers aren’t immune. Surfing late at night when you’re exhausted or after a few glasses of holiday cheer can get expensive, she says.

The solution in any venue is to take a timeout.

Put the item in your cart, but wait at least 20 minutes to buy it, Yarrow advises. If it still appeals, “It’s probably something you want.”

4. Not trimming gift lists

Long before you trim the tree, trim the gift list.

If money’s tight, it’s likely not a secret. Announce how you’ll handle holiday gifts this year — whether it’s no presents, children only, exchanging names, buying a group gift or whatever works for you.

“For some people, their love language is receiving things,” says Michelle Singletary, author of “The 21-day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom.” “You have to give them notice. You don’t have to tell them your whole business, but just say, ‘I have assessed my financial life, and it’s a mess. And this holiday, I have decided to straighten it out.'”

And you can still find ways to let special people know they matter. One option is gifts of food that you enjoy making, says Mary Hunt, founder of and author of “7 Money Rules for Life.”

Borkowski recommends sending a card with a note — a real, handwritten note with just a few lines to say what this person has meant to you this year or in general.

“It shows you’re thinking of the person,” Borkowski says. “That’s huge.”

…and 5. Mixing buying, celebrating

“Separate shopping from the entertainment of the season,” Hunt says. She follows this advice with her family.

“The sights and sounds of Christmas were the reason they loved the mall,” Hunt says. “So I would just take a few bucks in my pocket to get a hot chocolate and a cookie. Our purpose was to go see Santa, or to go see the decorations and ride the train.”

What do you like to do during the holidays? Listen to live music? Drive around to ogle lights? Get together with family in the kitchen?

Singletary says, “The best Christmas we ever had was when we decided to spend $100.”

She adds: “The $100 goes fairly quickly. So what do you do for the rest of the season? You visit, you make hot chocolate. We spent the holiday with people and not in the stores. It was, by far, the best holiday ever.”

Will you try them this season?